Take a seat, let Net neutrality debate unfold

Yesterday, we highlighted a story that told how Comcast hired seat-fillers (or, some are calling them waiting line-fillers) for the Federal Communications Commission's Net neutrality meeting at Harvard Law School earlier this week. Comcast supposedly hired the seat-fillers for fear Net neutrality proponents who were urged to attend would result in an anti-Comcast crowd.

Today, some media outlets, such as Network World, are getting slammed for even covering this story because such seat-filling wars have long been common and considered good sport in such hearings. Still, if that's the case, it shouldn't provide the excuse for Comcast or any other service provider to engage that kind of single-meeting popularity contest. If fair policy and practice is the goal, and unless the FCC decided to turn Net neutrality over to a popular vote among meeting attendees, who cares who is in the peanut gallery?

Broadband service providers need to show some restraint and stop themselves from getting sucked into a ground battle with Net neutrality proponents. They need to adopt a policy of truth and openness in talking to the FCC, Congress and their own customers about the forces guiding their network management practices and service guarantees. Fighting the battle in the waiting line only draws attention away from the subject at hand, and makes it look more like service providers have reasons why they do not want to openly discuss this issue.

What do you think about all this? Post a comment and let us know.

- Dan