Posts Tagged ‘Open Web’

Google, Verizon, and Net Neutrality

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Google and Verizon announced a Proposal for Open Internet today, and it has a lot of people worried. There have been a lot of rumors about the joint effort, rumors which Verizon and Google have been quick to reject. Today’s announcement seems to reinforce many of the rumors.

On the surface the proposal looks innocent enough, with several references about the need to increase the FCC’s authority. What is bugging most of the detractors is the exclusion of wireless web from the proposed changes. It would seem the two firms have something in mind regarding future use of mobile technology. This understandably has people asking questions.

We have much to gain from a truly open Internet. Corporations have much to gain by restricting it. While there is certainly a place for capitalism on the web, it is not okay to do it at the expense of the public. One is reminded of Tom Petty’s “Last DJ”, which says something about the brass seeing how much you’ll pay for what you used to get for free. This looks like a prophetic warning, though originally intended to describe the demise of radio.

Of note among the detractors is the FCC itself. While it seems to be a benefactor in this proposal, the FCC is apparently reading between the lines too. While I think the FCC already has too much power in many respects, it might be good for the FCC to maintain it’s control over this area. This is a touchy subject, to be sure.

The tone of most of the blogs I’ve read regarding today’s proposal are similar to my own thoughts, or at least my first impressions. Let’s hope that Google remembers it’s motto here. I doubt Verizon’s good faith more than Google’s, but it doesn’t look good for Google here. Time will tell.