AT&T Net Neutrality "Commitments" Unenforceable?

Before anyone gets too excited about AT&T’s network neutrality commitments in connection with its acquisition of BellSouth, read this from the statement of Chairman Martin and Commissioner Tate, the two Republicans involved in the decision:

Importantly, however, while the Democrat Commissioners may have extracted
concessions from AT&T, they in no way bind future Commission action. Specifically, a
minority of Commissioners cannot alter Commission precedent or bind future
Commission decisions, policies, actions, or rules. Thus, to the extent that AT&T has, as
a business matter, determined to take certain actions, they are allowed to do so. There are
certain conditions, however, that are not self-effectuating or cannot be accomplished by
AT&T alone. To the extent Commission action is required to effectuate these conditions
as a policy going forward, we specifically do not support those aspects of the conditions
and will oppose such policies going forward.

For example, today’s order does not mean that the Commision has adopted an additional
net neutrality principle. We continue to believe such a requirement is not necessary and
may impede infrastructure deployment. Thus, although AT&T may make a voluntary
business decision, it cannot dictate or bind government policy. Nor does this order.

In other words, from the perspective of at least two members of the Commission, AT&T is not under any network neutrality obligations, despite what yesterday’s agreement says. (Add Republican Commissioner McDowell, who recused himself from the proceeding, and that would be a majority of the current FCC.) And of course, the agreement on its face applied only to AT&T, not other broadband providers such as Verizon and Comcast.

UPDATE: Further skeptical comments on the deal from Susan Crawford, Dave Burstein, and