Follow the money – Net Neutrality Activism Around the Globe

Much has been said and written about network neutrality regulation around the world, but there is little transparency to the powerful and moneyed forces which fund net neutrality activism.

Many governments and telecom regulators have experienced how net neutrality activists disrupt political and regulatory systems. Consider how net neutrality activists influenced the European Union and the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) by launching a globally coordinated campaign to influence the democratic process. BEREC clocked a record of some 1 million comments in its consultation on net neutrality guidelines in 2016, with at least one-third of the comments coming from the US and a large part from non-EU citizens outside the EU. The regulatory process is purported to be expert and independent, but the manipulation by activists questions the credibility of rulemaking.

In June 2016 Strand Consult published four research notes on how net neutrality activists manipulated the EU process for Open Internet. We described in detail the lack of transparency in BEREC and our repeatedly denied requests to BEREC for openness on how the rules were made.

Strand Consult supports transparency and has spent time gathering knowledge to prepare its report Follow the money – Net Neutrality Activism Around the Globe. The report details the powerful foundations, corporations, and individuals funding net neutrality and the coordination of political entities, activists, academics, and the press with sophisticated digital platforms to create the appearance of a grassroots movement.

The report also demonstrates how cable/telecom providers and their trade associations lack the leadership, funding, and coordination to address the existential threat to their shareholders.  The report also shows how cost benefit analysis, economics and empirical evidence were systematically cleansed from the policy deliberation.

While the messages of net neutrality activists sound noble—a free and open internet—their objectives are nothing less than the taking of private property and giving it to the state without compensating shareholders. At its heart, net neutrality is an ideology that distrusts private ownership of networks and content and employs a incremental approach of regulating price and traffic to create de facto government-run networks.

The report is a unique and valuable resource tool to understand why network operators and trade associations such as GSMA, ETNO, etc. have not been successful to communicate why net neutrality regulation has a negative impact on the market and innovation. In the report you can read about:

  • The tools and techniques of net neutrality activism
  • Activism as an Industry
  • The value activists offer their funders
  • Save the Internet Campaign in the United States
  • Save the Internet Campaign in EU
  • Save the Internet Campaign in India
  • Why evidence and empirical research is rejected in net neutrality rulemaking

This report provides knowledge of how net neutrality activists work and the success they have had to manipulate officials in the EU and BEREC. With this report, you will understand why the EU and BEREC acted as they did and why BEREC did not want to create the transparency that Strand Consult has requested many times.

The report is a document of over 60 pages exposing the many people who are part of the political and regulatory system and their efforts to deter the evidence and information of alternative policy options which would support a so-called open internet. This report provides  insight into the forces and reasons why activists have been successful in influencing the political system in a number of countries.

Follow the money – Net Neutrality Activism Around the Globe is one of 8 reports on Net Neutrality from Strand Consult – Tap into the world’s leading knowledge center on Open Internet rulemaking. Few know more and have published on this topic than Strand Consult  

Request more information of the report Follow the money –  Net Neutrality Activism Around the Globe.