The notion that the Federal Communications Commission would designate Internet access to be a Title II service – a “public utility” as Susan Crawford
and other net neutrality advocates
put it – was inconceivable as recently as a few months ago. Then, just after the election, something happened
: Demonstrators appeared outside the home of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, and, on the same day, President Obama posted a YouTube video calling on the commission to impose Title II regulation.
Those events didn’t happen by accident. Rather, they were – according to one sympathetic account
– the result of “one of the most sustained and strategic activist campaigns in recent memory,” which successfully “framed net neutrality as a social justice issue, warning about how an Internet with fast lanes would harm the ability of activists to spread their message.”
The extent of the activists’ victory is highlighted not just by the fact that most Americans oppose turning the Internet into a public utility
, but also by the growing number of erstwhile net neutrality supporters who have expressed concern – or outright opposition – to the FCC’s overreach.