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Verizon echoes Comcast: Feds shouldn't reign over Internet service providers

By Cecilia Kang

Verizon's Tom Tauke (AP)

Verizon Communications, ahead of a change in Congress, urged self- regulation of the Internet as the Federal Communications Commission attempts to assert more authority over broadband service providers like it.

Tom Tauke, Verizon's executive vice president of public affairs, said in a meeting Tuesday hosted by the Optoelectronics Industry Development Association, that so-called net neutrality rules proposed by the FCC and its push to govern broadband service providers "have resulted in court rebukes and considerable uncertainty."

"After haggling over the issue for over five years, we are essentially in the same place we were when this debate started," Tauke said. "There still is no identifiable problem to be solved, and instead, as predicted, technology and market forces are ensuring that access to the Internet is open to consumers, as well as to developers of content and services."

Tauke's comments echo those of his counterpart at Comcast, the nation's largest broadband service provider earlier this week.

The FCC's proposal has been met with considerable opposition from big network carriers. But consumer groups, Web applications firms such as Facebook and Google and smaller Internet service providers such as Cox have supported the FCC's rules.

Verizon and Google proposed baseline guidelines that would prevent ISPs from blocking or speeding/slowing downloads of Web pages. Their agreed proposal would not have applied to wireless services. Verizon and Vodafone own Verizon Wireless, the nation's biggest wireless service providers in terms of subscribers.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has not indicated if the commission would pursue its net neutrality proposal this year. Industry watchers will look to December for the FCC to push forward with its plan, which analysts and observers say the agency may try to accomplish under its questionable jurisdiction over ISPs.

FCC Commissioner Michael Copps said at a conference sponsored by public interest groups in New Mexico Tuesday that he continued to support the rules.

“Our job now ... is to correct course by reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications service, and call an apple an apple, and then craft rules and procedures that will protect consumers against discrimination, protect against a privatized Internet, and protect against the cannibalization, cable-ization and further consolidation of broadband technology,” Copps said, according to a release by Free Press, a public interest group that co-sponsored the event.

Related stories:
FCC Chair caught in a Web; struggles with role as regulator

FCC proposes regulation of Internet service providers

By Cecilia Kang  | November 17, 2010; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Comcast, FCC, Net Neutrality, Verizon  
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Comments

Look, all I want from any company is to make it affordable for people. People who make little money to live in this world that has been Force to Rely and Use the Electronic/Digital stuffs.

If the business keep Raising the Price of Everything, then (just maybe), the Government interference of anykind would be acceptable and I really do not like government interfering with the lives of the people.

Look, it's just too expensive to try to keep up with even the minimal of electronics/digital that's Forced to the people.

Posted by: SOCIETY1 | November 17, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

We already have Net Neutrality, "open sourced" outside of government control. It works and will prove far more flexible to the "health" of the Internet than any government regulation can, as i have blogged here:

http://mediafreedom.org/2010/11/net-neutrality-is-already-here-regulations-open-sourced-by-technology-marketplace-but-not-government/

Posted by: MikeWendy | November 17, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

If you wait until regulation is needed, it will be too late. How can anybody, especially now, believe in self-regulation? Have you all been under a rock? LOL

Posted by: lhathaway | November 17, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Cecilia Kang, Google's reporter at the Post, again pushes Google's "net neutrality" lobbying agenda by giving the radical Commissioner Michael Copps the last word and falsely characterizing Google lobbying group "Free Press" as a public interest group. The Post should encourage Ms. Kang to take the job at Google for which she is obviously "paying forward" and find itself an unbiased reporter.

Posted by: LBrettGlass | November 17, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Because they want to keep shafting us with their rates. Internet tolling is right around the corner.

Posted by: peacerocker | November 17, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Without net neutrality, this will free up Comcast and Verizon to cut anti-competitive deals with companies like Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, AOL, etc. It's already starting to happen. It's a slow moving train wreck that can be seen from a mile away. Net neutrality is a simple concept, which is simple to enforce and gives consumers recourse without resorting to class action lawsuits. WISP's don't like it, which is understandable. But what they need to do is throttle traffic in a non-discriminatory fashion, instead of throttling traffic in a discriminatory fashion. Basically, it comes down to money for the WISPs and broadband providers, because they want to sell addons like TV, music, etc. They want to charge for minutes. Net neutrality allows people a way to get around these existing models. But here's the point. If what these providers were serving up was competitive with what was on the rest of the internet, people would pay for it. But most don't. Which is why net neutrality is important. It forces these guys to compete globally and prevents a handful of providers from locking up the majority of the market, taking them "captive".

Posted by: scottburgan | November 17, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

The very fact that companies like Verizon and Comcast are attempting by all means at their disposal - the funds dispensed in the recent congressional races are merely one aspect of this - to avoid FCC regulation, appealing instead to an entirely nugatory «self-regulation», should suffice to show any thinking person the need for government regulation of internet carriers. No disinterested persons who are at all concerned with the rights of consumers and who possess any knowledge of the history of «self-regulation» in this or similar branches can accept such a solution....

Henri

Posted by: mhenriday | November 17, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Verizon is a subsidiary of a FOREIGN COMPANY! As such, they are not qualified to comment on American policies, especially those concerning telecommunications. Get these aliens out of our country!

Posted by: JONWINDY | November 17, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

They are oligopolies with limited competition (& therefore, high margins). Of course there should be some regulation or oversight, by the FCC!

Posted by: Hattrik | November 17, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

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