Cable Companies Bankroll Fake Consumer Groups to End Net Neutrality
Cable companies that stand to benefit the most from an end to net neutrality have been bankrolling so-called “consumer advocacy” groups that aim to kill it.
Such non-profits like Broadband for America and the American Consumer Institute (ACI), both of which claim to be “independent consumer advocacy groups” and have been fighting against classifying ISPs as a utility (a move that would make it easier to enact net neutrality rules in the future), have been shown to be heavily funded by the cable industry.
According to a disclosure obtained by Vice from the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA), an ISP-supported trade group, most of Broadband for America’s recent $3.5 million budget comes from a $2 million donation from NCTA. Vice further uncovered that, based on its tax return filings, Broadband for America has retained the DCI Group, an “infamous lobbying firm,” that Vice argues specializes in building fake consumer interest groups that actually serve corporate interests.
What’s more, Vice found that the American Consumer Institute, which similarly opposes reclassification of ISPs, has been bankrolled by an ISP lobby group called mywireless.com that has been a consistent financial contributor to ACI since 2010.