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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