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The FCC is considering holding a fresh hearing on net neutrality, with Comcast and Verizon again in attendance — and this time it may be at Stanford. The do-over comes after a mini-scandal erupted over the first hearing, held at Harvard; Comcast flacks confessed they'd paid people off the street to act as seatwarmers. Let this be a lesson to you all: If you're going to meddle in politics, do it skillfully enough not to get caught.

The Harvard hearing, a rare outside-the-Beltway event, ended disastrously for all involved. The hearing had many more attendees than were expected, with the room running out of space well before the hearing began. As a result, dozens of members of the public and opposition groups were refused entry. Comcast's ruse was detected when some of its fresh hires fell asleep.

The FCC will take no official action against Comcast over the held seats, but relocating the hearing to Stanford is punishment enough. Net-neutrality crusader Larry Lessig teaches there, and the Valley's Comcast-hating engineers may actually be provoked enough by the seatwarming episode to pry themselves away from their keyboards. And best of all: Stanford would get to one-up Harvard by showing it knows how to run a meeting.


(Photo by AP/Stephan Savoia)