Broadband

by Karl Bode


Filed Under:
bandwidth, broadband, fcc, net neutrality

Companies:
at&t, google, verizon



Verizon Thinks 'The Most Important Concept Of Net Neutrality' Is Giving Verizon More Money

from the feel-healthy-yet? dept

It's pretty clear at this point that after nearly a decade of histrionics and hyperbole on all sides that the definition of net neutrality has been somewhat warped. That's in no small part thanks to the larger carriers like AT&T and Verizon, who have consistently done their best to argue that they need to be allowed to engage in "creative" and "innovative" new pricing (read predatory price gouging) or they simply won't invest in the networks of tomorrow. Between the recent peering debates and Verizon's defeat of FCC neutrality rules things are as murky as ever.

Verizon's defeat of the FCC's neutrality rules was a double-edged sword for the company. On the one hand, they killed the rules (which they helped craft with Google and AT&T, and as a result did little), but on the other end, their real goal was to kill FCC authority to regulate broadband for good. Instead, the court re-enforced that the FCC does in fact have some (albeit shaky) authority to regulate broadband providers and impose neutrality rules, they just have to argue their case differently. All in all, things are murky as hell on the net neutrality front, but apparently not for Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam:
"McAdam addressed the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's proposed net neutrality rules during a conference call about the company's acquisition of Vodafone's 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless. The FCC's move this month to resurrect net neutrality rules should provide "clarity" for the broadband industry, said McAdam, whose company successfully challenged an old version of the regulations in court."
So McAdam apparently believes by throwing a stick in the spokes and killing the existing neutrality rules (which again, most ISPs liked because they did little to nothing, and didn't touch wireless), his company has brought "clarity." But what McAdam thinks is the most important thing for people to take away from the neutrality discussion is that paying Verizon increasingly more money is the truly important part:
"McAdam dismissed concerns that his company would selectively block or slow some Web content. "We make our money by carrying traffic," he said. "That's how we make dollars. So to view that we're going to be advantaging one over the other really is a lot of histrionics, I think, at this point." But McAdam suggested that broadband power users should pay extra. "It's only natural that the heavy users help contribute to the investment to keep the Web healthy," he said. "That is the most important concept of net neutrality."
That people already paying an arm and a leg for bandwidth never somehow pay their "fair share" has long been the cornerstone of the industry's effort to impose usage caps and overage on wireless and wired networks alike. In reality, it has never been about heavy users paying more, it has always been about all users paying more. And more. And more. One thing I believe Verizon can take comfort in is that while there's some uncertainty about what the new FCC rules will be, I think they'll largely be superficial in nature and will go to great lengths to avoid tramping Verizon's right to make the Internet "healthier" through abusive pricing practices.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2014 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Red flags go up

    "I stop listening when I hear people say "price gouging". When I also hear the word "predatory" in conjunction, I realize, the person has no good argument to make, and is not worth wasting time on."

    Exactly. Along with "crony capitalism". It's all just good old "capitalism", which all the commie socialists just hate. Techdirt has turned into a haven for left-wing nut-jobs.

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