AT&T Halts Fiber Network Rollout Until Net Neutrality Decided - Update

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Callate:
"That's a nice little Internet you've got there." (*snort* *crack knuckles*) "Be a real shame if something were to happen to it..."

In all seriousness, I can't entirely blame a company for wanting to know more before they move forward, but it's hard not to see a bit of the above in such a statement.

Actually they're probably just using it as a convenient excuse. See again... when you undertake a project like delaying completion invariably drives up the cost several fold. Besides net nutrality won't really affect it either way....wait wrong.. it only affects them if they were banking on net neutrality being terminated...See if they were banking on net neutrality not being a thing then it still being a thing would ruin their plans... however if their plans were made with the idea of net neutrality still existing Well.. then net neutrality being struck down won't really affect them... see just because other ISP's would be free to institute some tiered bullshittery doesn't mean *YOU* have to in fact it would actually benefit you not to since then you can say 'Tired of tiered internet service?... come to us... we only have one lane and it's blazing fast!'

See that's what actually keeps net neutrality around in other countries where it's not mandated into law...where there is more than one service provider. See, it's like if you sudden't raise the prices on burgers at your chain from $2 - $5 all the other guy has to do is keep his burgers at $2 and they will make a mint on all the customers you've thrown their way.

BigTuk:

Callate:
"That's a nice little Internet you've got there." (*snort* *crack knuckles*) "Be a real shame if something were to happen to it..."

In all seriousness, I can't entirely blame a company for wanting to know more before they move forward, but it's hard not to see a bit of the above in such a statement.

Actually they're probably just using it as a convenient excuse. See again... when you undertake a project like delaying completion invariably drives up the cost several fold. Besides net nutrality won't really affect it either way....wait wrong.. it only affects them if they were banking on net neutrality being terminated...See if they were banking on net neutrality not being a thing then it still being a thing would ruin their plans... however if their plans were made with the idea of net neutrality still existing Well.. then net neutrality being struck down won't really affect them... see just because other ISP's would be free to institute some tiered bullshittery doesn't mean *YOU* have to in fact it would actually benefit you not to since then you can say 'Tired of tiered internet service?... come to us... we only have one lane and it's blazing fast!'

See that's what actually keeps net neutrality around in other countries where it's not mandated into law...where there is more than one service provider. See, it's like if you sudden't raise the prices on burgers at your chain from $2 - $5 all the other guy has to do is keep his burgers at $2 and they will make a mint on all the customers you've thrown their way.

Now if only America was truly a free market, not owned by big corporations, competition would be able to spread its purging goodness. Hopefully set a good example to the rest of the world.

K-lusive:

Now if only America was truly a free market, not owned by big corporations, competition would be able to spread its purging goodness. Hopefully set a good example to the rest of the world.

Just because it's a free market doesn't mean it can't bought. It's the ultimate form of free market. Really the problem with the US is that the cable companies are too colluded because they've been allowed to merge and grow together.

Zachary Amaranth:

V da Mighty Taco:

Not having Internet is literally not an option in this day and age.

I was parodying libertarian sociopathy.

You mean demonstrating your own ignorance? The utter insanity of "This is America, son; free market" is apparent to every libertarian. Lampooning a strawman you construct might be funny if done in irony (especially when it's not just a strawman, but the exact opposite of the position they actually hold), but sadly it isn't the case you're in.

No libertarian is retarded enough to believe that the telecom industry (or America in general) is a free market, nor would they suggest the best response is to treat it like one. In fact, Libertarians are the loudest in criticizing America for not having anything resembling a free market, so how the hell you got the idea that libertarians think it has one is beyond me.

No, actually, that's a lie; I do know. From neo-marxian academia's strangehold on schools you get it drilled into your head from day 1 of first grade that not only is America a free market, but free markets are the source of everything wrong in society (and if you're lucky to avoid that in gradeschool, you sure aren't avoiding it in college). And invariably what happens when a libertarian demonstrates why market interference is a self-defeating act, is that the statist indoctrinates attack the concept of a free market and ask questions like "what do you propose do in this 'free market paradise' of yours if [insert implausible "lifeboat scenario" here] then, huh?"

