How can we keep the Bells from committing net-neutricide?

I've started writing a new column for InformationWeek magazine, and in the inaugural installment, I've written a piece about Net Neutrality. I start from the premise that the Bells' plans for a tiered Internet are bad — something that there's widespread agreement on, nothwithstanding the Bells' astroturfing — but go on to ask what regulation and which agency is likely to prevent them from committing neutricide:

How do you detect when the Bells are committing neutricide? It can't be as simple as measuring throughput. There's a host in China that I can't reach from my ISP in London because of an incorrectly configured router at Sprint. That's stupid and painful, but it's not the same thing as anti-neutral. Distinguishing stupidity from malice from outside is going to be very hard.

One thing we don't want is something like the SEC's anti-insider-trading rules. Network neutrality rules won't have much practical use if the only way to get them enforced is to convince a bureaucrat at the FCC to raid AT&T's sales office, seize its files, and investigate your suspicions of wrongdoing. The entities who have the power to spur crack Commission Commandos into action are the powerful ones, already best equipped to fight the Bells on their home turf. Spunky startups aren't going to be the ones with real leet skillz at pushing paper on the Hill.

We don't want to encourage a situation in which in Bells spend ten years coming to detente with the YaGoogleSofts of the world, agreeing finally to shut everyone else out.

Now, there is an alternative, which is to set things up so that big companies can act as proxies for the little guys' interests. That's how it works sometimes in copyright. Home taping was made legal because Sony, a corporate giant, was willing to take on the Hollywood studios in the eight-year Betamax legal battle. Once they'd won that fight, all the little companies got to enjoy the precedent they'd set, and we got to enjoy the explosion of cheap and flexible home recording gear.