Posts Tagged ‘comcast’

Advocacy groups rally public on net neutrality

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 by Vbhotla

ON THE TOPIC OF NET NEUTRALITY, the American public is anything but. POLITICO reported today that the debate has generated more than 1,477,301 public comments, more than Janet Jackson’s accidental exposure during the 2004 Super Bowl, the previous record-holder.

As POLITICO reports, many of these public comments are from form letters created by advocacy groups. Meanwhile, website such as Netflix and Reddit have organized an “internet slowdown day” on September 9th to illustrate the perils of allowing ISPs to create internet “fast lanes” which allocate more bandwidth to companies that are willing to pay.

According to the Daily Dot, ISPs opposed to net neutrality have spent more than 75 million dollars since 2003 lobbying against it, while advocacy groups and companies on the other side have spent a shade over 25 million. It would appear that advocacy groups attempting to guide the public debate in their favor rather than trying to influence lawmakers. Given that the FCC is a regulatory body, this strategy makes sense, and with the majority of the record-breaking 1.4 million comments on the issue in favor of net neutrality, it appears to be working.

Despite the lobbying advantage that ISPs are currently enjoying, tech companies in favor of net neutrality have massive funds and political cachet that they have yet to fully bring to bear on the issue. According to The Hill, tech companies and advocacy groups have spent millions on lobbying Congress but are growing increasingly frustrated with Congressional inaction on key issues such as net neutrality. With no end to gridlock in sight, these groups may begin withholding substantial contributions from lawmakers they deem inactive or in opposition to their goals. Although the eventual fate of net neutrality remains to be seen, if tech companies bring more substantial lobbying resources to bear, we may see the influence game swing in their favor.

Comcast Beefs Up DC Team

Monday, March 14th, 2011 by Vbhotla

National Cable and Telecommunications Association president and CEO Kyle McSlarrow will leave to become president of Comcast’s Washington policy and government affairs office, a newly-created position in which he will oversee regulatory and congressional strategy.  Citing McSlarrow’s interests in “technology, new product development, and customer service,” Comcast CEO Brian Roberts says McSlarrow “brings a terrific mix of business skills and broad management capabilities to our cable operations.”

McSlarrow is said to be a staunch opponent of net neutrality, another plus for Comcast, which has been embroiled in a fight with the FCC over the divisive issue.  He has also Payday Loans fought against a la carte channel pricing, from which the company would also benefit.

The cable giant has also promoted its two top lobbyists, who were both instrumental in finalizing the company’s NBC Universal acquisition earlier this year.

Kathy Zachem, who has led the firm’s regulatory efforts since 2008, will become the senior vice president of regulatory and state legislative affairs.  Melissa Maxfield is the new senior vice president of congressional and federal government affairs, a position from which she will congressional lobbying and some Executive Branch contacts, particularly as it relates to the White House and Commerce Department.

Industry Moves and Changes

Monday, March 14th, 2011 by Vbhotla

Former Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) has joined Husch Blackwell as partner.

Kyle McSlarrow is the new president of Comcast’s policy and government affairs office. Kathy Zachem has been promoted to the cable giant’s senior vice president of regulatory and state legislative affairs, and Melissa Maxfield will be senior vice president of congressional and federal government affairs.
Genevieve Morelli has been named president of the Independent Telephone and Telecommunications Alliance.