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Google-Verizon deal draws criticism from Democratic lawmakers

A net neutrality accord announced Monday by Google and Verizon isn't impressing some Democratic members of Congress, who say the firms' blueprint for legislation falls short of protecting consumers.

To recap, Google and Verizon said: No rules should apply to wireless. Network operators should be able to provide priority access for some of their network capacity -- in other words, a Web site such as Google or Yahoo could buy up capacity on Comcast's cable network for better-quality access. Guidelines for fixed-wired net neutrality already at the embattled Federal Communications Commission should be enforceable. And the agency should be a market cop, able to slap fines as high as $2 million on bad actors.

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said protections for privacy online should be included in the legislative proposal -- an important policy consideration for Google, which makes its money off advertising.

“Today’s proposal leaves out essential elements that should be a part of FCC action to ensure a free and open Internet," Markey said. "Rather than a proposal from two corporate giants, a public process at the FCC is needed to ensure the preservation of an unfettered Internet ecosystem that will continue to be an indispensable platform for innovation, investment, entrepreneurship, and free speech."

Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wa.) said he was "disappointed" in the proposal.

"Many of us have been warning for a number of years that broadband service providers would begin to use a lack of net neutrality regulations to prioritize their increasingly diverse business offerings and content, thereby jeopardizing open Internet access," Inslee said. "Today’s announcement is one more reason that the FCC must act to reclassify broadband and protect consumers online.”

By Cecilia Kang  |  August 9, 2010; 6:24 PM ET
Categories:  FCC , Google , Net Neutrality , Verizon  
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Next: Google, net neutrality evangelist, hedges in accord with Verizon


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Posted by: dbmetzger | August 9, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

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