This week, President Obama proposed to reclassify the regulatory status of broadband to protect network neutrality — the idea that all companies should treat internet traffic equally. The lobbying on the issue has been fierce and longstanding. But according to a review of lobbying filings by Alexander Furnas and Lee Drutman of the Sunlight Foundation, one side has lobbied far more than the other:
Since companies and trade associations don't disclose how much money they spend lobbying on any individual issue, Furnas and Drutman decided to total the number of quarterly lobbying filings from each that mentioned net neutrality since 2005.
By this metric, the corporations who've lobbied the most on the issue are easily Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast — all companies that oppose the strong network neutrality rules the president endorsed this week. Then come two trade groups who have similar views — the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (representing cable TV companies), and the National Music Publishers Association (which wants internet service providers to be able to crack down on music piracy).
Only after that do the tech companies Sunlight classifies as favoring net neutrality, like AOL, Google, and Microsoft, start to show up. Head over to the Sunlight Foundation for more.