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Google and Verizon support net neutrality!! No not really

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By Scott Morrison and Roger Cheng Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES SAN FRANCISCO (Dow Jones)--Google Inc. (GOOG) and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) on Monday called on legislators to enact laws preventing carriers from blocking websites or selectively delaying access to content common on the Internet today, while leaving the door open for private "specialized networks" down the line.

The proposal by the two companies, in the form of a suggested legislative framework, also said regulators should have authority to stop offenders by imposing penalties of a maximum $2 million on "bad actors."

The policy framework marks a joint effort by the companies to move the discussion over "net neutrality" forward as well as head off more rigorous restrictions imposed by regulators. While Verizon agreed to the basic principles. , it left room to offer new "differentiated online services," ranging from health-care services to entertainment, which broadband providers could charge for.

The agreed principles also don't apply to the wireless broadband market, in part because the mobile marketplace is more competitive and changing rapidly.

Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt, in noting that carriers and Internet companies depend on each other, said the agreement was designed to strike a balance over the thorny issue of network neutrality.

"We recognize we're extremely dependent on each other," Schmidt said during a press conference. "This is the next step in making this debate more clearer."

Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg added, "We have one of the most vibrant industries going, and we want to make sure we don't want to go backwards."

The proposal would effectively establish a baseline between current services and content, and innovative new services that have yet to be developed or rolled out to customers.

"For the first time, wireline broadband providers wouldn't be able to discriminate against or prioritize lawful Internet content, applications or services in a way that causes harm to users or competition," Google said in a blog post.

"This new nondiscrimination principle includes a presumption against prioritization of Internet traffic--including paid prioritization."

In agreeing to these principles, Schmidt acknowledged that the carriers still had a right to manage their network for practical needs, such as security or the integrity of the infrastructure.

Seidenberg characterized the management of the network as an "even treatment" that wouldn't target specific services or companies.

He added that the principles, which also include more transparency, would be incorporated into the company's corporate practices.

Critics, however, said the proposal would lead to the creation of many small, private networks.

"Google and Verizon can try all they want to disguise this deal as a reasonable path forward, but the simple fact is this framework, if embraced by Congress and the Federal Communications Commission, would transform the free and open Internet into a closed platform like cable," said Joel Kelsey, adviser to media watchdog Free Press.

Some said that the incentive to provide more private networks would lead to less investment in the public Internet, but Seidenberg said Google has shown Verizon more ways to make money off of the public broadband business.

Susan Crawford, a professor at Cardozo Law School and a former special assistant to President Obama for science, technology and innovation policy, took issue with the exemptions for wireless broadband and new services.

"That's a huge hole, given the growing popularity of wireless services," she wrote on her blog. And "both companies left 'managed services' (or 'other services') off the table for regulation. That's a giant, enormous, science-fiction-quality loophole. It means that Google and Verizon could decide what bits reach consumers more quickly; it means they'll be able to favor particular uses of Internet access for exclusive deals."

The lack of a concrete mobile component to the proposal may be a stumbling block for the two companies. The FCC is seeking to extend its policy control over the mobile Internet as more data move through the wireless networks.

The Google-Verzion agreement was announced a week after reports that they had reached a pact on net neutrality that might undermine federal regulators' effort to dictate the way Internet providers manage traffic on networks they have spent billions of dollars to build.

Schmidt addressed those reports in a conference call Monday, denying that there was a business arrangement between the companies.

The reports prompted the FCC to cancel talks aimed establishing net neutrality rules that would ensure carriers treat all content equally and not slow or block access to websites.

"This proposal makes it clear the talking to industry was a waste of time. The FCC needs to assert its jurisdiction," said Mark Cooper, director of research at the Consumer Federation of America. "This is a disaster waiting to happen to the open Internet."

The FCC declined to comment on the proposal.

Internet companies like Google and Yahoo Inc. (YHOO), which offer broadband-intensive Web content such as video, have called on the FCC to prevent carriers from blocking websites, or selectively delaying access. Satellite TV provider Dish Networks Corp. (DISH) has said it was "100% behind" the FCC's proposal to move all broadband under the more stringently controlled Title 2 clause, which refers to all telecommunications services.

Cable and phone companies have argued that such regulation would limit the prices they can charge businesses and consumers and hamper their ability to invest in new infrastructure to cope with the growing data traffic on their networks.

The National Cable and Telecommunications Association said the proposal was a positive sign that a compromise was possible. AT&T Inc. (T) said it will examine the proposal closely, saying it remained committed to finding a consensus solution. Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) and Yahoo declined to comment. Internet telephony leader Skype Ltd. wasn't immediately available for comment.

Shares in Google closed up 1% at $505.35 and were up to $505.40 in recent late trading. Verizon stock closed up 1.1% to $29.86 but were down to $29.78 in late trading.

-By Scott Morrison, Dow Jones Newswires; 415-765-6118; scott.morrison@dowjones.com

-By Roger Cheng, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2153; roger.cheng@dowjones.com

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So while on the surface this might appear to be a victory for net neutrality wireless broadband is becoming more common the future of the net. Verizon is just saying that they will not fuck you right this second but if they will fuck you 10 or 20 years down the road when you least expect it. This is a fucking bunk deal and I hope that most of you are aware of this and are willing to take the time to contact the fcc and voice complaints about this..


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so are they gonna ban porn or not? thats what we all really wanna know.its bad enough they edit movies and music on tv and shit,ill be damned if they ruin my friday nights too!

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so are they gonna ban porn or not? thats what we all really wanna know.its bad enough they edit movies and music on tv and shit,ill be damned if they ruin my friday nights too!


Banning porn might come under the National Broadband Plan along with banning lots of other things like bittorrent and anything else which might be considered illegal or be used for illegal purposes

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