To which the reply is often something to the extent of "vote with your wallet", which is jumped upon by the intellectually and morally bankrupt as the "gotcha" which validates their positions. "Look hurr durr they think you shouldn't buy internet if the ISPs are using their monopoly privilege to rip you off! lololololol dumbasses."

You might have actually been parodying "libertarian sociopathy" if you had turned around and said something to the effect of "the solution is clear: deregulate everything!" or something like that. Meanwhile "This is America, it's a Free Market" is more a parody of the neo marxists who think we live in a free market or anything resembling one and criticize the status quo as though it represents a critique of capitalism.

You want to know what actual libertarians are saying on the topic? Here's a few:

1. Understanding the current state of the telecom industry, and why net neutrality isn't what you think it is.
2. A handy image to distinguish between Net Neutrality[tm] and net neutrality.
3. Why the libertarian opposition to net neutrality in theory only applies if the ISPs were private to begin with.

To me, this reads like they would rather keep their pride rather than their customers. Google is constantly announcing cities they plan to expand in to and are laying new cable in multiple locations. How long before AT&T & Co's pride deliver all of the Internet subscribers in to Google?

What I don't think the anti-net neutrality crowd gets is that the sections of title II that the pro-net neutrality crowd wants applied to ISPs are pretty narrow and common sense. I already made a post about it in the Obama net neutrality thread summing up the sections so I will just quote that.

SexyGarfield:
Communications Act of 1934 Title II starts on page 35.

SEC. 201. [47 U.S.C. 201] SERVICE AND CHARGES.
Charge your customers a reasonable and just amount.

SEC. 202. [47 U.S.C. 202] DISCRIMINATION AND PREFERENCES.
Treat all your customers the same.

SEC. 208. [47 U.S.C. 208] COMPLAINTS TO THE COMMISSION.
Complaints made to the FCC by anyone using common carriers lines will be forwarded to the carrier to address. The carrier can respond either to the complainant to resolve the issue or the commission who will then investigate if they deem it's necessary. This process can not take longer than 5 months.

SEC. 222. [47 U.S.C. 222] PRIVACY OF CUSTOMER INFORMATION.
When handling communications they may only use the content of it to complete the communication as intended.

SEC. 254. [47 U.S.C. 254] UNIVERSAL SERVICE.
Further codifies section 202 and forces ISPs to offer their services to anyone that they reasonably can.

None of these regulations controls the content of the web or allows take down of dissident opinion. The only thing it does is make sure that everyone can use the internet and access whatever they want.

SharedProphet:
Snip

Glad to see another Techdirt reader! I thought Techdirt was a dirty word around here after they published those article criticizing the Escapist's policy towards people talking about adblock.

How dare a company not put hundreds of millions of dollars towards an infrastructure project that may end up being treated as nothing more theirs than any other common-carrier or utility?

Fappy:
Ugh, this is one grueling slog. Someone wake me up when we finally have a functional fiber-optic infrastructure that isn't throttled or held hostage by telecom companies.

I don't think it's humanly possible to sleep that long...

Seldon2639:
How dare a company not put hundreds of millions of dollars towards an infrastructure project that may end up being treated as nothing more theirs than any other common-carrier or utility?

Funny thing is you me and everyone else in the US already paid for fiber at the rate of about two grand a household. We were all supposed to have 45Mbps symmetrical connections on fiber lines open for any company to sell services over by 2006 but the telcos lobbied to get out of their end of the bargain.

Source

I remember the pre-NBN (National Broadband Network) debates here in Australia. They were arguing about just about everything and some stuff that wasn't even related. But we finally got it.

Fibre-optic all the way to the socket (a wi-fi router plugs into that) on the wall replacing the old copper phone network in every town in the country with connection speeds of 1000/400 Mbps. The network is government owned and bandwidth is sold wholsale to various vendors who then sell their plans to the public.

At least that was the plan before the cretins of this country elected that chimpanzee as PM.

"Hey America, I sees that you'ses broadband infrastructure is a bit, hows you says, shitty. Now me and my pals here, we's can fix that right up for yous, give you some nice fast fiber network that everyone'll like, a'ight? But we's gonna need to have an understandin' see? Those "laws" you's got there? They's gonna be how WE want 'em to be, a'ight? If not then there ain't gonna be no fiber network."

*Cough*, man, this Mafia Goomba shit is a lot harder to type out than I thought it'd be.

