Google and Verizon outline vision for open internet

Net neutrality fears

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Google and Verizon have outlined their vision of the future of an open internet, although net neutrality supporters are still concerned that we could see a two-tier service.

The two companies see it as 'imperative' that we find ways of keeping the internet open and encourage the rapid spread of broadband worldwide.

"Verizon and Google are pleased to discuss the principled compromise our companies have developed over the last year concerning the thorny issue of 'network neutrality'," writes Alan Davidson, Google director of public policy and Tom Tauke, Verizon executive vice president of public affairs, policy, and communications on the Google Public Policy Blog.

"The original architects of the internet got the big things right. By making the network open, they enabled the greatest exchange of ideas in history. By making the internet scalable, they enabled explosive innovation in the infrastructure."

Wireless gets different rules

However, while both companies are keen to promote a transparent and open wired broadband service, the same rules do not apply for wireless.

"We both recognise that wireless broadband is different from the traditional wireline world, in part because the mobile marketplace is more competitive and changing rapidly," said the two companies.

Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said in a conference call: "This is a real step forward. Google cares a lot about the open internet. It has made it possible for its two founders to turn a powerful idea into this phenomenal business."

Net neutrality concerns

Net neutrality supporters are already expressing their concerns about the latest moves from Google and Verizon.

Joel Kelsey of public policy group Free Press told the BBC: "If codified, this arrangement will lead to toll booths on the information superhighway.

"It will lead to outright blocking of applications and content on increasingly popular wireless platforms. It would give companies like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T the right to decide which content will move fast and which should be slowed down."

Via Google Public Policy Blog