There has been talk of some kind of net neutrality deal between Google and Verizon for about a week now. Yesterday, the search giant and Big Red finally spilled the beans to let us all in on what's been going on behind closed doors.
When word first got out about Google and Verizon's net neutrality talks, a lot of people assumed the worst. Yesterday, the two companies calmly told us to put away our 'Jump to Conclusions' mats, because they're opposed to slowing down, blocking or prioritizing wired Internet traffic, too. However, their announcement has done nothing to pacify those in favor of net neutrality.
The two stressed that this isn't a formal business deal; it's just a joint proposal they've put together to present to the FCC. So what's it all about? Well, Verizon and Google maintain that users should choose what content, applications, or devices they use, since "openness has been central to the explosive innovation that has made the Internet a transformative medium." So far, so good. They also agree that America must continue to encourage both investment and innovation to support the underlying broadband infrastructure. Again, so far, so good.
However, many are finding fault with the proposal, and the reason why lies within the the seven key elements of the policy, which were explained by lan Davidson, director of public policy at Google, and Tom Tauke, executive vice president of public affairs, policy, and communications at Verizon, yesterday.
Though Google and Verizon no doubt think their proposal is the best way to approach net neutrality, the news that they want to ensure neutrality on it's wired networks but retain the right to control wireless networks has received negative responses from both the media and the every day user.
Engadget's legal expert, Nilay Patel, writes: "Verizon's basically agreeing to trade neutrality on its wired networks for the right to control its wireless network any way it wants -- apart from requiring wireless carriers and ISPs to be 'transparent' about network management, none of the neutrality principles that govern wired networks will apply to wireless networks."
Patel highlights how big of a deal this is by reminding us that it's all about wireless broadband these days, with the technology continuing to be a defining access technology for the next generation of devices and services.
There's plenty of negativity in the comments under Google's posting, too.
Vishnu Gopal comments, "How exactly is wireless access different just because it is more competitive? Isn't this a tad hypocritical? Everything is net-neutral except our oh-so-precious Android/Verizon traffic. Geez!"
While Tracey Rosenberg writes, "What a sellout. Some Open Internet Coalition. Apply your principals to wireline and let wireless become the new capitalist wild west. Shame on you Google."
What do you think of Google and Verizon's proposal? Let us know in the comments below.