#2. "Our Industry Is Booming! Numbers Don't Lie!"
With all this whining going on, you'd think that current net neutrality laws are super oppressive for cable companies, but no: The cable and Internet industries aren't subject to as much regulation as other services these days. And they rather like it that way. In a letter they wrote to Congress, the National Cable Telecommunications Association was happy to point out how "investment and deployment" have increased over the past couple of decades as regulation decreases, which they illustrated with this handy graph. Basically, they're saying, "Just let us do whatever we want and we'll make everyone rich!"
"Seriously, everyone (percent)!"
Wow, those sure are big numbers! And they're getting bigger! Pack it in, Congress; clearly these guys know what they're doing. More than you'd think, actually: The graph is measuring cumulative investment, as in "all the money we've ever spent since 1996." So yes, the total amount cable companies have ever spent is probably going to keep going up forever, until some mad economist discovers a way to unspend money and turn cable lines back into dollars, like in our Richie Rich/X-Men crossover fan fiction.
Meanwhile, the actual amount they're investing per year is actually going down:
Huh, when you look at it that way, it almost seems like the recession fucked over cable companies just like everyone else, and their letter is actually full of shit. But who really needs to include all those ugly details, when skirting the legal definition of lying benefits you so much more?
#1. "People Don't Want Net Neutrality Anyway!"
You've probably seen the huge amount of people online who are supporting net neutrality while throwing a middle finger up at the cable companies ... but did you know there are also anti-net neutrality advocacy groups out there? It's true. One group, Broadband for America, told the FCC that they "categorically reject" any attempts to make broadband Internet a public utility, which would subject it to more regulations to make sure the companies play fair, and who wants that?
So who's in this group? Well, let's see: the CEO of AT&T, the CEO of Comcast, the president of Cox Communications, the president of the NTCA, and, last but not least, the CEO of Verizon, among others.
Gary Gershoff/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
"We're basically Voltron using giant dicks, with moneybag scrotums instead of lions."
Some of you may have noticed that this group appears to be made up almost exclusively of cable company presidents, and also that it can suck a hundred Cox. Less obvious is the fact that on its tax filings, Broadband for America retains the DCI Group, a lobbying firm that, as Vice puts it, "specializes in creating fake citizen groups on behalf of corporate campaigns."
Digital Vision/Digital Vision/Getty Images
"Are we supposed to draw something on the signs? I'm new to this."
While this may be the most blatant attempt as astroturfing, it's far from the only one. The American Consumer Institute (if you want no one to question your motives, just put "America" in the title) wants the FCC to leave ISPs alone to do as they please, while also being funded by cable company lobbyists. Similarly, the Heartland Institute, which claims that cable companies should have a right to charge Internet businesses out the wazoo, is heavily funded by Comcast, Time Warner, and AT&T. When you have to shell out millions of dollars to pretend that you have friends, that should be your sign that you're the most desperate, miserable person in existence.
In fact, we feel so bad for them that we're leaving you with this link, where you can tell the FCC how much you like cable companies and what they're doing. Have fun!