Earlier this month Google and Verizon posted their collaborative proposal for an open Internet. The two major players have put their differences aside to collaborate again for the greater good. The proposal comes in response to a recent court ruling asserting that the FCC lacks the authority to impose net neutrality, something that Google and Verizon had been pushing along with several other corporate bodies.
In a nutshell, the new proposal is somewhat more of a compromise trying to achieve some desirable outcome for all parties involved. Firstly, both firms still believe that web users are entitled to choose what content, applications, or devices they consume on the Internet. Secondly, both firms want enforceable probation against discriminatory practices such as prioritisation (including paid prioritisation) and the blocking of Internet traffic. Thirdly, both Google and Verizon agreed that fewer restrictions within the wireless Internet space would be necessary with concerns that any ‘red tape’ could hinder this competitive environment, for the time being at least.
Keen to shift some of the authority back to the FCC, the proposal also states that, if passed into law, ISPs would be held accountable for breaking any of the ‘open Internet’ stipulations to the tune of up to $2 million. This means that the FCC would play a more regulatory role with the ability to fine “bad actors”, as the proposal puts it, for playing up. It’s also not a surprise to see that both Google and Verizon expressed their avid support for the National Broadband Plan to replace the existing assortment of network infrastructure. The questions is – with the latest election leaving everyone up in the air just how sweet a deal will the National Broadband Plan be for our industry?