Late last week reports were circulating that Google and Verizon were in secret talks regarding net neutrality. It appears today that those reports were half right. They have been involved in private meetings trying to reach an agreement but their goal according to a joint announcement today is actually for net neutrality.
It all started when the New York Times published an article alleging the two were in cahoots and attempting to work out an agreement after their group meetings with the FCC and other Internet service and content providers like AT&T and Skype were getting them nowhere. It made sense that perhaps it would be in Google’s best interest to garner a deal with one of the leading ISPs in the business considering Google is one of the largest providers of content on the web and the Google owned YouTube is an easy target for ISPs claiming it slows their service to customers. But Google has been pro net neutrality since the argument began.
After both companies denied any sort of deal last week but confirmed they were talking, they announced earlier today a joint effort for net neutrality. The two are proposing an enforceable net neutrality agreement that provides a few basic guidelines but does not lead to “anti-competitive measures that hurt consumers.” Click the following link to view their proposal: Verizon-Google Legislative Framework Proposal.
There are still some skeptics that feel there are some ulterior motives behind Google’s and Verizon’s joint venture. Others feel there is too much room for interpretation that could lead to loopholes that fly in the face of net neutrality. Regardless of their intentions and the potential for others to engage in shady business practices, this seems to be a positive step toward net neutrality. Whether this specific proposal is actually adopted by internet service and content providers and the government remains to be seen but it is a big statement. Two of the biggest names involved on opposite sides of the debate have come together. They agree that net neutrality is a good thing and the free and open exchange of information is worth more than a few extra bucks per month to speed certain content through the internet.
What do you think? Is this a step in the right direction? What sort of implications will this have on the discussions being led by the FCC?