Anyway, yeah, it's pretty fucking transparent what AT&T is doing here, and it's pretty shameful that no one with any clout is calling them out on it.

Strazdas:

Raziel:

I'm lost as to what people expect to watch if everyone cuts the cord? Where do they expect the new shows to come from once the cable companies stop making them? I skip netflix now because it already has nothing current. If people stop subscribing to cable and watch all the shows streaming, so broadcast ad revenue is decimated, there won't be any new shows.

People will want to watch stuff. They will watch them online, with ads placed around or by playing directly. thuse the same companies that made TV shows will make Internet shows, but in essensce it will be the same, just the medium changes. the difference will be is that the end user will be able to pick what and when to watch, but they will still be paying for these shows directly or indirectly (via ads) and people earning that money is going to be making shows.

You do realize that people wont just Stop watching TV and thats it. they will go on watching the same stuff online. that being said, Games market was eating movie industry for over a decade now, it is possible that TV industry will shrink as its userbase shrinks. it wont go away though.

It doesn't work that way. Ads on the internet go for WAY less than ads on tv. If they lose tv ad revenue they'll be out of business for any show that takes significant amounts to make. So, no more scripted, way way more "reality" tv.

For shows to work on the internet only you would have to pay for them directly. And pay a LOT. I don't know about you but I'm NOT paying $3 an episode for anything. Certainly not for everything I watch. And thats the killer. Almost no one is willing to pay for anything on the internet. VERY few shows are going to be able to get enough people to pay to make any money. Who wants to pay $50 or more a month to stream new content? All the cost of cable and 1/1000 the selection.

Like the money business. Forget going to the movies and paying ticket price. They make barely anything I want to see anymore even at rental prices. Maybe 2 a month. Having tv shows drop to the pathetic selection size of the movies is a horrible prospect.

fractal_butterfly:

Raziel:
I'm lost as to what people expect to watch if everyone cuts the cord? Where do they expect the new shows to come from once the cable companies stop making them? I skip netflix now because it already has nothing current. If people stop subscribing to cable and watch all the shows streaming, so broadcast ad revenue is decimated, there won't be any new shows.

Yeah, I know netflix has some original programing. What 4 shows? 5? Thats not even enough to make up 1 channel let alone the dozen or so channels I actually watch.

I think, this is a change, that needs to happen. Old school television broadcasting is an outdated concept and needs to be replaced. This can only happen step by step, so it has to start somewhere. As Strazdas already said, there is a market, there is a need, so someone will eventually step up to fill it.

What proof is there that there is a market? A market implies people willing to pay for the item as an amount that the producer makes money. We have yet to see that on the internet.

Raziel:
Snip

Your argument is a bit wack. You act as if television were to suddenly stop working it would be the end of the world. What do we owe the cable companies that makes you think we should forever prop up their archaic business model? If people want the content they produce they will pay for it. If not, they won't and the companies will either to adapt or die.

Your casual brush off of Netflix original programming is narrow in that Netflix is one of many online networks, Hulu has well over a dozen original shows with 1/10th the subscriber base. It is also short sighted in that online networks like Netflix are still in their infancy. How many shows were in current production even 20 years after commercial television became a thing?

Right now there are about four shows in current production that I watch. In order to get them via cable I would have to pay about $90 a month. Hell yes it is cheaper renting it on Amazon or iTunes even if it were $3 a pop (4[shows]x4[weeks]x$3<$90). When I pay Comcast I am paying for literally hundreds of other shows in current production that I have no desire to watch. Cable companies need to learn to trim the fat if they want to survive another ten years.

New information for a new update!

FCC: "Pray tell, how might our decision turn your endeavor unprofitable? Think fast."

EDIT: And for those curious, this FCC letter was sent by Jamillia Ferris, who is working with the FCC to oversee ATT's merger with DirecTV.

http://www.hunton.com/Jamillia_Ferris_Joins_FCC_To_Oversee_ATT-DirecTV_Merger_Review/

With the update... the rat I've been smelling just got stinkier. Wheeler is basically asking AT&T to introduce their own "data" as a counterpoint to Obama's arguments for neutrality.

Anyone else hoping with the request for information, it gets revealed that AT&T are basically being enormous assholes, and in doing so end up publicly shamed by the FCC into doing what they FCC wants them too......FAIRLY? 8D maybe I'm too hopeful, but it'd be REALLY nice to see one of these big communication companies have to eat their own served BS........without salt.

