Google and Verizon want to make one thing clear: There’s no
truth to last week’s rumors that the search and telecom giants were discussing
a deal that would effectively end net neutrality. Instead, they’re teaming up
to try to push the concept further.
One week after gossip surfaced, suggesting Google was about
to sign an agreement to pay Verizon for speedier Internet access to its
services, the two companies held a hastily assembled press conference Monday,
offering a joint proposal for ways to keep America’s Internet strong.
The suggestions are outlined
in full on Google’s Public Policy Blog, but there were a few key takeaways.
The policy suggestion states that traffic on wired broadband services should
not be slowed or blocked under any conditions. (In essence, this is the crux of
the net neutrality debate.) It also urged that the FCC’s authority be made
Wireless connectivity wouldn’t be afforded the same
protections, though, because carriers need to be more flexible with their
network management. (The companies did, however, note the need for transparency
and said they believed the FCC should have the ability to fine companies
flagrantly ignoring the spirit of net neutrality.)
The flexibility, said Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg, would
allow wireless companies to prioritize voice traffic in an emergency or help
control spam. It was not planning to block bandwidth heavy applications, he said, as
long as they are lawful.