Shareholders of AT&T had the opportunity – for the first time ever – to vote to protect fair and open wireless internet access at their annual investor meeting.
On April 27th shareholders of AT&T met to vote on wireless net neutrality issue. Unfortunately, the proposal was voted down: 5.9 percent of shareholders voted in favor of true network neutrality, with 94.1 percent of shareholders opposed it. There is a good news though - the vote met the 3 percent threshold for the proposal to be automatically placed on next year's ballot (the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission set the 3 percent threshold for resubmitting a proposal). This means that the issue is going to remain on the company's agenda with its shareholders for at least another year. It is a positive development since this is definitely a long-term issue, especially because the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's 2010 net neutrality rules face court challenges.
Similar proposals on wireless network neutrality are scheduled for votes at the upcoming annual meetings of Verizon Communications on May 3 and Sprint Nextel on May 15.