How is one to make sense of the FCC’s big vote Tuesday? Does it represent a gain for the net-neutrality cause, or is the corporate takeover of the Web upon us in earnest? Well, one thing seems certain: Nobody is all that happy with the outcome—except, that is, for some lobbyists. —KA
Tuesday’s FCC vote on rules purportedly designed to ensure open and free networks was a 3-2 partisan charade, with Genachowski and the other two Democratic commissioners in favor and the two Republicans against. It did nothing of the sort. The short-term result will be confusion and jockeying for position. Genachowski’s claim that the rules bring “a level of certainty” to the landscape was laughable unless he was talking about lobbyists and lawyers; their futures are certainly looking prosperous. The longer-range result will be to solidify the power of the incumbent powerhouses—especially telecommunications providers and the entertainment industry—to take much more control over what we do online.