AT&T Plans to Start Screwing You Over in 2018

| Mon May 19, 2014 5:41 PM EDT

From Brian Fung:

AT&T has announced it's buying DirecTV in a $49 billion deal — an enormous acquisition that could turn one of the nation's top telecom companies into a formidable player in the pay-TV market. And the agreement is sure to be examined closely by federal regulators.

To help win their approval, AT&T is offering to abide by net neutrality principles for three years: the company would not block Web sites; it would also not discriminate against certain Web content by slowing down or speeding up different lanes of Internet traffic to customers.

This is practically a promise to begin implementing slow-lane service for non-favored websites in 2018. It's what every ISP in the country wants to do: make a few fuzzy, short-term promises in order to get approval for the rules they want; remain on their best behavior for a few years; and then steadily start putting the hammer down in small enough increments that they hope nobody notices.

Hey, it worked for the financial industry! Why not internet providers too?

Get Mother Jones by Email - Free. Like what you're reading? Get the best of MoJo three times a week.