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Google CEO Eric Schmidt (left) and Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam (right)
Two firms agree on many basic points, but disagree on several others

Net neutrality is a very touchy subject and companies and users of the internet come down on different sides of the argument. Some feel that the internet needs to remain totally neutral and allow any type of traffic or content to be freely available. Others fee that wireless and wired connectivity providers should be able to monitor their traffic and regulate the traffic when needed.

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 traffic online.

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 well.

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.

The 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.

Thirdly, 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 guidelines.

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.

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RE: They might be on to something.
By Yawgm0th on 10/23/2009 1:37:18 PM , Rating: 2
Google also loves NN because it allows them continue their free ride on the backs of consumers and infrastructure owners.
Their free ride? Internet usage is a free rider problem? Really? You don't think Google pays for its Internet access? Google already pays its ISPs a fair price for bandwidth. Why pay again for our ISPs? Google's ISPs could counter and charge us for getting full-speed access to Google's servers.

It's just an opportunity to make everyone pay more for the same thing.

this is something Google does not want because it will COST them.
Of course. But what's your point? Of course Google wants net neutrality for financial reasons. So do consumers. ISPs are against it for financial reasons. The crux of the whole argument is economic. The fact that the principal of an open Internet is also at stake is just another reason to support net neutrality.

They don't care about users or anything nearly as philanthropic as all that, we're just pawns in their multi-billion dollar business. Perhaps, but the ISPs don't even pretend to care. They spy on us, charge us prices not based on effective market competition, and seek to water down the Internet. Regardless of Google's true intentions, their actions generally are helpful to the consumer -- if that's lucrative, then so be it.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
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