Public and Non-public Discussion of FCC’s Plan for Net Neutrality

In an ideal world, the FCC’s recent notice of inquiry on its “third way” compromise for implementing some enforcement mechanism for network neutrality would push all of the stake holders–big, small, public and private–all into the same space and keep the discussions in the open. Sadly, that appears to be too much to hope, despite promises to that end by the Obama administration.

Matthew Lasar at Ars Technica has news of several private meetings between large stakeholders and the FCC, apparently to the end of brokering some sort of compromise that would avoid even partial re-classification of broadband as common carriage. I understand the angry ton of this story, especially from the public interest folks. It makes me a mad too but at the same time, this is how it has always been. Money buys privileged access and greater leverage to secure your own ends.

Lasar shares the a quote from an FCC staffer explaining the move. There will be a series of these meetings with “stakeholders” which begs the question, that Lasar also asks, of whether the public will be considered a stake holder in any form.

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