back to article AT&T sends in startup shill to shake up Cali's net neutrality safeguards

A group claiming to represent the interests of California's tech startups has argued that the US state should allow so-called zero rating services, despite the negative impact it would have on tech startups. Last week, CALinnovates provided Sacramento lawmakers, who are discussing proposed legislation to bring net neutrality …

  1. earl grey Silver badge


    Typical behaviour from a company that tried to hire washington insiders, pays off state legislators left and right, and is currently in a big campaign to purge headcount.

    1. BillG Silver badge

      Re: s'rsly?

      This is California where the tail wags the dog. Of course CA state officials already know the report came from CALinnovates. As a matter of fact, it's more likely the state officials asked CALinnovates to submit the report to justify something they already want to do with AT&T. That's very common in state governments.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The arrogance of these companies is breathtaking - I guess that comes from owning the incumbents of a corrupt legislature

    1. J. Cook Silver badge

      Re: Arrogance...

      Well, AT&T's well-known nickname is "the Death Star Company", due to the resemblance it's logo has to a certain non-moon sized entity with the power to destroy a planet. (although it's insignificant to the power of the Dark Side of a crazy old religion...)

      *runs away before the warrbarristers with mouse ears on their helmets show up*

  3. lglethal Silver badge

    A small test

    Here is a small test to answer the question - does this group really represent XXXXXXX start-up firms (XXXXXXX -> insert industrial sector as appropriate (tech, agriculture, energy,etc)).

    1) Is the budget for talking to people about the start up groups interests more than the cost of a night at the pub?

    If the answer is Yes, then the group does not represent start up firms. If No, the group MAY represent start up firms.

    Start up firms by the very definition do not have cash to splash around on lobbying. Nor do they have time to work on policy documentation. They're too busy trying to get their products off the ground. Lobbying is the domain of the established players who have budgets to waste.

    The best you can hope for from a real start-up is a night at the pub in the name of "networking".

  4. LDS Silver badge

    "Low-income and minority Californians enjoy disproportionately greater benefits"

    Yes, and also won't be much able to choose what to watch... maybe Fox News will be zero rated?

    1. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: "Low-income and minority Californians enjoy disproportionately greater benefits"

      "[The low-income and minority Californians] also wont be much able to choose what to watch..." if zero-rating is allowed.

      That assumes implicitly that without the zero-rating they can watch at most one thing. Adding zero-rated content would appear to increase their choice range, along with that of everyone else, or reduce their cost, again along with that of everyone else. The hurt, if any, will fall upon those who might attempt to compete with the zero-rated services.

  5. ma1010 Silver badge

    Listening to AT&T and Uber?

    As a resident of California, I would prefer my elected officials to be guided by the advice of more wholesome entities, say NAMBLA or the Russian Mob.

    1. lglethal Silver badge

      Re: Listening to AT&T and Uber?

      Hey whats wrong with the National Association of Marlon Brando Look Alikes?

  6. Fungus Bob Silver badge

    For some reason I thought of this when I looked at the article picture:

  7. tom dial Silver badge

    The habit of automatically assuming that funding research guarantees that the product (s) is tailored to benefit the contributor and (b) presents false results is pernicious. Either may be correct or not, and the question should be evaluated, but the only valid criticism of a report must rely on the facts and analysis it presents. As a general matter, there often is plenty to criticize without touching the matter of funding.

  8. John Geek

    and today, there's a news story that some committee head forced a pre-dawn vote on a massive rrewrite of the bill that turns it into the exact opposite of what it was supposed to be. the bills authors and primary sponsors are livid but are being steamrolled.

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