Google, Verizon Offer Internet Proposal

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Google Inc. and Verizon Inc. in a joint conference call Monday spoke out against blocking, prioritizing or slowing down wired Internet traffic.

The new broadband proposal by Mountain View-based Google and Verizon will not net neutrality, the companies said.

Both say they think the Federal Communications Commission should levy fines to those who don’t obey the rules, and both called for more transparency among Internet providers.

In January the two companies jointly submitted a request to the FCC for "a principled approach to finding common ground with respect to an open Internet."

Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog, however, said that while the new broadband proposal "pays lip service to the idea of net neutrality," it would actually "completely undermine the open and free Internet we enjoy."

John M. Simpson, consumer advocate with the nonpartisan, nonprofit public interest group, said there are two main problems with the proposal.

It sets up a two-tiered structure, "a so-called ‘Public Internet,’ but then the ISPs would be allowed to offer new premium services outside that basic service," he said. "How long to you think anything of interest would be available on the ‘Public Internet’?"

Second, no neutrality principles would apply to the wireless world, he said.

"Everyone agrees mobile is clearly the Internet’s future. Allowing data discrimination in the broadband wireless world completely undermines the future of the Internet."

Consumer Watchdog said the proposal is "nothing more than two corporations meeting together and trying to carve up the Internet for their own advantage."

Consumer Watchdog
Consumer Watchdog
Providing an effective voice for American consumers in an era when special interests dominate public discourse, government and politics. Non-partisan.

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