Net neutrality redux: The more things change …

The [Net neutrality debate came roaring back this morning](/government/article.php/3840111/FCC+Chair+Throws+Weight+Behind+Net+Neutrality+Push.htm), and, judging by the fast-and-furious reactions that have been pouring in throughout the afternoon, we just might be in store for the same hoary debate about protecting innovation and regulating the Internet that has been bouncing around Congress and the FCC for the better part of the decade.

And this just three months after a delightful late-spring event where some of the historical adversaries in the debate assured us that the discussion was evolving, that it was more civil, and that the participants now find far more about which to agree than disagree.

That’s probably true. How many times have you heard Obama say that both parties agree on about 80 percent of the substance of health care reform? (Obama, incidentally, put in a plug for the open Internet in a speech delivered this morning in Troy, N.Y., announcing the White House innovation agenda.)

But when the positions of disagreement are intractable, it doesn’t really make much of a difference how wide the common ground stretches. That’s not where the battle is fought.

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