The net neutrality plan proposed by Google and Verizon would implement principles previously stated in FCC filings. It also aims to protect consumers, the companies say.
announced Aug. 9 their much-anticipated plan for implementing
their view of net neutrality. The CEOs of both companies, Eric Schmidt of
Google and Ivan Seidenberg of Verizon, announced a
plan that sticks closely to a statement of principles issued jointly in October
The primary principle as stated by both companies is that users
should have the final say on their Web experience.
Casting the joint statement as a "way to move forward" and calling
for an end to what Schmidt called a "divisive debate," Google's CEO
reiterated the message that preserving the open Internet is very important to
Google. He also requested that reporters ignore last week's story in The New York Times,
referred to as "completely wrong," and read the joint public
In addition to making their policy statement clear, the companies specifically
and repeatedly said there was no business deal involved. The CEOs
also repeated that there was no place for paid prioritization
and that while individual carriers could provide content to their own
customers, such content should not take away bandwidth or otherwise degrade
traffic on the open Internet.
Both companies called on the Federal Communications Commission to create
enforceable rules ensuring an open Internet with significant penalties for what
they referred to as "bad actors."
"We believe very strongly that the openness principles should be fully
enforceable," Schmidt said.
Their plan would also provide enforceable prohibition of any move by an
Internet provider against openness, Schmidt said. He said there would be no blocking
or degrading, and paid prioritization would be against the law.
Verizon and Google also reaffirmed their belief that the Internet should
remain open for any legal use and that private investment in the Internet needs
to be encouraged through regulatory flexibility. For this reason, both
companies have opposed overly detailed regulations that would reduce the
ability of the Internet to evolve and could result in other unintended
consequences. Finally, both companies repeated their belief that broadband
network providers need to have the ability to manage their networks to deal
with everything from spam and malware to traffic congestion and denial-of-service
The Aug. 9 announcement also repeated a call for transparency in proceedings
of the FCC and other parties involved-something that has been notably lacking
in the FCC's closed-door negotiations with a variety of Internet players.
joint statement and the statements by Schmidt and Seidenberg also reiterated their
belief that wireless communications should be included in the proposed net
neutrality rules, although Seidenberg said he felt that the wireless arena was
slightly different from the wire-line world, with different technology, a different
state of competition and different interactive capabilities, and said he was
concerned that too many rules would stifle competition.