LoL, they have one week to respond? Is that some kind of threat? I mean, the FCC can't force them to do anything at all. They don't have that kind of power.

Baresark:
LoL, they have one week to respond? Is that some kind of threat? I mean, the FCC can't force them to do anything at all. They don't have that kind of power.

What they CAN do is stop ATTs merger with DirecTV which they've been trying to do for a while.

crimson5pheonix:

Baresark:
LoL, they have one week to respond? Is that some kind of threat? I mean, the FCC can't force them to do anything at all. They don't have that kind of power.

What they CAN do is stop ATTs merger with DirecTV which they've been trying to do for a while.

Yeah, to me AT&T might have done the proverbial "shooting themselves in the foot" with this announcement for it could be enough grounds for the FCC to block their merger for that fiber expansion is part of the merger conditions.

The way I read what has happened:

AT&T: "I will hold my breath until I get what I want."
FCC: "Let me get my stopwatch."

crimson5pheonix:

Baresark:
LoL, they have one week to respond? Is that some kind of threat? I mean, the FCC can't force them to do anything at all. They don't have that kind of power.

What they CAN do is stop ATTs merger with DirecTV which they've been trying to do for a while.

Well, they can't make that decision as a form of blackmail. If they haven't done it already it's because they are struggling to find a way to justify it.

Baresark:

crimson5pheonix:

Baresark:
LoL, they have one week to respond? Is that some kind of threat? I mean, the FCC can't force them to do anything at all. They don't have that kind of power.

What they CAN do is stop ATTs merger with DirecTV which they've been trying to do for a while.

Well, they can't make that decision as a form of blackmail. If they haven't done it already it's because they are struggling to find a way to justify it.

Actually they can. ATT has to go through the FCC to even make the merger. This letter was written by the attorney in charge of deciding whether ATT has the right to merge with DirecTV or not. The FCC really can hold ATT hostage over this.

crimson5pheonix:

Baresark:

crimson5pheonix:

What they CAN do is stop ATTs merger with DirecTV which they've been trying to do for a while.

Well, they can't make that decision as a form of blackmail. If they haven't done it already it's because they are struggling to find a way to justify it.

Actually they can. ATT has to go through the FCC to even make the merger. This letter was written by the attorney in charge of deciding whether ATT has the right to merge with DirecTV or not. The FCC really can hold ATT hostage over this.

You have to understand that it would be completely unethical for them to hold a merger over their head because they don't like how they are spending or not spending their money. If the merger violates antitrust laws, they must deny the merger regardless. IF it does not violate antitrust laws, they are required to let the merger pass independent of the their policy on laying down fiber optic lines. And if you are really sitting there hoping they deny the merger based solely on how you feel about their stance on Net Neutrality, you have some serious ethical problems yourself. It would not be appropriate to give any organization the power to do what people seem to think they are doing.

So, if I go from a stance that the FCC is at all ethical (highly questionable always of course), then them sending this letter is NOT equal to a threat to deny them a merger that is not violating antitrust laws.

Baresark:

crimson5pheonix:

Baresark:

Well, they can't make that decision as a form of blackmail. If they haven't done it already it's because they are struggling to find a way to justify it.

Actually they can. ATT has to go through the FCC to even make the merger. This letter was written by the attorney in charge of deciding whether ATT has the right to merge with DirecTV or not. The FCC really can hold ATT hostage over this.

You have to understand that it would be completely unethical for them to hold a merger over their head because they don't like how they are spending or not spending their money. If the merger violates antitrust laws, they must deny the merger regardless. IF it does not violate antitrust laws, they are required to let the merger pass independent of the their policy on laying down fiber optic lines. And if you are really sitting there hoping they deny the merger based solely on how you feel about their stance on Net Neutrality, you have some serious ethical problems yourself. It would not be appropriate to give any organization the power to do what people seem to think they are doing.

So, if I go from a stance that the FCC is at all ethical (highly questionable always of course), then them sending this letter is NOT equal to a threat to deny them a merger that is not violating antitrust laws.

