On August 5th, we asked if Google and Verizon had made a secret pact to ensure Google’s traffic received priority over Verizon’s network. Google scolded the media–the NYTs mostly–tweeting:
NYTimes is wrong. We’ve not had any convos with VZN about paying for carriage of our traffic. We remain committed to an open internet.
Except, Google was playing its usual game of “don’t listen to what we say, listen to what we don’t say.” As it turns out, Google and Verizon had been in talks with each other and the door is open for them to come to some arrangement over the carriage of Google’s traffic. It just doesn’t apply to wired networks. Wireless networks are fair game!
And that’s the message that Google and Verizon basically sent to the FCC yesterday. The two companies drafted a proposal that would result in net neutrality remaining in place for wired internet connections, but wireless ones would be exempt from pretty much everything.
Oh really? We’re going to let two monopolist companies determine the fate of net neutrality? Just because the proposal sounds good to Google and Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Yahoo, et al just need to tow the line?
Not so fast!
Apparently, we can thank the FCC for growing a pair and not accept a bit-part-player in Google and Verizon’s plans to revamp the internet. Says FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps:
“Some will claim this announcement moves the discussion forward. That’s one of its many problems. It is time to move a decision forward—a decision to reassert FCC authority over broadband telecommunications, to guarantee an open Internet now and forever, and to put the interests of consumers in front of the interests of giant corporations.”
This is not the first time that Google has tried to bully the FCC into agreeing to its terms. That didn’t end too well for Google. I suspect this won’t either.