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Internet regulation is bad for consumers, jobs, investment and universal broadband

TO: All U.S.-based managers

Over the last few weeks an extraordinary number of voices expressed concern over news reports that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is poised to regulate the Internet in a manner that would drive up consumer prices, and burden companies like ours while exempting companies like Google. According to The Washington Post, the FCC has received a dozen letters from Republican and Democratic governors, a letter signed by 18 Republican senators, and a letter sent by 72 Democratic members of Congress. In addition, letters expressing serious concerns were sent by many state legislators and minority groups, and our union partners, CWA and the IBEW.

We encourage you, your family and friends to join the voices telling the FCC not to regulate the Internet. It can be done through a personal email account by going to www.openinternet.gov and clicking on the "Join the Discussion" link. The FCC has extended the period for receiving comments by allowing postings to its blog until Thursday, October 22nd. Those who seek to impose extreme regulations on the network are flooding the site to influence the FCC. It's now time for you to voice your opinion!

In addition to your own thoughts, any of the following points can be used when you develop your brief blog comments. America's wireless consumers enjoy the broadest range of innovative services and devices, lowest prices, highest usage levels, and most choices in the world. Why disrupt a market that's working so well? There is fierce competition for wireless and broadband customers. Competition drives innovation and encourages companies to develop products, services and applications that consumers want. There's been more innovation in this market than in any since the World Wide Web was introduced. The market is working for consumers. Don't burden it with unnecessarily harmful regulations.

Network companies have to be able to manage their networks to ensure the most economical and efficient use of bandwidth, and provide affordable broadband services for all users. Network management is essential for consumers to enjoy the benefits of new quality-sensitive applications and services. The FCC rules should not stop the promise of life-changing, cost-saving services such as telemedicine that depend on a managed network.

The "net neutrality" rules as reported will jeopardize the very goals supported by the Obama administration that every American have access to high-speed Internet services no matter where they live or their economic circumstance. That goal can't be met with rules that halt private investment in broadband infrastructure. And the jobs associated with that investment will be lost at a time when the country can least afford it.

The FCC shouldn't burden an industry that is bringing jobs and investment to the country, but if it is going to regulate the Internet it should do so fairly. The goal of the FCC should be to maintain a level playing field by treating all competitors the same. Any new rules should apply equally to network providers, search engines and other information services providers.

Thank you in advance for taking action that supports our customers, our company, and our country's commitment to ensure that every American has access to broadband.
Jim Cicconi

Senior Executive Vice President - External and Legislative Affairs

ATT

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