Net neutrality "likely will be approved" in Dec. 21 vote

Despite a seeming avalanche of opposition, approval of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's carefully negotiated version of net neutrality seems about as certain as cold weather in the winter. The matter, coming up for a vote Dec. 21, is expected to get a thumbs up from Democrat FCCers Mignon Clyburn and Michael Copps, while Republicans Robert McDowell and Meredith Baker try in vain to kill the thing.

In the latest bit of apparently useless opposition, 29 U.S. senators put their names on a letter calling net neutrality--or "open Internet" rules--an unjustified and unnecessary expansion of government control over private enterprise" and said that the FCC has "provided scant evidence to justify the need for (its) proposed intrusion into the broadband marketplace."

The hue and cry won't stop the decision, said Stifel Nicolaus analyst Rebecca Arbogast who predicted that "an order likely will be approved, with some modifications, but not radical changes."

Telecom powerhouses AT&T (NYSE: T), Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), having resigned themselves to some form of government oversight, negotiated the proposal with Genachowski.

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