Fwd: [IP] [warning: layer 8/9] "Strange bedfellows, " aka a joint statement from Verizon Wireless and Google

tvest at eyeconomics.com tvest at eyeconomics.com
Thu Oct 22 12:04:03 UTC 2009

Interesting, curious... but meaningful?

To my mind Google's language seems to be focused on wireline issues,  
which I guess are probably quite a bit easier for Verizon Wireless to  
Conversely, VW's emphasis on continuing self-regulation of wireless  
access would seem to be of secondary importance, at best, to Google.

Does this mean that a future of combat over "my (TCP) ports" is  
somewhat less likely?
Does this mean that Google won't be offering me FTTH within the next  
2-3 years?

Inquiring minds take note!


Begin forwarded message:

> From: David Farber <dave at farber.net>
> Date: October 22, 2009 7:27:48 AM EDT
> To: "ip" <ip at v2.listbox.com>
> Subject: [IP] Finding Common Ground on an Open Internet -  a joint  
> statement from Lowell McAdam, CEO Verizon Wireless and Eric Schmidt,  
> CEO Google.
> Reply-To: dave at farber.net
> A Technology and Telecommunications Policy Blog
> Thursday, October 22, 2009
> Finding Common Ground on an Open Internet
> The following is a joint statement from Lowell McAdam, CEO Verizon  
> Wireless and Eric Schmidt, CEO Google.
> Verizon and Google might seem unlikely bedfellows in the current  
> debate
> around network neutrality, or an open Internet. And while it's true we
> do disagree quite strongly about certain aspects of government  
> policy in
> this area--such as whether mobile networks should even be part of the
> discussion--there are many issues on which we agree. For starters we
> both think it's essential that the Internet remains an unrestricted  
> and
> open platform--where people can access any content (so long as it's
> legal), as well as the services and applications of their choice.
> There are two key factors driving innovation on the web today. First  
> is
> the programming language of the Internet, which was designed over  
> forty
> years ago by engineers who wanted the freedom to communicate from any
> computer, anywhere in the world. It enables Macs to talk to PCs,
> Blackberry Storms to iPhones, the newest computers to the oldest
> hardware on the planet across any kind of network--cable, DSL, fiber,
> mobile, WiFi or even dial up.
> Second, private investment is dramatically increasing broadband  
> capacity
> and the intelligence of networks, creating the infrastructure to  
> support
> ever more sophisticated applications.
> As a result, however or wherever you access the Internet the people  
> you
> want to connect with can receive your message. There is no central
> authority that can step in and prevent you from talking to someone  
> else,
> or that imposes rules prescribing what services should be available.
> Transformative is an over-used word, especially in the tech sector.  
> But
> the Internet has genuinely changed the world. Consumers of all stripes
> can decide which services they want to use and the companies they  
> trust
> to provide them. In addition, if you're an entrepreneur with a big  
> idea,
> you can launch your service online and instantly connect to an  
> audience
> of billions. You don't need advance permission to use the network.  At
> the same time, network providers are free to develop new applications,
> either on their own or in collaboration with others.
> This kind of "innovation without permission" has changed the way we do
> business forever, fueling unprecedented collaboration, creativity and
> opportunity. And because America has been at the forefront of most of
> these changes, we have disproportionately benefited in terms of  
> economic
> growth and job creation.
> So, in conjunction with the Federal Communications Commission's  
> national
> plan to bring broadband to all Americans, we understand its decision  
> to
> start a debate about how best to protect and promote the openness of  
> the
> Internet. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has promised a thoughtful,
> transparent decision-making process, and we look forward to taking  
> part
> in the analysis and discussion that is to follow. We believe this kind
> of process can work, because as the two of us have debated these  
> issues
> we have found a number of basic concepts to agree on.
> First, it's obvious that users should continue to have the final say
> about their web experience, from the networks and software they use,  
> to
> the hardware they plug in to the Internet and the services they access
> online. The Internet revolution has been people powered from the very
> beginning, and should remain so. The minute that anyone, whether from
> government or the private sector, starts to control how people use the
> Internet, it is the beginning of the end of the Net as we know it.
> Second, advanced and open networks are essential to the future
> development of the Web. Policies that continue to provide incentives  
> for
> investment and innovation are a vital part of the debate we are now
> beginning.
> Third, the FCC's existing wireline broadband principles make clear  
> that
> users are in charge of all aspects of their Internet experience--from
> access to apps and content. So we think it makes sense for the
> Commission to establish that these existing principles are  
> enforceable,
> and implement them on a case-by-case basis.
> Fourth, we're in wild agreement that in this rapidly changing Internet
> ecosystem, flexibility in government policy is key. Policymakers
> sometimes fall prey to the temptation to write overly detailed rules,
> attempting to predict every possible scenario and address every  
> possible
> concern. This can have unintended consequences.
> Fifth, broadband network providers should have the flexibility to  
> manage
> their networks to deal with issues like traffic congestion, spam,
> "malware" and denial of service attacks, as well as other threats that
> may emerge in the future--so long as they do it reasonably, consistent
> with their customers' preferences, and don't unreasonably discriminate
> in ways that either harm users or are anti-competitive. They should  
> also
> be free to offer managed network services, such as IP television.
> Finally, transparency is a must. Chairman Genachowski has proposed
> adding this principle to the FCC's guidelines, and we both support  
> this
> step.  All providers of broadband access, services and applications
> should provide their customers with clear information about their
> offerings.
> Doubtless, there will be disagreements along the way. While Verizon
> supports openness across its networks, it believes that there is no
> evidence of a problem today -- especially for wireless -- and no basis
> for new rules and that regulation in the US could have a detrimental
> effect globally. While Google supports light touch regulation, it
> believes that safeguards are needed to combat the incentives for
> carriers to pick winners and losers online.
> Both of our businesses rely on each other. So we believe it's
> appropriate to discuss how we ensure that consumers can get the
> information, products, and services they want online, encourage
> investment in advanced networks and ensure the openness of the web
> around the world. We're ready to engage in this important policy
> discussion.

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