Politics-Based Policy, or Policy-Based Politics?

If you haven’t yet read Harold Feld’s humorous critique on the handling of network neutrality as a “political issue” during the recent elections, it’s worth the time.

Harold calls out two functional weaknesses in what constitutes the public interest constituency in D.C.: the desire to score quick political points with no long-term value and the penchant to react in a knee-jerk fashion when the drive to score backfires. Read More

Net Neutrality Now Sliding Down Tubes

After the clusterf*ck circus, near-“deal”-breaking, and back-channel discussions sparked by a judicial ruling stripping the FCC from preventing data discrimination online, and nothing (substantive) doing from the agency itself as a result, the ball has been tossed to Congress. Where it landed with a thud.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) was poised to introduce a bill that would have effectively been a “compromise” – on an issue in which “compromise” would have meant throttling the FCC’s regulatory authority and leaving lots of loopholes for data discrimination. Bad, bad news. Read More

Snookered

A week ago, media reformistas were supposedly “celebrating” the near-avoidance of the death of network neutrality when the FCC declared discussions between it, Google, and Verizon had fallen through.

After a weekend of deep breaths, guess what? Google and Verizon announce a “policy framework” for network neutrality going forward. So much for salvation.

The plan would place the FCC in an “oversight” role to make sure content is not discriminated against online simply for the sake of what it is. Notable, however, is the FCC’s secondary position in the regulation of network neutrality; companies will work out their own deals, and then hand them over to the FCC for rubber-stampage. Read More