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Google and Verizon Network Neutrality Compromise

Posted on : 11-08-2010 | By : Julie Gottlieb | In : Buzz, Government

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Just days after the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) stalemate stopped their efforts to create industry-wide Internet access rules, Google and Verizon published a joint proposal they hope Congress and the FCC will use as a framework. Although Verizon, as a broadband provider and Google, as an Internet-content provider are at opposing sides in the heated debate over open access or network neutrality, these two companies recognize the need for compromise and they want to have their voices heard. Network neutrality is a principle that encourages open and equal access to information online. Specifically the Google-Verizon proposal promotes network neutrality because it bars phone and cable companies that provide Internet access from slowing down, blocking or charging to prioritize Internet traffic on their broadband lines.

The proposal, however, has been highly criticized because of its limitations. The proposal carves out exceptions for mobile Internet access, and for potential broadband provider services. According to a blog by Tom Tauke, Verizon Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, Policy and Communications and Alan Davidson, Google Director of Public Policy, entitled Joint Policy Proposal for an Open Internet,  “It is too soon to predict how these new services will develop, but examples might include health care monitoring, the smart grid, advanced educational services, or new entertainment and gaming options.” Thus when it comes to the mobile web or these “new services,” broadband providers could give preferential treatment to their own content or to content providers who pay for faster transmission, or they could block or slow down the transmission of identified content; thereby creating a slow and fast lane on the Internet Superhighway.

According to an excellent New York Times article entitled Net Neutrality, “[This] could eventually lead to higher charges for Internet users, and to a tiered system like that of cable television, which imposes higher costs for premium levels of services.” As this exception would negate net neutrality for a large part of the Internet, the enactment of this proposal would change the Internet as we know it.

To learn more about the Google Verizon Proposal please read:

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