Last summer, a group of the country’s largest telecom providers, including CenturyLink, filed a petition with the Republican-led Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington, D.C., to cut off access competitive broadband providers have to portions of their networks. Independent broadband providers like Blackfoot Communications rely on portions of CenturyLink’s network to provide network connections to thousands of business customers.
Once the petition was filed, Blackfoot and many other competitive broadband providers lobbied the FCC opposing the petition. Blackfoot was no match for the large, well-oiled lobbying machine of the nation’s largest telecom providers. Consequently, getting Republican members of Congress to weigh in against the interests of the largest telecom companies was surely a fool’s errand — or was it?