Google and Verizon issue joint Net Neutrality legislative guidelines

In a joint blog post on the Google Public Policy Blog today, Google and Verizon laid out a broad proposal to American legislation roadmapping their ideas for an open Internet. Titled “A Joint policy proposal for an Open Internet,” the announcement provides a proposed framework by which the government can legislate the FCC’s (and other government bodies) jurisdiction when it comes to the people’s right to a fair Internet.  

This isn’t a new ballgame for Google and Verizon. The duo has already taken the FCC to task regarding net neutrality; they issued a statement of principles last year, and issued a joint filing to the FCC shortly thereafter, describing their concerns and suggestions. After coming under (seemingly inaccurate) fire by the New York Times last week over concerns that Google and Verizon were engaging in behavior that ran contrary to net neutrality axioms, this announcement helps quell any thoughts of the two misbehaving on this front.

The proposal is split into six sections. In brief:

  1. All legal content should be accessible to wireline customers.
  2. ISPs should not be able to discriminate against legal content in terms of access or quality of service.This includes not prioritizing Internet traffic, even at a premium rate.
  3. The customer should have fully transparent access to information about the services they purchase. This includes giving content providers access to ISP network management practices.
  4. FCC enforcement should occur on a case-by-case basis, using a complaint-driven system. The FCC can penalize violators up to $2 million.
  5. Provide opportunities for ISPs to partner with content providers to enable new , innovative and dynamic services to customers.
  6. Mobile Broadband is different than wireline broadband, and these frameworks, other than the transparency requirements, would not apply to wireless broadband providers.

If these don’t sound specific, it’s because they aren’t meant to be. This is meant to be a suggested framework for use by governmental bodies to craft legislature in a way that keeps the rights of the customer at the forefront of the legislative process. The full post goes into a little more detail.

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20 Comments

stormlifter said,
Wait, so Mobile Broadband is different? That's stupid, way to plan for the future.

That's not the case you know. They both know full well that mobile is growing and going to overtake wired usage, so they don't want to talk about it or cover it in any sorta net neutrality bit. They'll give you freedom on a wired connection, but watch them screw you over on anything mobile.

GP007 said,

That's not the case you know. They both know full well that mobile is growing and going to overtake wired usage, so they don't want to talk about it or cover it in any sorta net neutrality bit. They'll give you freedom on a wired connection, but watch them screw you over on anything mobile.

I do agree that wireless is different than wired and should be handled separately. But I also believe that they still do not have a clue when it comes to how they are going to manage their own infrastructures. They need to solve their own problems before they start thinking about putting standards in place. They can barely keep up with the growth as it is now.

thealexweb said,
We really need this is the UK, throttling, port blocking and traffic shaping galore.

Net neutrality is not about throttling and traffic shaping.

M2Ys4U said,

Net neutrality is not about throttling and traffic shaping.

It is indirectly, traffic shaping to the point of not allowing certain activities to occur during certain hours counts.

Wasn't number 6 what the NYT was complaining about? Also, wouldn't discriminate between wireless and wireline broadband against net neutrality?

OceanMotion said,
Number 6 doesn't seem right. Sounds like one giant loophole.

That's exactly what I think it is, they know mobile wireless data usage is going to grow and overtake wireline home connections so they're going to try and take advantage of it and would probably not want it covered under net neutrality.

I can't see why the FCC can't just come down hard and cover everything internet related, wired or wireless, and call it a day. *sigh*

OceanMotion said,
Number 6 doesn't seem right. Sounds like one giant loophole.

I was thinking the same. Translation: Google.com would load twice as fast as everything else, but only on mobile. We'll make sure that you have your net neutrality, but only on wired connection.

To me it seems all obvious and all what is going on now anyway... makes me wonder if they're just doing this to sneak #6 in there.

Anyways, I don't feel companies should be trying to create the law of the land. Leave it for governments. Your lobbyists already F things up enough already.

Don't forget Google do things for the benefit of Google, nobody else. Sometimes easy to forget as they have giving us some awesome stuff. Same for other companies too.

So, even though more and more internet usage is being done on mobile networks, they don't get protection.

Yeah....thanks guys.

#2 does not specify wired or wireless, and none of them seem inclusive of the others (but who knows, I'm only reading the summary), so it doesn't seem to be totally doom and gloom for mobile broadband.

#4: A fine of $2million seems kinda low...?? Sure, pay $2million fine while profiting hundreds of millions. #6 is also very 'WTF' as people have pointed out. Sneaky sneaky.

Hopefully the NYT does another article and tears these loopholes apart.

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...

So basically, #5 means: We won't prioritize existing content and protocols, but the providers and partners can offer "exclusive" services that DO get priority?

... Perhaps something along the lines of "Google Partners with Verizon in Youtube TV deal"? I keep reading the whole paragraph, and something just doesn't sit right.

And #6 is complete BS. Instead of making excuses for the Mobile networks, why don't the providers invest in some damn infrastructure?

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