AT&T Plans to Start Screwing You Over in 2018

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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?

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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