Lessig may have his heart in the right place, but he's awfully unrealistic. I grow increasingly tired of the "but they have better broadband in (insert country here)" arguments:
I. and many, have concluded it is not. I take it, that is the view of the more than a million who have written to policy-makers arguing for network neutrality legislation. These people want policy that will finally push broadband providers to provide at least the quality and price of broadband in France. The online campaign to get Congress to do something here has been amazing, rivaling only the campaign to stop the FCC from passing rules that would permit even more concentration in media ownership.
Perhaps Lessig could pull out a map. If he did, he might notice that France is roughly the size of Texas, and that we have 49 other states besides. That's a lot less territory in which to pull cables. He might consider what net neutrality laws would accomplish in practice, as opposed to his theory. In practice, a real congressional committee (with real lobbyists) would push something through, and then the various providers would start fishing for interesting ways to take advantage of it. Under the current system, with no law in that area, public pressure on particularly egregious acts can work. Under Lessig's system, every provider would answer complaints this way:
We're just following the law; direct your complaints to Congress
Yeah Larry, that's a huge improvement. Thanks so much for trying to take an admittedly bad system and screw it up even worse. Do the rest of us a favor - stop advocating for law in this area. You just might get your wish, and the rest of us will spend years regretting it.