What ATT is doing IS a show of monopolistic (or rather, duopolistic) tendencies and the FCC is completely in the right to question their motives over their announcement. Furthermore, if ATT keeps up at it's game, the FCC would be totally in the right to deny their merger. And nobody would come to their defense. Except maybe the other telcos.

crimson5pheonix:

Baresark:

crimson5pheonix:

Actually they can. ATT has to go through the FCC to even make the merger. This letter was written by the attorney in charge of deciding whether ATT has the right to merge with DirecTV or not. The FCC really can hold ATT hostage over this.

You have to understand that it would be completely unethical for them to hold a merger over their head because they don't like how they are spending or not spending their money. If the merger violates antitrust laws, they must deny the merger regardless. IF it does not violate antitrust laws, they are required to let the merger pass independent of the their policy on laying down fiber optic lines. And if you are really sitting there hoping they deny the merger based solely on how you feel about their stance on Net Neutrality, you have some serious ethical problems yourself. It would not be appropriate to give any organization the power to do what people seem to think they are doing.

So, if I go from a stance that the FCC is at all ethical (highly questionable always of course), then them sending this letter is NOT equal to a threat to deny them a merger that is not violating antitrust laws.

What ATT is doing IS a show of monopolistic (or rather, duopolistic) tendencies and the FCC is completely in the right to question their motives over their announcement. Furthermore, if ATT keeps up at it's game, the FCC would be totally in the right to deny their merger. And nobody would come to their defense. Except maybe the other telcos.

Well, it's not up to opinions. There are a specific set of rules governing that. It is up the FCC's lawyers to determine if they are being monopolistic, which they may well do. But it's not ethical for them to say, "we will consider your merger ethical if you keep building your infrastructure the way you had originally planned". The implication from that is also that the FCC is up for sale which will benefit no one on the consumer end.

ATT stopping the building of their fiberoptic infrastructure is not monopolistic at all. It is a decision that will hurt them no matter what. They have to keep building that infrastructure to improve broadband speeds and grow their customer base.

The FCC has a very specific job in the case with the ATT/DirecTV merger and a very specific job when it comes to Net Neutrality. They are in their right (loosely speaking) to deny the merger based on the grounds that it violates antitrust laws, no one is arguing that point. But I am not going to sit here and say, "yeah, make them pay", just because I don't like ATT's stance on Net Neutrality. Them being assholes and the FCC in turn being assholes WILL NOT benefit the consumer for the simple fact that once they do something we don't like we cannot take back the fact that we backed up illegal and unethical acts when it benefited us.

Baresark:

crimson5pheonix:

Baresark:

You have to understand that it would be completely unethical for them to hold a merger over their head because they don't like how they are spending or not spending their money. If the merger violates antitrust laws, they must deny the merger regardless. IF it does not violate antitrust laws, they are required to let the merger pass independent of the their policy on laying down fiber optic lines. And if you are really sitting there hoping they deny the merger based solely on how you feel about their stance on Net Neutrality, you have some serious ethical problems yourself. It would not be appropriate to give any organization the power to do what people seem to think they are doing.

So, if I go from a stance that the FCC is at all ethical (highly questionable always of course), then them sending this letter is NOT equal to a threat to deny them a merger that is not violating antitrust laws.

What ATT is doing IS a show of monopolistic (or rather, duopolistic) tendencies and the FCC is completely in the right to question their motives over their announcement. Furthermore, if ATT keeps up at it's game, the FCC would be totally in the right to deny their merger. And nobody would come to their defense. Except maybe the other telcos.

Well, it's not up to opinions. There are a specific set of rules governing that. It is up the FCC's lawyers to determine if they are being monopolistic, which they may well do. But it's not ethical for them to say, "we will consider your merger ethical if you keep building your infrastructure the way you had originally planned". The implication from that is also that the FCC is up for sale which will benefit no one on the consumer end.

And if ATT is using it's bulk and knowledge that it has no real competition in most areas they're in to try and strongarm policies that it wants through, they're being monopolistic and can be called out as such.

ATT stopping the building of their fiberoptic infrastructure is not monopolistic at all. It is a decision that will hurt them no matter what. They have to keep building that infrastructure to improve broadband speeds and grow their customer base.

Well no, they don't. Especially if they do merge with DirecTV. They don't have to put fiber in, they're already at best one of two options in their areas and their "competitor" in those areas isn't in any rush to lay down fiber either. Because they don't have to. They already have DSL lines in. If they get DirecTV, they'll have access to satellite internet, which means they won't have to lay a single line anywhere and cover the entire nation. At 3Mbps on a perfectly clear day with a 5GB/month data cap.

