What does the corporate enclosure of the Internet look like? It starts with grand words wrapped in timid acts. That's what FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski gave the American people as he punted on the important issues that need to be resolved. Internet users and startup entrepreneurs needed to be assured that their data-traffic would not be delayed or stifled just because AT&T, Comcast or Verizon might wish to do so.
Given the political clout that Internet service providers have within the Obama administration and Congress, the new rules will only hasten a further consolidation of power over Internet access and a new marketization of Internet content and traffic. It won't happen overnight, and it won't happen without new battles that might slow or limit this outcome. But the FCC's unwillingness to defend our interests -- in the face of telecom oligopolies with enormous political influence and legal resources -- is a clear sign of where things are headed. Downward.