Four U.S. Democrats in Congress bashed the network neutrality plan put forth by Google and Verizon, which called for separate rules for wireline and wireless Internet services.
Four members of U.S. Congress banded together to attack the network
neutrality plan put forth by Google and Verizon, a proposal so contentious that
parties from all over the Web have weighed in to denounce it.
Democratic Reps. Edward Markey, Anna Eshoo, Mike Doyle and Jay Inslee wrote
in a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski
that Google and Verizon's "industry centered" net neutrality policy
underscores the need for the FCC to resolve its meetings regarding the open
"Rather than expansion upon a proposal by two large communication
companies with a vested financial interest in the outcome, formal FCC action is
needed," the reps wrote Aug. 16
Google and Verizon Aug. 9 unveiled a plan
that would prohibit wireline operators from
discriminating against any applications, content and other traffic on the open
While this is in keeping with network neutrality principles that call for
fair competition for Web content over broadband pipes, the companies angered some factions
because they did not extend these
principles to wireless networks.
Google, Verizon and even AT&T, which was not part of the plan, all agreed
that wireless networks should not be subject to the rules
that govern wireline broadband because of the evolving competition in the
Like most parties, the representatives from Congress disagreed with this
In their letter, they argued that "exclusion of wireless services from
open Internet requirements could widen the digital divide by establishing a
substandard, less open experience for underserved regions that may more often
need to access or choose to access the Internet on a mobile device."
The Congress representatives, who also decried paid prioritization from
"additional online services" Verizon and others could offer, called
for the FCC to facilitate its National Broadband Plan
to bring high-speed Internet to millions
of Americans in rural areas. The FCC argues the plan will spur the creation of
Research from both the FCC
and Pew Research
shows the United
States is lagging in broadband adoption,
particularly compared with other countries where regulations are not so strict.
The representatives also voice their support for Genachowski's "third way
" proposal to classify broadband providers
under Title II carrier rules, giving the FCC "forbearance authority"
over Verizon, AT&T and others.
Conversely, Google and Verizon suggested in their plan that any FCC
regulation be on a case-by-case basis.