While the net neutrality debate continues and legislators line up against the Google-Verizon deal, PCWorld.com writer Tony Bradley makes the point that I attempted to make Wednesday, but he does so much more eloquently.
[W]hat is even more important than the details of the net neutrality framework that eventually gets implemented is FCC authority to monitor and regulate the industry....The broadband providers should not have any part in defining the framework that will govern them. The corporate goals to maximize profits and minimize opposition are a conflict of interest for developing a framework that protects Internet access and fosters healthy competition.
As things stand now, Bradley observes, the debate falls along obvious political lines. Service providers and most Republicans want government to stay out of business and leave room for the market to work. Content providers, consumers and Democrats on the other hand, want government regulations in place to ensure fair competition and "equitable" Internet access.
In his view, the polarizing debate shouldn't even be happening because the FCC charter authorizes the agency to regulate "interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable." But because it is happening, Bradley says Congress needs to step in and provide its own regulatory framework, or publicly support the FCC's authority to regulate the industry.