Munis in NN Crosshairs?

Today's WSJ had a very interesting article on how municipalities are seeking to offer free city-wide WiFi broandband servce to their residents paid for by advertising. Hello? It appears as if municipalities around the country have not connected-the-dots of the Snowe-Dorgan NN bill could effectively outlaw that business model in serving consumers becuase it would be discriminatory. Municipalities might consider weighing in on Snowe-Dorgan so the hand of BIG GOVERNMENT does not ban their nascent innovative efforts.

The Snowe-Dorgan bill is so breath-takingly indiscriminate and sweepingly hyper-regulatory that it regulates anything remotely broadband. First, in a fit of hubris, Snowe-Dorgan, even legally defines the word "user" for the first time, which even the hyper-regulatory House Markey Bill did not deem necessary! Why are they defining "users" unless they want to regulate them too? 

Snowe-Dorgan, like the Markey bill would regulate everything broadband, whether it is offered for a fee or free, whether it is offered by any technology, whether it is offered by a long time incumbent or a new entrant with one customer. This language is so sweeping that it could capture everyone's  home or office wireless/WiFi networks! Technically users, that's the average american, will be under the watchful eye of the FCC bit police to ensure that we don't favor our own use of our home WiFi bandwidth, in a discriminatory way that would prevent our neighbors from piggy-backing our bandwidth. In other words, your home WiFi network under Snowe-Dorgan is not your network, its a public regulated network. Snowe-Dorgan is either sloppily drafted or very Big Brother in intent. There is no legitimate reason for this language to be this irresponsibly sweeping. Are they alleging users and new entrant might have market power?

Back to the interesting WSJ article. Supposedly Google/Earthlink, in bidding to provide San Fran's free WiFi service, have discovered that networks are not free to install and companies need to have more revenues than costs in order for it to makes sense to offer it! So Google now plans to offer a a subscription service and a free advertsing-based service that would have slower speeds than the subscription model. Isn't that the two-tiered Internet that Google says it abhors! Isn't it "discriminatory" for Google and Earrthlink to favor their advertising content over others? Could this be another example of the huge double standard by the ecommerce giants? Where regulation for their competitors is good but not for them. Real principled.
Those who support NN need to look beyond the rhetoric and look at the real world implications of the legislation they are championing. Net neutrality legislation is like a gun that is being waved around in the air indiscriminately. Forgive the rest of us for running for cover. That thing's loaded!