Here’s the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s sober take on the Google-Verizon net neutrality proposal. In a nutshell, they think that Googlezon has a couple of interesting ideas in the proposal, but the wired neutrality portion is “troubling” and wireless is a flat-out “fail”.
One thing that the EFF addresses but that I haven’t mentioned in my seemingly endless series of posts on this topic is that the FCC itself shouldn’t be given the role of an all-powerful central scrutinizer:
Those who have followed EFF’s position on net neutrality will know that, while we strongly support neutrality in practice, we are opposed to open-ended grants of regulatory authority to the FCC. On that score, the Google/Verizon proposal takes a promising new approach. It would limit the FCC to case-by-case enforcement of consumer protection and nondiscrimination requirements and prohibit broad rulemaking. In essence, it tries to limit the FCC to the type of authority that the FTC has — the authority to investigate claims as they are made.
This limitation, if enforced, could help avoid many of the problems we’ve been concerned about, such as the possibility that a future FCC might decide to take on the role of “Internet indecency” police or, as a result of regulatory capture, might become an innovation gatekeeper, blocking new ideas by small innovators in order to protect the interests of big dinosaurs.
(Thanks to emailer Tim.)