Google And Verizon Find A Tiny Bit Of Common Ground On Net Neutrality… But Still Aren't That Close
from the in-the-spirit-of-cooperation dept
It’s no secret that a lot of the network neutrality debate has been positioned as pitting online companies — such as Google — against infrastructure companies — such as the telcos. That’s a bit of an unfair characterization, because there are lots of issues at play when it comes to network neutrality, but it’s getting a lot of attention that Google and Verizon filed a joint statement to the FCC about net neutrality. Of course, despite the PR value of this, I wouldn’t read too much into it. The letter itself (pdf) lays out their “common ground” in incredibly broad and vague language that is borderline meaningless at times. And, of course, at the same time both companies filed their own separate statements in which they disagree heavily (Verizon even calls out Google by name). By way of comparison:
- Joint Submission by Google and Verizon: 9 pages
- Google’s submission: 98 pages
- Verizon’s submission: 139 pages
There’s obviously still a lot that they don’t agree on at all. Still, it is nice that they at least tried to come together a bit to find some common ground. That is pretty rare in a political culture often driven by extremes on each end playing tug o’ war and hoping that the end result is somewhere in the middle. It would certainly be nice if this sort of thing became a little more common — with more folks trying to find what the points of agreement are, separate from the points of disagreement.