WATPA: FW: Statement by Google & Verizon: A joint policy proposal

From: Norman Jacknis <norm@jacknis.com>
Date: Mon Aug 09 2010 - 22:38:13 EDT

FYI -- the official proposal from Google and Verizon and two reactions to it
from net neutrality sources.

Here is the press release from Free Press: <http://bit.ly/aWf5If>
http://bit.ly/aWf5If and another from Susan Crawford:
<http://bit.ly/9QqVOy> http://bit.ly/9QqVOy

Posted by Alan Davidson, Google director of public policy and Tom Tauke,
Verizon executive vice president of public affairs, policy, and

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

It is imperative that we find ways to protect the future openness of the
Internet and encourage the rapid deployment of broadband. Verizon and Google
are pleased to discuss the principled compromise our companies have
developed over the last year concerning the thorny issue of "network

In October, our two companies issued a shared
n-internet.html> statement of principles on network neutrality. A
he-Open-Internet> few months later we submitted a joint filing to the FCC,
and in an April
px> joint op-ed our CEOs discussed their common interest in an open
Internet. Since that time, we have listened to all sides of the debate,
engaged in good faith with policy makers in multiple venues, and challenged
each other to craft a balanced policy framework. We have been guided by the
two main goals:

     1. Users should choose what content, applications, or devices they use,
since openness has been central to the explosive innovation that has made
the Internet a transformative medium.

     2. America must continue to encourage both investment and innovation to
support the underlying broadband infrastructure; it is imperative for our
global competitiveness.

Today our CEOs will announce a proposal that we hope will make a
constructive contribution to the dialogue. Our joint proposal takes the form
of a suggested legislative framework for consideration by lawmakers, and is
laid out here
posal> . Below we discuss the seven key elements:

First, both companies have long been proponents of the FCC's current
wireline broadband openness principles, which ensure that consumers have
access to all legal content on the Internet, and can use what applications,
services, and devices they choose. The enforceability of those principles
was called into serious question by the recent Comcast court decision. Our
proposal would now make those principles fully enforceable at the FCC.

Second, we agree that in addition to these existing principles there should
be a new, enforceable prohibition against discriminatory practices. This
means that for the first time, wireline broadband providers would not be
able to discriminate against or prioritize lawful Internet content,
applications or services in a way that causes harm to users or competition.

Importantly, this new nondiscrimination principle includes a presumption
against prioritization of Internet traffic - including paid prioritization.
So, in addition to not blocking or degrading of Internet content and
applications, wireline broadband providers also could not favor particular
Internet traffic over other traffic.

Third, it's important that the consumer be fully informed about their
Internet experiences. Our proposal would create enforceable transparency
rules, for both wireline and wireless services. Broadband providers would be
required to give consumers clear, understandable information about the
services they offer and their capabilities. Broadband providers would also
provide to application and content providers information about network
management practices and any other information they need to ensure that they
can reach consumers.

Fourth, because of the confusion about the FCC's authority following the
Comcast court decision, our proposal spells out the FCC's role and authority
in the broadband space. In addition to creating enforceable consumer
protection and nondiscrimination standards that go beyond the FCC's
preexisting consumer safeguards, the proposal also provides for a new
enforcement mechanism for the FCC to use. Specifically, the FCC would
enforce these openness policies on a case-by-case basis, using a
complaint-driven process. The FCC could move swiftly to stop a practice that
violates these safeguards, and it could impose a penalty of up to $2 million
on bad actors.

Fifth, we want the broadband infrastructure to be a platform for innovation.
Therefore, our proposal would allow broadband providers to offer additional,
differentiated online services, in addition to the Internet access and video
services (such as Verizon's FIOS TV) offered today. This means that
broadband providers can work with other players to develop new services. It
is too soon to predict how these new services will develop, but examples
might include health care monitoring, the smart grid, advanced educational
services, or new entertainment and gaming options. Our proposal also
includes safeguards to ensure that such online services must be
distinguishable from traditional broadband Internet access services and are
not designed to circumvent the rules. The FCC would also monitor the
development of these services to make sure they don't interfere with the
continued development of Internet access services.

Sixth, we both recognize that wireless broadband is different from the
traditional wireline world, in part because the mobile marketplace is more
competitive and changing rapidly. In recognition of the still-nascent nature
of the wireless broadband marketplace, under this proposal we would not now
apply most of the wireline principles to wireless, except for the
transparency requirement. In addition, the Government Accountability Office
would be required to report to Congress annually on developments in the
wireless broadband marketplace, and whether or not current policies are
working to protect consumers.

Seventh, and finally, we strongly believe that it is in the national
interest for all Americans to have broadband access to the Internet.
Therefore, we support reform of the Federal Universal Service Fund, so that
it is focused on deploying broadband in areas where it is not now available.

We believe this policy framework properly empowers consumers and gives the
FCC a role carefully tailored for the new world of broadband, while also
allowing broadband providers the flexibility to manage their networks and
provide new types of online services.

Ultimately, we think this proposal provides the certainty that allows both
web startups to bring their novel ideas to users, and broadband providers to
invest in their networks.

Crafting a compromise proposal has not been an easy process, and we have
certainly had our differences along the way. But what has kept us moving
forward is our mutual interest in a healthy and growing Internet that can
continue to be a laboratory for innovation. As policy makers continue to
formulate the rules of the road, we hope that other stakeholders will join
with us in providing constructive ideas for an open Internet policy that
puts consumers in charge and enhances America's leadership in the broadband
world. We stand ready to work with the Congress, the FCC and all interested
parties to do just that.

Posted By Google Public Policy Blog to Google
en-internet.html> Public Policy Blog at 8/09/2010 01:38:00 PM 
Received on Mon Aug 9 22:39:01 2010

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