Not putting down fiber only hurts them if someone else puts down fiber, and they can't since ATT already has claim to their areas. If they don't put their fiber down where they're at, nobody will be able to. So ATT can afford to sit on their ass and wait. Unless the FCC points out that they're in a position to do so and use that to deny their merger with DirecTV, which will force them back into the infrastructure game.

The FCC has a very specific job in the case with the ATT/DirecTV merger and a very specific job when it comes to Net Neutrality. They are in their right (loosely speaking) to deny the merger based on the grounds that it violates antitrust laws, no one is arguing that point. But I am not going to sit here and say, "yeah, make them pay", just because I don't like ATT's stance on Net Neutrality. Them being assholes and the FCC in turn being assholes WILL NOT benefit the consumer for the simple fact that once they do something we don't like we cannot take back the fact that we backed up illegal and unethical acts when it benefited us.

There is nothing illegal or unethical going on here, except for what ATT is doing.

Refusing to throw all your money into an industry that's on the edge of making a paradigm-shift?! Oh, alas, what devils be! Yea, thank the headline image, for how could the public articulate their own opinions without journalism? My, I think it would be impossible; what ant-brained peons be!

Raziel:

It doesn't work that way. Ads on the internet go for WAY less than ads on tv. If they lose tv ad revenue they'll be out of business for any show that takes significant amounts to make. So, no more scripted, way way more "reality" tv.

For shows to work on the internet only you would have to pay for them directly. And pay a LOT. I don't know about you but I'm NOT paying $3 an episode for anything. Certainly not for everything I watch. And thats the killer. Almost no one is willing to pay for anything on the internet. VERY few shows are going to be able to get enough people to pay to make any money. Who wants to pay $50 or more a month to stream new content? All the cost of cable and 1/1000 the selection.

Like the money business. Forget going to the movies and paying ticket price. They make barely anything I want to see anymore even at rental prices. Maybe 2 a month. Having tv shows drop to the pathetic selection size of the movies is a horrible prospect.

It pay less but there are more of it and you can show them in parallel to the videos. Also you still get your "paid cable" via stuff like netflix so you still get the monthly income.

are you paying 3 dollars per episode for cable? no? why do you expect to have to do that if it went to internet then? at least with internet based pricing the audience amount will decide the funding and not time placement (Fox ruined quite a few shows by just showing them at pants on head retarded times and order, no such problem on itnernet)

Since TV is basically streaming video content people already pay that for streaming. also who the hell pays 50 dollars for their cable? are US cable as overpriced as US internet? and if your paying the same they are getting the same money so the incetive for content will be the same.

Actually - theater release movies are raking in record levels of money, so im not sure where they are "dieing". i think the problem here lies with the fact that you got bored of it.

SexyGarfield:
Cable companies need to learn to trim the fat if they want to survive another ten years.

what i have actually suggested to local cable companies i think could work here.

They right now have packages. you have basic package with 20 channels, premium with 40, ect. what i suggest is to price each channel individually and then let users to determine the content of package they want. so if say i only ever watch discovery channel i can only buy that one, but if i watch 10 different ones i can buy that too and i could get rid of the channels i never evne turn on.

as far as effort to make it work - since all TV went digital last year (at least here in Europe) it shouldnt be too hard for the cable companeis to make it so. and then i might actually rent cable again too!

Paulhorne Schillings:
Refusing to throw all your money into an industry that's on the edge of making a paradigm-shift?! Oh, alas, what devils be! Yea, thank the headline image, for how could the public articulate their own opinions without journalism? My, I think it would be impossible; what ant-brained peons be!

>implying that layind down fiber is somehow a risky investment
>implying that keeping status quo of internet neutrality is paradign shift

Accidental post, please ignore.

crimson5pheonix:
snip

If your stance comes to blackmail is ethical, then we don't have much to talk about.

Between the government, corporations, and religion, at this rate we're never going to get jetpacks.

Baresark:

crimson5pheonix:
snip

If your stance comes to blackmail is ethical, then we don't have much to talk about.

Well it's a shame that ATT is trying to blackmail the nation.

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