As I have written about on a number of occasions, opinion pieces are being written across the country from so-called consumer groups or “regular people” wanting consumers to know the evils of net neutrality. In some cases, the fake consumer groups are entirely funded by telecom companies. In other cases, the groups themselves are legitimate….except for the fact that telecom companies are “donating” millions to the group.

Today, we have an opinion piece in the Florida Times-Union from Clayola Brown, President of the A. Phillip Randolph Institute (APRI) in Washington, D.C. In the piece, Brown makes several points:

  • ISP’s really do love “net neutrality”
  • Net Neutrality will “dramatically cut back the new investments needed for the next phase of the Internet economy.”

If those points sounds familiar, it is likely because they are the exact same talking points that ISP’s have made for months. The same points that have been repeatedly, and I mean repeatedly, debunked as utter garbage.

Back to the APRI, do they have any connections to the telecom industry? Why write a basic, anti-net neutrality piece that goes over the same talking points? Better yet, can you find a single instance where APRI goes against the telecom industry?

  • Who has pushed back against Google Fiber expanding into parts of the country where there is no actual broadband/cable competition? APRI
  • Who wrote a letter to the FCC asking them to let AT&T hang up on DSL customers (that they got paid billions by taxpayers to keep up) so that AT&T could offer these consumers less reliable, more expensive data capped wireless broadband? APRI
  • Who wrote a letter to the FCC last year and claimed that implementing net neutrality rules would destroy the immense progress that African-Americans in the tech community? APRI
  • Who wrote a letter to the FCC asking the government to ease up on how much foreign investment could be made to broadcasters? APRI
  • Who wrote a letter to the FCC asking the government to allow for Cablevision to encrypt basic-tier cable channels, forcing customers onto expensive and monthly-costing set-top boxes? APRI
  • Who helped sponsor their 2014 company conference?
  • How did the APRI feel about the Comcast/NBCU merger in 2010?


  • When the DOJ blocked the AT&T and T-Mobile merger, how did APRI respond?
    • Today, in an interview with Politic365, Clayola Brown, president of the A. Philip Randolph Institute had this reaction to the day’s fast-moving developments: “It’s a mystery why DOJ would choose this case for litigation.  Unlike most mergers, this one is structured to be an engine of job creation through spectrum aggregation and deployment.  “As DOJ seeks to promote competition, it should ask what competition means to someone who doesn’t have a job and can’t feed her family.  With an unemployment rate at Depression-era levels and a 20% wage gap, people of color in America clearly don’t have a fair opportunity to compete. – Politic365

Lastly, let me this clear: I wholly support most of the causes that the APRI takes on when it comes to race relations in this country. My criticism is their complete and utter fakeness with telecom issues.