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Verizon's Seidenberg Chats With the Post

Verizon Communications' biggest fear from Washington regulators:New rules on net neutrality that would prevent the company from charging more for consuming more data and providing extra services on their network.

Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon's chief executive, talked about the prospect of such rules yesterday in a broad-ranging conversation with reporters and the editorial board of The Washington Post. He also said exclusive phone contracts can spur innovation and that the firm's biggest high-tech foe these days is Google.

Google has pushed for net neutrality regulation, which would prevent network operators like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile from controlling the flow of Internet traffic on their network. Google and some public interest groups argue that consumers should have unfettered access to the Web traffic and not be treated differently by how much data they consume. For Google, greater and free flow of Internet traffic only helps their business, which dominates the online search market.

Verizon opposes such regulation, saying not all data are equal and that consumers who consume more bandwidth through downloads of big video files, for example, shouldn't be charged the same as lighter Internet users. It also wants to reserve the option of providing premium services like a protected network for banks and their consumers, for example.

Seidenberg said Google "wants for us not to be able to differentiate but set a standard that would shift all costs of building a network to us and so that we are treated as the lowest denominator common carrier.

"So if you listen to the west coast crowd, they are trying to effectively quarantine what our permissible activities are," he said.

President Obama said during his election campaign that net neutrality would be a priority for his technology agenda. It's unclear, however, if the Federal Communications Commission would adopt new policies or maintain current principles that forbid discrimination of traffic by network operators.

Seidenberg wouldn't say whether Verizon is in negotiation with Apple for an iPhone to work on the company's broadband wireless network scheduled to launch at the middle of next year. He said Apple never considered a partnership with Verizon because it only wanted to create a chip for its phone that operated on the GSM wireless technology. Verizon operates on a different platform called CDMA.

But for the next generation network, he said, "Our view is that they would take another look at it."

By Cecilia Kang  |  May 28, 2009; 8:00 AM ET  | Category:  Cecilia Kang
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Verizon has every reason to fear the governments' review of its plans. Over the last decade, Verizon has surreptitiously diverted much-needed resources to maintain / fix it wireline domestic telecom business to strenghten is wireless unit; and build its new FIOS fiber network to complete with local cable operators. In fact, in the City of Philadephia, the diversion of resources has been so widespread that local management routinely falsifies customer service records, thereby providing itself a longer service repair timeframe, typcially 1- 2 weeks as oppose to the FCC-mandate standards of 2 - 3 days.

Posted by: PhillyStreetz | May 29, 2009 10:23 AM

"Verizon opposes such regulation, saying not all data are equal and that consumers who consume more bandwidth through downloads of big video files, for example, shouldn't be charged the same as lighter Internet users."

Here's my two problems with this;
1) Yes, it may cost Verizon more for BandWidthHog than it does for JustChecksE-Mail, BUT, they are both paying the same price. The amount that Verizon "saves" from JustChecksE-Mail should essentially cover the "loss" of having BandWidthHog on the network.

2) I'd bet you $100 that Verizon will jump at the chance to raise BandWidthHogs monthly acces fees to cover his "cost" to them, but they will absolutely NOT lower the monthly access fee for JustChecksE-Mail.

If they want to charge people for what those people cost them, then it shoudl go both ways. But I guarantee that it won't.

Posted by: DKAnderson77 | May 29, 2009 10:59 AM

I wish someone would have asked him about VZ's horrible customer service.

Posted by: gbooksdc | May 29, 2009 2:14 PM

Most people that use huge amounts of data are already paying for the fastest network speeds. If the ISP had offered disounts for metered service, they might have been able to pull it off. Instead they tried to limit what users already had, nor did they offer any way to reliablity monitor what they were using. With the amount of money they spend advertising for new business, they can't complain about users that use a lot.

Posted by: mdembski1 | May 29, 2009 6:01 PM

On "Net Neutrality":
He is deliberatley conflating two separate things: the _amount_ of traffic, and the _type_ of traffic.

It is reasonable to charge heavy users more, just like electricity or water services. But there is no need to look at the _type_ of traffic that is causing that usage, just count the number of packets. Net neutrality doesn't preclude this; in fact it enourages it: treat all packets the same.

But what they really want to do is look at exactly what services you are using so they can slow down their competitors. So if you use someone else's phone service they will slow it down, making it likely you will use theirs instead (and allowing them to charge more, too).

And, note, they won't be _blocking_ it (which they always pretend they are being accused of), just slowing it down enough to make it worthless. Comcast was doing this a year or two ago.

Examining packets should be treated as anti-competitive and not allowed.

Posted by: iMac77 | May 29, 2009 11:25 PM

Verizon is the worst company for customer service I have ever experienced. I once switched from MCI, which had already been swallowed by Verizon, back to Verizon for my land line service. I did so because of a promotional offer, which they did not honor. After theree months of hearing, the promotional price will begin next month, I switched to earthlink digital. I still get collection letters on the 22 dollars I "owe" them. This after making 3 monthly payments of 49.95 that was supposed to be 29.95 for 6 months! The thing is, I had already been feed up with Verizon wireless "customer service" when I moved back to NY from Washington state to find that Verizon was my choice for land line service!

Posted by: 2Funny | May 30, 2009 8:42 AM

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