Google and Verizon explain their stance on Net Neutrality (liveblog)

August 9, 2010: 1:17 PM ET

Tune in at 1:30 Eastern time to hear what Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg have to say about Net Neutrality.

The dynamic duo last spoke of their combined thoughts on broadband in March.  In October 2009 Google and Verizon posted their common principals.  Below is their joint filing to the FCC earlier this year.  Google and Verizon will update their public policy blogs: Google and Verizon.  Updated below.

2:10 Call closes.

2:05 Siedenberg uses the example of 3D as something that may go over the Internet or may go over some other platform delivery system.  They don't want to be limited on what the future brings.  Calls Google a 'cookie monster' of data traffic.  Google will continue to use internet protocols.

2:00: Eric Schmidt and Ivan Seidenberg are deflecting questions on why this isn't a business arrangement and it actually just a policy announcement.  There are repeated questions on why Google and Verizon are jointly giving this conference.  Both men seem a little standoffish, though Siedenberg seems to be more used to it.

1:50: Schmidt: There is absolutely no business relationship involved with this.  Google will always be an Internet company and focus on open Internet protocols.

1:45: Q&A

1:35: Eric Schmidt is talking.  Idea is to talk about "Open Internet".  The press is "almost completely wrong". He's reading from blog post:

First, both companies have long been proponents of the FCC's current wireline broadband openness principles, which ensure that consumers have access to all legal content on the Internet, and can use what applications, services, and devices they choose. The enforceability of those principles was called into serious question by the recent Comcast court decision. Our proposal would now make those principles fully enforceable at the FCC.

Second, we agree that in addition to these existing principles there should be a new, enforceable prohibition against discriminatory practices. This means that for the first time, wireline broadband providers would not be able to discriminate against or prioritize lawful Internet content, applications or services in a way that causes harm to users or competition.

Importantly, this new nondiscrimination principle includes a presumption against prioritization of Internet traffic - including paid prioritization. So, in addition to not blocking or degrading of Internet content and applications, wireline broadband providers also could not favor particular Internet traffic over other traffic.

Third, it's important that the consumer be fully informed about their Internet experiences. Our proposal would create enforceable transparency rules, for both wireline and wireless services. Broadband providers would be required to give consumers clear, understandable information about the services they offer and their capabilities. Broadband providers would also provide to application and content providers information about network management practices and any other information they need to ensure that they can reach consumers.

Fourth, because of the confusion about the FCC's authority following the Comcast court decision, our proposal spells out the FCC's role and authority in the broadband space. In addition to creating enforceable consumer protection and nondiscrimination standards that go beyond the FCC's preexisting consumer safeguards, the proposal also provides for a new enforcement mechanism for the FCC to use. Specifically, the FCC would enforce these openness policies on a case-by-case basis, using a complaint-driven process. The FCC could move swiftly to stop a practice that violates these safeguards, and it could impose a penalty of up to $2 million on bad actors.

1:42 Ivan Seidenberg is reading off the final three points:

Fifth, we want the broadband infrastructure to be a platform for innovation. Therefore, our proposal would allow broadband providers to offer additional, differentiated online services, in addition to the Internet access and video services (such as Verizon's FIOS TV) offered today. This means that broadband providers can work with other players to develop new services. It is too soon to predict how these new services will develop, but examples might include health care monitoring, the smart grid, advanced educational services, or new entertainment and gaming options. Our proposal also includes safeguards to ensure that such online services must be distinguishable from traditional broadband Internet access services and are not designed to circumvent the rules. The FCC would also monitor the development of these services to make sure they don't interfere with the continued development of Internet access services.

Sixth, we both recognize that wireless broadband is different from the traditional wireline world, in part because the mobile marketplace is more competitive and changing rapidly. In recognition of the still-nascent nature of the wireless broadband marketplace, under this proposal we would not now apply most of the wireline principles to wireless, except for the transparency requirement. In addition, the Government Accountability Office would be required to report to Congress annually on developments in the wireless broadband marketplace, and whether or not current policies are working to protect consumers.

Seventh, and finally, we strongly believe that it is in the national interest for all Americans to have broadband access to the Internet. Therefore, we support reform of the Federal Universal Service Fund, so that it is focused on deploying broadband in areas where it is not now available.


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About This Author
Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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