Verizon lobbyists are apparently on the prowl on Capitol Hill with new anti-net neutrality arguments, Mother Jones has learned, telling congressional staffers that Verizon needs to offer fast lane-like Internet access in order to meet the needs of blind, deaf and disabled customers whose lives may depend on fast access to Internet-connected medical services.
However, it appears that groups representing disabled Americans have not backed this plan.
Mark Perriello, president and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities told the publication that this was the first time he heard “these specific talking points.” Meanwhile, Free Press policy director Matt Wood went as far as to accuse Verizon’s lobbying efforts of being “disingenuous.”
Verizon apparently didn’t confirm that its lobbyists are using this particular pitch, but a spokesperson said that the company’s position on the FCC recent net neutrality proposal is “not disingenuous,” as the company has not taken a public stance on it.
The publication says Verizon has used the same pitch in 2009, when the FCC was drafting new regulations for ISPs. Former Verizon CEO then said that people with health conditions would not benefit from life-saving technological advances if Verizon wasn’t allowed to prioritize certain medical data.
Mother Jones has further revealed that ISPs have paid lobbyists $19 million in the first quarter of the year, or 68% of the money spent on net neutrality-related lobbying.
A recent report revealed that lobbyists managed to dupe community groups into joining an anti net neutrality coalition that supports the proposed fast-lane-slow-lane Internet proposal.