Google, Verizon Anger the Web with Broadband Plan

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-08-10 Print this article Print


Imposing the open Internet principles Google desires for wireline broadband could curb Android's rise versus Apple and its immensely popular iPhone.

Despite Schmidt's claims that Google "likes the open Internet" that enabled former startups such as Google and Facebook to grow into the giants they've become, the plan isn't sitting well with Internet companies, policy advocates and the FCC itself.

FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps said the problem with the plan is it puts Google's and Verizon's interests before consumers.

"It is time to move a decision forward-a decision to reassert FCC authority over broadband telecommunications, to guarantee an open Internet now and forever, and to put the interests of consumers in front of the interests of giant corporations."

Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge, is appalled that, because the principles largely exempt wireless networks, wireless carriers could block any application, content or service so long as they told consumers they were doing so.

Sohn also lamented the fact that a network provider such as Verizon could devote 90 percent of its broadband capacity to these certain managed services and 10 percent to the best efforts Internet. Sohn called for the FCC to step up and take charge to forge fair broadband policy.

However, Seidenberg said about discrimination:

"We don't do it now, and I don't see why we would start doing it. ... Google continues to innovate around exploding apps on the Internet, which means we have to feed that cookie monster pretty strongly, and all we're saying is that if we're asked to do that we want to offer FiOS."

Schmidt observed that Verizon and others have large financial incentives to make the open Internet more useful-and not degrade certain public Internet services in favor of paid services-because it's what their customers want.

Still, even some of the companies that have participated in the FCC broadband proceedings are upset. Paul Misener, vice president of global public policy for e-commerce giant Amazon, told eWEEK in a statement:

"We've long supported net neutrality and although we agree that network operators should be allowed to offer additional services, we are concerned that this proposal appears to condone services that could harm consumer Internet access."


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