When will FCC distance itself from FreePress Like Google & Waxman have?

October 14, 2010

Much has changed since May when FreePress orchestrated a torrent of nasty criticism directed at the FCC Chairman when it was signaled to the Washington Post that he was considering leaving broadband de-regulated and not adopting a Title II broadband approach.

Since then, Google negotiated a proposed compromise with Verizon to resolve the net neutrality Gordian knot that importantly did not advocate Title II regulation of the broadband Internet.

Since then, House Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman also negotiated a proposed solution to the net neutrality Gordian knot that did not advocate Title II regulation of the broadband Internet.

  • Most importantly, Chairman Waxman and House Commerce Committee Democrats also did not back down when FreePress threatened to subject them to “the treatment.”
  • Tellingly, Chairman Waxman praised several consumer groups that were constructive in the negotiations:I particularly want to single out the Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Public Knowledge, and the Center for Democracy and Technology for their steadfast advocacy on behalf of consumers...”
    • Anyone following the politics of this largely FreePress-driven Title II debate has to note that FreePress was NOT singled out for praise by Chairman Waxman.
    • That omission is deafening.

In sum, the political message of these two critical Title II political developments — since the FCC proposed its Title II gambit under FreePress duress in May — is unmistakable to anyone at the FCC trying to divine the “real” politics of Title II regulation of the broadband Internet.

  • FreePress’ magic spell has been broken.
  • Both Google and Chairman Waxman called FreePress’ bluff and exposed them as all bark with no real bite — an annoying yipping chihuahua with a megaphone and an inordinate number of trade press/blogger cheerleaders — not the huge pack of grassroots dobermans that they represent themselves to be.

The open question is when will the FCC conclude that FreePress is a bark-o-matic ankle-biter, and that the Congress, the Courts and the economy don’t have to bark, because everyone knows they all have the bite of a crocodile.



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