Google And Verizon Announce… Um… Something That Appears To Mean Nothing

from the carry-on dept

If you read the tech news, you certainly saw today’s reports of a announced deal between Google and Verizon over net neutrality. The two companies outlined the “proposal” on their own website, and it basically looks like exactly what was discussed last week, despite vehement (and, at times, mocking) denials by the CEOs of both companies about last week’s reports. This isn’t a “deal,” so much as a “proposal,” and by “proposal,” they seem to mean “vague assertions that don’t mean much.” The crux of it seems to be that Google and Verizon agree that traffic shouldn’t be tiered on your everyday internet, but it’s fine on some new not-really-the-internet network, as well as wireless networks (where much of the world is moving anyway). It’s not hard to see how this is really about leaving lots of loopholes open for both companies, but I’m still trying to figure out if this announcement means anything. It’s a framework for the FCC, but it’s not clear that the FCC will use it or should use it. Even if they do, I keep reading through it to find out what’s different from the way things are now, and I can’t find anything. It seems to be a proposal that says “here’s the way things already stand” in new language. So, frankly, I can’t see reasons to be upset or happy about this, because it’s not saying much of anything.

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Companies: google, verizon

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Comments on “Google And Verizon Announce… Um… Something That Appears To Mean Nothing”

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19 Comments
Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Public Knowledge Ads...

On your site seem to indicate that Google “Sold You Out!”, with the YOU being all of us readers. Kind of an odd conclusion if your analysis is correct….

I haven’t seen the PK ads, so I don’t know what they say (I don’t approve the ads on the site). PK and I don’t agree on the whole net neutrality issue. I’m not sure if this is really selling out anyone yet. I think it’s designed to benefit Google, sure, but I think it’s a mistake if anyone was relying on Google to have anyone else’s best interests in mind.

Pierre Wolff (profile) says:

Public Knowledge blog post

I believe this blog post explains the issues of how things were and how they are changing, though clearly all that happened today was a proposal to go in this direction, no actual deal that it would go this way.

Here’s blog post came out this morning:

http://www.publicknowledge.org/blog/why-fccs-net-neutrality-negotiations-failed-a

Anonymous Coward says:

The other way.

Unite and start building your own network, get grants from the government to do so and forbid forever “exclusive deals” from that network.

There will be no need for negotiation, will people wait until it gets unbearable?

Do people want to create jobs on the internet or not?

Corporations are more than happy to outsource your work would you trust them to create any jobs?

Anonymous Coward says:

Corporations don’t have respect for the people, and the people in the U.S. do not deserve to be treated fairly.

I know this is a jerk statement to make, but the reality is that the people don’t mobilize any more, we don’t organize and don’t fight for the things that are important, we failed to be noticed and made its presence felt. We can change that.

The next American gold rush is the internet, but some people are moving in and putting up fences so you cannot make money out of it.

Nick (profile) says:

Logical tiers?

I believe that what Google and Verizon are trying to lay out is certain packets, like those for phone calls, should be prioritized over things SMS and data packets. This would be a simple way of dealing with the issues AT&T has been having with Iphone data crippling their network. As it stands, the cell network already prioritizes communications by emergency workers.

CrushU says:

Re: Logical tiers?

I read a liveblog about the event. Apparently this question was directly asked, and Google said “We do not support prioritized communications, except in emergency circumstances.” And Verizon chimed in by saying they currently don’t prioritize any communications whatsoever.

I also distinctly remember them mentioning that their policy on “No Prioritization” was for wireless and wireline networks.

They were a bit oddly specific that they wouldn’t allow people to pay to prioritize content.

On the whole I was happy to see this, that they were supporting no differentiation of communications, Verizon being just a dumb pipe, for wireless and wired transmissions. Slightly miffed that it is a ‘policy’, and not any sort of business agreement between them, so it’s not very binding. It was really just them coming out and saying ‘This is how it’s always worked, and doggone it, it ain’t broke!’

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

This takes me back some...

Not in terms of the announcement but something I read in a book a long time ago that pointed out that when the explanation for the public is longer than the proposal to the regulating agency that the public had better beware.

The book is called When In Doubt Mumble which is a guide to the language and habits of Homo Bureaucratis which has existed since Sumer and Akkad and really got going in the Egyptian First Kingdom and has been with us ever since.

Anyway, I’m going to strongly disagree with Mike that this “agreement” is anything but Google throwing it’s “never do/be evil” slogan under the bus along with those who were fool enough to believe it.

In exchange for a virtually unregulated wireline internet we get a replacement a mobile “quasi-internet” which is really a private network(s). Sort of Compuspend reborn. This hardly makes things any better as it creates two classes of internet users and I’m as sure as I am that the sky is blue that they won’t be compatible.

And no, it’s not just a way of Verizon saying “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” with respect to wireline it’s they’re way of getting out of running fibre to the house by making a bet the farm bet on mobile sets. It’s Verizon’s way of saying “Hallelujah, we don’t have to fix wireline we just found our way out of it!”

If you think the antenna whine was loud over the iPhone just wait till the next sunspot increase due in the next year or two ramps up and see what it does to the celluar spectrum!

At the end of the day Verizon gets their two tier “internet” and we get diddly. Dunno what Google got. Hope it was lots.

Josh says:

1. Under their proposal, there would be no Net Neutrality on wireless networks — meaning anything goes, from blocking websites and applications to pay-for-priority treatment.

2. Their proposed standard for “non-discrimination” on wired networks is so weak that actions like Comcast’s widely denounced blocking of BitTorrent would be allowed.

3. The deal would let ISPs like Verizon — instead of Internet users like you — decide which applications deserve the best quality of service. That’s not the way the Internet has ever worked, and it threatens to close the door on tomorrow’s innovative applications. (If RealPlayer had been favored a few years ago, would we ever have gotten YouTube?)

4. The deal would allow ISPs to effectively split the Internet into “two pipes” — one of which would be reserved for “managed services,” a pay-for-play platform for content and applications. This is the proverbial toll road on the information superhighway, a fast lane reserved for the select few, while the rest of us are stuck on the cyber-equivalent of a winding dirt road.

5. The pact proposes to turn the Federal Communications Commission into a toothless watchdog, left fruitlessly chasing consumer complaints but unable to make rules of its own. Instead, it would leave it up to unaccountable (and almost surely industry-controlled) third parties to decide what the rules should be.

If there’s a silver lining in this whole fiasco it’s that, last I checked anyway, it wasn’t up to Google and Verizon to write the rules. That’s why we have Congress and the FCC.

Certainly by now we should have learned — from AIG, Massey Energy, BP, you name it — what happens when we let big companies regulate themselves or hope they’ll do the right thing.

We need the FCC — with the backing of Congress and President Obama — to step and do the hard work of governing. That means restoring the FCC’s authority to protect Internet users and safeguarding real Net Neutrality once and for all.

Such a move might not be popular on Wall Street or even in certain corners of Silicon Valley, but it’s the kind of leadership the public needs right now.

Above is Excerpts from the Huffignton Post story:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/craig-aaron/google-verizon-pact-it-ge_b_676194.html

In addition in the future the majority of our Internet will come from Wireless networks such as cell phones. Which currently the FCC has the ability to regulate more than the pipes in the ground. This pact aims to circumvent that ability before people realize what they are losing.

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