Cable Company Caught Misinforming Public About City Network

Image credit: StopCityFundedInternet.com

Image credit: StopCityFundedInternet.com

A group of Missouri citizens has found evidence that Fidelity Communications published a website built specifically to oppose to the construction of a city-run fiber-optic Internet service for the citizens of West Plains, Missouri. 

Isaac Protiva of West Plains posted a YouTube video and several links to Reddit that reveal Fidelity's involvement at a code-level on StopCityFundedInternet.com

Evidence Of Fidelity involvement

In the YouTube video, Protiva inspects the code of the website as it existed on January 29, 2018 on the Internet Archive, a respected third-party dedicated to taking and keeping snapshots of websites on the Internet.

 

Images from the website were stored, or hosted, on a Fidelity Communications server.

 

He reveals two images that include "Fidelity" in their image path:

  • Header image: The main image from the homepage has a file name of "Fidelity_SCFI_Website_V2"
  • Privacy Policy: An image from the Privacy Policy page was hosted, or stored, on a website named "Fidelity.dmwebtest.com"

The website currently contains no mentions to Fidelity Communications, which Protiva asserts is a measure to remove the evidence. Further, the owners of the website have disabled the Internet Archive's ability to take future snapshots of its code.

Fidelity Admits Involvement

Fidelity Communications has come out as the source of the Stop City-Funded Internet website and Facebook page in a statement issued Saturday.

In the statement, they claim that citizens of West Plains deserve to hear the "other side of the story" of municipal broadband networks.

fidelity.jpg

In an effort to reach out to the public and to tell the other side of the story, we have engaged a third party to launch and maintain a "Stop City Funded Internet" Facebook page and related stopcityfundedinternet.com website

Fidelity Communications Statement
February 3, 2018

While it seems admirable that Fidelity would want to engage the pubic in dialogue about fiber optic Internet networks run by cities, one wonders why they actively attempted to conceal their identity as the source behind the opposition website until the overwhelming evidence of their involvement prompted an about-face.

Fidelity Communications did not return a request for a comment from America's Internet at the time of publication of this article.