Originally published: April 29, 2012
Last updated: April 29, 2012 - 4:35pm
AT&T’s shareholders didn’t require the telecommunications giant to implement network neutrality on its wireline and wireless networks.
The proposal lost with a mere 5.9 percent of the vote. But based on an interview I had two weeks ago with Jonas Kron, Vice President of Trillium Asset Management, the goal of the shareholder proposal was to get 3 percent of the vote so they could bring it back next year. So in that case, Trillium and other shareholders in favor of the proposal (including Mike D of the Beastie Boys) won. In fact Kron told me that anything over 5 percent would be a substantial victory because it means that the company would have to pay attention to the issue. Regardless of change coming from this particular vote, in our talk Kron offered me something far more interesting, an economic justification for broadband companies to embrace network neutrality. So despite Wall Street analysts who argue that such rules would turn the nation’s largest wireline and wireless phone companies into commodity utilities with the profit margins to match, Kron explains why American’s capitalists should be fine with network neutrality.
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