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Cracking Google-Verizon’s Proposed Open Internet Policy

Written on August 10, 2010 by Japhet Writ

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There's something going on between the advocates of Open Internet and the policy proposed by Google and Verizon. The policy is all about how information should be accessed, prevented and distributed by broadband providers. If you are one of those who rely too much on the Internet, better read the article below.

and Verizon released a joint policy proposal to the public for the . It outlines how broadband providers can control contents received by their users. The proposal is meant to be a legal framework, intending to please consumers who likes to choose what they can access from the and how. But since it is still a compromise, advocates of might still have a battle on their hands. The proposition is different from what was written in The New York Times article. If you want to read the framework proposal, we’ve embedded a Scribd hosted policy below.

Inside the Proposal

The policy suggested that wireline broadband services, like Verizon’s FiOS, can’t stop users from sending and receiving contents, running applications, using online services and connecting devices of their choice. It also insists on absolute transparency on how the network should regulate its traffic and content distribution. The two companies also agree that broadband providers cannot participate in any discriminatory act against any Internet content, application or services.

Provision for reasonable network management includes technical sound practice of improving cyber performance, preventing unwanted data and blocking illegal content. It also supports and clarifies the FCC authority in regulating the Internet. Both companies committed themselves on increasing broadband adoption in the US as well.

About Broadband Services

Open Internet advocates will not be pleased that what they’re getting is just a transparency standard. Google and Verizon pointed out that wireless broadband is still a young market, so imposing too many rules will not allow them to optimize the network. They tried to minimize the argument by reminding the consumers that the Government Accountability Office would be required to report to congress every year. The report will be all about the developments in the wireless broadband marketplace, and if the policies are working to protect the consumers or not.

For Additional Online Services

Another area of discord would be the proposal about “additional online services.” The two companies agreed that providers can offer additional online services that are outside the said rules, provided that they can be distinguished in scope and purpose. Examples of which are the health care monitoring, smart grid, advanced educational services or new entertainment and gaming options.

Because of the vague distinction between the said services and what they call the Public Internet, net neutrality advocates deem that this will give providers a way to punch a loophole on the rules. However, it suggests that FCC must report immediately should they find that these services are threatened in any time.

Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt points out that they are only interested to operate on the Public Internet, though they acknowledge the provider’s rights to distribute additional services. He also said that a more detailed proposal will be released in a couple of days, and Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg will adopt everything in the proposal to their corporate policy.

Verizon-Google Legislative Framework Proposal

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