December 17, 2017

Web Plan From Google & Verizon Criticized

Internet ClickRecently Google and Verizon proposed how Internet services should be regulated. There was immediate criticism by groups that favor keeping their networks open. According to the proposal, Internet service providers would not be able to block producers of online content or offer them a paid fast lane with the exceptions over cell phone networks and potential new services for broadband providers.

These could include things like health care monitoring, advanced educational services or new entertainment and gaming options. Federal Communications Commission would have the authority to stop rule breakers.

The two companies are hoping to influence regulators and lawmakers to invoke net neutrality which holds that Internet users should have equal access to all types of information online.

Senior Vice President and policy director, Andrew Jay Schwartzman, says the plan creates an internet service for the haves and have-nots, making some services unaffordable for consumers or access unavailable for new start-ups.

The proposal excludes services that broadband providers may create and are not designed to circumvent the rules such as the Metropolitan Opera. The exception could let companies bypass open access regulations causing less incentive to invest in Internet capacity and pushing more content providers to creating alternative networks similar to cable TV.

Google and Verizon stressed that their plan was not a business deal but a policy proposal to follow for the Federal Communications commission to review. Jen Howard, spokeswoman for the F.C.C. says it would not immediately comment on the proposal but would probably demand net neutrality rules cover wireless and that details of any exceptions for specialized online services be made clear.

The opposition to open-access regulation has guarded reactions but demonstrates that it is possible to bridge differences on this issue.

"The more competition you have for broadband access, the less need you have for net-neutrality-type regulation" says Gregory L. Rosston, a former deputy chief economist at the F.C.C.