Bloggers HATE Google & Verizon's net-neutrality proposal to FCC

By Richi Jennings. August 10, 2010.

So, Google and Verizon finally came clean, suggesting how the FCC could achieve network neutrality in the U.S. In their regulatory proposals to the Federal Communications Commission, the two companies seek to guide regulators to "protect the future openness of the Internet and encourage the rapid deployment of broadband." However, in IT Blogwatch, bloggers can't find a single good word to say about it.

Your humble blogwatcher selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention the LOST auction...



  Richard Adams's criticism is restrained:

Google and Verizon have announced a joint policy proposal ... a framework for the future regulation of US internet provision. ... [They] are putting forward a system of regulation that suits them both. ... [They] define current thoughts on net neutrality and apply them to ... "wireline broadband", while placing fewer such restrictions on wireless ... [and] "differentiated services" offered in addition by an ISP.


The details are vague ... consumer protections ... non-discrimination requirements ... "reasonable network management" standards ... transparency. ... Only the fourth area would apply to both wireless and wireline. ... The lack of regulation applying to wireless access and the possibility of future "designated services" doesn't please anyone outside the telecoms industry. ... The FCC isn't happy either.

Rik Myslewski is more forthright:

A close look at the proposal uncovers some troubling suggestions. ...  [It's] a bundle of carrots and sticks designed to allay fears. ... For today's internet, the proposal has arguable value. For the internet of the future, however, not so much.


[The] proposal actually defines ... a future in which carriers could redefine their services as "differentiated", thus removing them from ... oversight. ... As is true with everything these days in the good ol' US of A, it all comes down to politics.

Google's Alan Davidson and Verizon's Tom Tauke talk turkey:

It is imperative that we find ways to protect the future openness of the Internet and encourage the rapid deployment of broadband. ... [We] are pleased to discuss the principled compromise our companies have developed over the last year concerning the thorny issue of “network neutrality.” ... Our joint proposal takes the form of a suggested legislative framework for consideration by lawmakers, and is laid out here.


We believe this policy framework properly empowers consumers and gives the FCC a role ... while also allowing broadband providers the flexibility to manage their networks and provide new types of online services. ... We think this proposal provides the certainty that allows both web startups to bring their novel ideas ... and broadband providers to invest.

Dan Gilmor has more:

You should not trust Verizon or other carriers, or Google for that matter, to follow through in ways that are truly in the interest of the kind of open networks the nation needs. ... We kept hearing references to the "public Internet" -- an expression that leads inescapably to something else.


The other big news in today's announcement was Google's clear retreat on network neutrality when it comes to wireless networks. ... A Trojan Horse for a modern age. ... Carriers have every incentive ... to push network upgrade investments into the parallel Internet, not the public one. ... That's an end game we should not encourage.

Preston Gralla forecasts "the death of net neutrality":

It spells potentially very bad news for the open Internet. ... The Google-Verizon policy needs to be changed significantly, to cover new important Internet services that might be developed in the future, and extending it in some reasonable way to the wireless Internet.

Mitch Wagner says they got some 'splainin to do:

As is always the case when big companies propose regulations, citzens should assume Google and Verizon are guilty before finding them innocent. Big companies often try to co-opt government to set up rules that allow them to divide the market among themselves while setting up barriers for new competitors.


Did Google sell out its Net Neutrality principles to keep a big partner happy? ... The Internet was built using publicly funded research. Internet companies ... are custodians of public resources, and it's up to citizens to make sure these companies use the resources wisely. Government regulation ... is needed to preserve the free market.

Alexis Madrigal sings us a song:

More troubling is that the language ... is squirrely. ... This seems like a slippery definition of what is and is not Internet traffic. Why not carry these "additional services" over the Internet, where they would be subject to the net neutrality rules that these companies claim to think is a good idea?


I'm left wondering ... whether this kind of proposal ... is what's needed to break the net neutrality stalemate. ... [It] exudes the sickly sweet smell of political horsetrading.

Stacey Higginbotham unpicks the proposal:

The three biggest items that will affect technology firms and consumers are:

  • Taking wireless out of the equation ... and inserting “transparency” as a salve
  • The proposal allowing for “advanced network services”
  • The utter emasculation of the FCC ...
If you’re Pandora and AT&T has a deal with Slacker, you may see your stunning growth slow. ...  Break Media ... which nominally competes with YouTube’s 3-D efforts, might suddenly find consumers complaining about its service. ... It utterly strips the FCC of power to regulate violations ... or to even act as a watchdog for consumers. ... Consumers and innovation ultimately lose.

And Adrienne Gonzalez sums up:

With America pathetically trailing behind other parts of the world when it comes to Internet accessibility, I don't see how putting a pricetag on the tubes can solve our problems.


Seems fairly obvious that providers would be far more interested in developing and improving the paid Internet while leaving the first set of tubes ... rusty and clogged with spam. Want a spam-free experience? Pay us. Want to watch videos without obnoxious buffering every three seconds? Pay us.


And Finally...

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[hat tip: OurSignal]

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Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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