Despite a high degree of opposition, Google is defending its net neutrality proposal co-authored with broadband and wireless provider Verizon. The search giant on Thursday issued counterarguments on six points (Google calls them myths) that the company believes have been misunderstood about its proposal. Google says the proposed framework defends net neutrality, would protect the current Internet we enjoy today, and is definitely not about writing legislation from the boardroom.
Let's take a look at the highlights from Google's defense.
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We're no sell-outs
Google says its proposal has not sold out the fundamental concept of net neutrality. The idea that an Internet provider should not be allowed to restrict Web data traffic based on the traffic's contents.
"No other company is working as tirelessly [as Google] for an open Internet," the company's statement says. Google goes on to explain how it felt compelled to negotiate a framework with Verizon, because of the stagnant political situation in Washington. The company then said the proposal has "key enforceable protections" for users, which is better than having no protection at all.
The problem is it's unclear whether the Google-Verizon proposal really would protect users. The proposal leaves wireless networks out of net neutrality regulation entirely. The agreement would also create a two-tiered Internet with a net neutral public Internet (the World Wide Web we use today), and a private non-neutral Internet for premium services that could be packaged similarly to cable television. Given the financial incentives from wireless and the private Internet, it's unclear whether the public Internet would survive under this system.
Doesn't kill wireless neutrality
Google says its proposal would not eliminate network neutrality over wireless cellular networks. The company believes the proposal's transparency rules that force companies to publicly report wireless traffic management policies would ensure providers played fair. Google also stuck to its belief that the wireless market is competitive enough that it doesn't warrant net neutrality regulation. "Network and device openness is now beginning to take off as a significant business model in this [the wireless] space," Google says.