By Tony Romm - 04/20/10 11:51 PM EDT
A handful of top tech and telecommunications companies, including Google, Verizon and AT&T, greatly expanded their lobbying efforts in the first three months of 2010, newly filed disclosure reports show.
The companies aggressively lobbied Washington lawmakers as tech issues like net neutrality and cybersecurity returned to the political foreground.
The figures appear to confirm some analysts' early predictions that tech spending in Washington would blossom in 2010. A number of key tech debates, including broadband
expansion, net neutrality and online privacy, are expected to receive a lot of attention from lawmakers this year.
Prior to this year, computer and Internet companies collectively ranked fourth of 120 industries in the Center for Responsive Politics' annual lobbying tabulations. Combined, these firms spent roughly $1 billion over the course of 2009 -- a far cry from the $38 million they spent just over a decade earlier, the Center noted.
Federal law gives all companies, tech or otherwise, until Midnight on Tuesday to file their lobbying disclosure reports. Many are still trickling in, but here's a sample of some of the lobbying numbers that will be on full display tomorrow: