FCC member condemns Google and Verizon over net neutrality plans

November 18, 2010

A Federal Communications Commissioner has condemned the Verizon-Google take on net neutrality. Michael Copps (pictured) said the public should not stand for deals “that exchange Internet freedom for bloated profits.”

Copps was speaking at a public hearing in Albuquerque titled “The Future Of The Internet.” Among the topics he addressed was a proposal by Google and Verizon to settle the ongoing debate about net neutrality. The two companies argued that the principle of all traffic being treated equally should be enforced, but only for wired communications, with wireless internet not regulated in such a manner.

They also called for an exemption for “additional, differentiated online services, in addition to the Internet access and video services”, such that services that were “distinguishable from traditional broadband Internet access services” were not covered by net neutrality.

At the time Copps criticized the idea, but in this week’s speech he took a much firmer line:

The world envisioned by the Verizon-Google Gaggle was one built of private Internets that would vastly diminish the centrality of the Internet that you and I know. They want a tiered Internet. “Managed services” is what they call this. “Gated communities for the Affluent” is what I call them.

Despite the criticism, Copps said the responsibility to deal with the issue was for the commission: ” I suppose you can’t blame companies for seeking to protect their own interests. But you can blame policy-makers if we let them get away with it.”

Copps also took a swipe at the FCC’s own previous actions in agreeing to reclassify broadband internet as an information rather than communications service, thus heavily reducing its own regulatory powers on the issue.

While Copps was on the offensive, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski was a little more restrained. He told the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco, “I would have preferred if [Verizon and Google] didn’t do exactly what they did when they did it. It had the effect of slowing down some processes.”

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5 Responses to “FCC member condemns Google and Verizon over net neutrality plans”

  1. Earthman:

    Especially the airwaves are public property and the public must not be gouged for using them.
    These companies try anything to avoid investing in their business. In this case, innovation isn’t even required- Japan and Korea already have bandwith to shame US telecoms. Don’t come asking for tax breaks again until after the fiberoptic network is built.

  2. AMEN291:

    their business.

  3. Steve:

    Good for him. These corporations are not above anything to improve profit and if that involves choking freedom then they’ll do it. Someone needs to stop these people who don’t realize there’s more to life than money.

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