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Google and Verizon in op-ed about open Internet agreement

A guest opinion piece in Tuesday's Washington Post by Google chief executive Eric Schmidt and Verizon chief executive Ivan Seidenberg.

By Eric Schmidt and Ivan Seidenberg
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

We have spent much of the past year trying to resolve our differences over the thorny issue of "network neutrality." This hasn't been an easy process, and Google and Verizon are neither regulators nor legislators. But as leaders in our respective fields, we have searched for workable public policies that serve consumer interests and create a climate for investment and innovation. What has kept us at the table and moving toward compromise was our mutual interest in a robust Internet and our recognition that progress would occur only when players from across the Internet space work together.

The proposal we outlined Monday as a suggested policy framework for lawmakers translates these principles into a fully enforceable broadband Internet policy. In developing this framework, we were guided by two principles: our commitment to an open Internet, and the need for continued investment in broadband infrastructure, which is critical to U.S. global competitiveness.

First, our policy framework states that consumers should be able to choose any lawful content, services or applications they want; in other words, they can choose whatever Internet service they want, go to whatever legal Web sites they want, and use whatever software or applications they want. Our companies have long supported the FCC's openness principles toward wireline broadband, and we also believe that blocking and degrading Internet traffic is antithetical to the principle of openness and to consumers' expectations.

Read here for full column.

By Cecilia Kang  |  August 10, 2010; 8:46 AM ET
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Next: Silicon Valley criticizes Google-Verizon accord


Google thinks they can convince the public that Internet over the phone is different than other Internets.

Someone call Adobe, quick! I think Google has problems with their applications!! Googla needs some Flash!

The whole QoS vs. net-neutrality is the real lie here.

When we order internet service, the service is described to us as "52Mb per second" or something like that.

If the user decided to use their bandwidth for phone calls that's their prerogative. The user downloading with bit torrent or the like will still be limited to the bandwidth they subscribed for.

If the network is saturated, I expect my VoIP to be useless - along with a lot of other things. Within my private network, I can establish QoS standards, but those standards are not ubiquitous by any means on the public Internet. If an ISP believes it needs to implement traffic shaping because they lack sufficient capacity, then the answer is not to implement traffic shaping, but to add more capacity.

The Internet is telecommunications. The internet is just like telephone lines. We (the users) dial a number (IP address) of the website we are interested in seeing. Phone #'s look like (607)667-9999. IP addresses look like 234.354.354.345. We the users have the right to dial (search) any number (website) we see fit and have a quality connection unrestricted based on what we choose to find.

Remember, the Internet as we know it today was created by the US Government with the High Speed Computing and Communications Act of 1991. Until 1993 the National Science Foundation (NSF) owned and operated the commercial Internet. In 1993 control of the Internet was leased to the original telcos (AT&T, MCI, Pacific Bell, Bell Atlantic) with the understanding that the Internet be operated in the public interest.

The FCC absolutely needs to determine if the public interest is being served by the current Internet environment where home users and businesses typically have a choice of one carrier or cable company, no competition. If the telcos are not serving the public interest, then the NSF should take back control of the Internet, or lease control to a group or organization that would operate the Internet in a way that is fair to all.

Better service as far as VoIP or gaming should be determined by the quality of the application running the service and the bandwidth the application is operating within.

Posted by: ApostasyUSA | August 10, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

The ISPs and telecomm companies want metered service instead of the current flat rate environment. This would level the playing field for them so that heavier users pay more for more data transferred.

Google doesn't want this because it would discourage its user base from using more if what it offers.

As usual, it all boils down to money, money, money.

Posted by: BoteMan | August 10, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

The deception of Schmidt is unforgivable. He talks about an open "wire line" internet deliberately leaving the impression all is right with the internet world. Excluded from the so-called policy statement is the wireless internet which includes all mobile devices. This is the market Verizon wants to control big time. Comcast can have cable- but Verizon/Google will be stomping all over all present and future wireless internet users (4G, 3G and all future G). Come on Eric. - do you take us all for a bunch of fools?You want to keep the pristine image of Google as defenders of Net Neutrality but you are selling the future internet down the river. Such hypocrisy is unforgivable. Google has raised its true flag and it is the flag of Big Business and Corporate Control. We must all join forces and fight this destruction of internet openness. Down with Google!! We need to promote and support open source search engine development - or any service provider that truly embraces Net Neutrality and does not lie to the public like Eric Schmidt and his Google crowd. I would implore all disappointed Google employees to bail out and start planning for a time when your employment contracts will permit you to create a monster Google competitor. There is a Wiki oriented public prepared to help pay for this freedom. Lets all vow to terminate our GMAIL accounts and stop using Google software of any sort.

Posted by: jeffl240 | August 10, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

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