The past week has truly been a miserable one for supporters of neutrality regulation. Last Thursday, they got shellacked 269-152 in the House vote on the issue. Despite earlier talk of GOP members joining the pro-reg crowd, only 11 actually did so. But a surprising 58 Democrats voted against it. Then, yesterday, the Washington Post–no, not the conservative Washington Times, but the Post–editorialized against regulation. (By the way, no extra points will be awarded for guessing that pro-regulation advocate Jeff Chester responded to this by making an ethics charge, claiming that the Post didn’t disclose its conflicts of interest. Anyone sense a pattern here?)
The third shoe fell on the regulation crowd yesterday, when Senator Ted Stevens released his revised telecom reform bill in the Senate. Contrary to expectations, Stevens did not add neutrality regulation provisions to his bill. Instead he stood firm, with the bill only calling for a study of the issue. Kudos to Sen. Stevens for holding his ground on this.
Of course, the neutrality debate is far from over–and momentum could change. However, with only a few months left in the congressional schedule, regulation proponents must be looking nervously at the calendar, and hoping it won’t bring any more weeks like this one.