Broadband Providers Fund Net Neutrality Foes

Chad Outler | December 01, 2010

Dec 1, 2010 - According to an article in Broadcast & Cable on Wednesday, GOP Reps. Joe Barton and Fred Upton took different approaches to the FCC's recent announcement on net neutrality rules. Regardless of which tactic proves to be more successful, broadband providers that stand to benefit from an unregulated Internet seem poised to enjoy the outcome.

The two Republicans are each positioning for the gavel of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, which oversees the FCC. Upton took the tough cop approach, while Barton chose a more measured approach.

Barton (R-Texas) has benefited from telecom companies' contributions to his campaign committee over recent years. Three of Barton's top ten contributing organizations for the 2010 election cycle are Comcast ($12,000 - 5th largest), the National Cable and Telecommunications Association ($11,000 - 7th), and Verizon ($10,500 - 8th).

Amongst top ten contributors, Upton (R-Mich.) has not pulled in as much cash from broadband providers as Barton, but he still enjoys Verizon Communications as his 5th largest contributor at $10,750.

Also mentioned in the article is ranking member on the House Energy & Commerce Communications Subcommittee Clifford Stearns (R-Fla.), who counts among his top ten contributors Comcast Corporation ($11,000 - 1st), National Cable and Telecommunications Association ($10,000 - 5th), AT&T ($9,000 - 6th), as well as DirecTV ($7,000 - 8th).

Contributions above are for the last two years of available data, Oct 14, 2008 - Oct 13, 2010 and include contributions from individual employees and company PACs. Contributions from political parties and from other candidates are not included in the "Top 10" lists. Contributions data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics (