Hey did you hear what Ed Whitacre *just* said?

Just in case you think that AT&T and the other greedy broadband monopolists are starting to feel the urge of the common good and are starting to guilt-trip over a net that ain't neutral- I have news for you. Yesterday, AT&T CEO Ed Whitacre put the gauntlet down again.

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Just in case you think that AT&T and the other greedy broadband monopolists are starting to feel the urge of the common good and are starting to guilt-trip over a net that ain't neutral- I have news for you.

Yesterday, AT&T CEO Ed Whitacre put the gauntlet down again.

Or shot his mouth off, depending on how you look at it.

"Some companies want us to be a big dumb pipe that gets bigger and bigger. No one gets a free ride," Whitacre told the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners yesterday.

"Those that want to use this will pay."

The It's Our Net Coalition replies:

Internet companies already collectively pay billions of dollars per year to network operators for Internet connectivity and transport. That money fully compensates the network operators for their network investment. The Internet companies separately spend billions of dollars more for Internet backbone capacity.

Overall, the four Bell companies alone make some $14 billion annually in revenues from selling special access services to Internet content and applications companies, Internet service providers, and other corporate and institutional users of the local network. FCC figures show that this is a highly lucrative business, with returns over 50 percent. All of this return is in addition to the $20 billion a year in fees that subscribers pay network operators for broadband access.

Could it be that Ed Whitacre is so arrogant thinking the fix is in that he has no fear of talking loosely?

I'd hate to be the p.r. person in charge of sanitization for everything this guy says...