The problem for many users is that regulation of
traffic online by ISPs has historically centered on file sharing and
peer-to-peer traffic which is often shown in a bad light by ISPs as
used by pirates and other nefarious users. The truth is that there is
a lot of perfectly legal and reasonable peer-to-peer and file sharing
Verizon Wireless and Google CEOs Lowell McAdam
and Eric Schmidt issued
a joint statement on finding common ground for an open internet
today. The two companies are already working together to bring
new Android handsets to market so it makes a bit of sense that
they would also talk about net neutrality together as
According to the statement, the two companies disagree
quite strongly on some aspects of government policy in the net
neutrality area. Specifically, a big disagreement is on whether
wireless networks should even be part of the net neutrality
discussion. However, both companies feel that it is imperative that
the internet remain open and unrestricted to any type of content as
long as that content is legal.
The statement says that the two
companies understand the FCC's national plan to bring broadband to
all Americans and to start a debate on the openness of the internet
and how to best protect that. Verizon and Google report that they
have found several common basic concepts that they agree on.
first is that both firms believe the user should have the final say
on how their web experience works. Second, the two firms say that an
advanced and open network is essential to the future of the internet
and policies to provide incentives for investment and innovation in
the network realm are a vital part of the debate.
Google and Verizon believe that it makes sense for the FCC to
establish broadband principals that make it clear users are in charge
of all aspects of their internet experience and that these principals
should be enforceable.
Fourth, the two firms report they are
in "wild agreement" that flexibility in government policy
is key. Fifth, the broadband network provider would have the
flexibility to manage their networks to deal with traffic congestion,
spam, malware, and DoS attacks and other threats that may emerge. The
final common point is that transparency must be added to the FCC's
Verizon also reports that it feels there is no
evidence of a problem today, especially for wireless, and no basis
for new rules and regulations that could affect providers globally.
Google supports this type of regulation and this is another major
disagreement between the two firms.