Everybody agrees that there are no actual problems with net neutrality, and as our own Chris Wolf explained last week, it doesn’t make sense to fashion legislative remedies to situations that don’t actually need remedying. If anything, it just shows that the supporters of net neutrality laws are looking for any avenue possible to impose restrictions on ISPs that would benefit the big online content companies. Whether through the Senate, through the FCC, through the state legislatures, it doesn’t really matter. Any opportunity to regulate the Internet is one they want to pursue.Everybody? Such confidence to be able to speak for everybody with no exceptions! Situations that don't need remedying? I think the situation before August 2005 needed less remedying; now that the telcos have already gotten the FCC to abrogate net neutrality, the situation does need remedying. Restrictions on ISPs that would benefit the big online content companies? Only in the sense of no new charges for something they're already paying for, and restraints on the ISPs restriction content or speeds. "Any opportunity to regulate the Internet"; oh my. How dastardly those net neutrality proponents must be!
— Ask Questions First, Change Policy Later, Hands Off the Internet, April 3, 2007 at 10:24 am
There is no consensus that we need new rules to govern the Internet, and net neutrality fans should be encouraged that the FCC is looking into it at all, despite their stated skepticism. One imagines that if the FCC ultimately decides that still, no new rules are necessary, the same usual suspects will cry foul then, as they are doing now. That's one reason it's so hard to take them seriouslyNo consensus? There was no consensus back in August 2005 when the FCC changed the rules; except among telcos, cablecos, and FCC commissioners. It's interesting that the most vociferous net neutrality opponents also think, like me, that the FCC's inquiry could be used for political purposes, specifically to justify not passing any net neutrality legislation.
So if you look strictly at these telcos as Internet access providers, it may seem that nothing's broke. If you also look at their plain old telephone service (POTS) activities, or at their deals with the FCC, it looks both broke and like just waiting to be broke. -jsq