Telecom Lobbying: $80M in 2018 and $1.2B Since 1998. Details On Who Spent How Much and Why This Matters

By B.N. Frank

Lobbyists have a bad name for good reason.  Activist Post has reported before about telecom and tech companies spending beaucoup bucks to sway elected officials and government employees to force the installation of risky technology – including utility “Smart” Meters and 5G – in communities across the U.S. (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Thanks to Comparitech.com for providing more nauseating details in this recent article, How much does your ISP spend on lobbying?”

Comparitech researchers compiled and analyzed 51 ISPs’ lobbying expenses from the US Senate’s Lobbying Disclosure Act database, which dates back to 1998.

Here are the highlights of our analysis:

  • 2018 was the biggest year yet for ISP lobbying at $80 million.
  • Top spenders include AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast, which have amassed lobbying expenses of $341 million, $265 million, and $200 million, respectively since 1998.
  • Since 2011, yearly spending on lobbying across all ISPs hasn’t strayed below $72 million.
  • The largest amount spent by any provider in any year was AT&T in 1999, at almost $23 million. AT&T’s acquisition of Ameritech Corp accounted for much of this, and the merger eventually led to the creation of America’s largest telecom company.
  • Total spend from 2016 to 2019 is set to exceed lobbying expenses between 2012 and 2015, which totaled $295 million.
  • Lobbying in favor of mergers and acquisitions accounted for many of the biggest expenses for individual ISPs in a single year.
  • $1.2 billion has been spent by ISPs on lobbying since 1998.

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Earlier this week the Chicago Tribune released research that had determined various smartphone models exceed federal RF safety limits.  One law firm has already started their own investigation about this.  Fingers crossed that more law firms will take action against similar atrocities helped along with telecom dollars.

Activist Post reports regularly about tech and telecom industry chicaneries.  For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:

Image credit: Pixabay

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