Google counters neutrality criticism but faces protest Friday

googleplexWe’re not evil, we really mean it! Google continues to face strong criticism for teaming up with Verizon on a Net neutrality proposal earlier this week. Today, several consumer groups that have typically been on Google’s side of most technology arguments — including Free Press, MoveOn.org and others — are planning a protest at Google’s Mountain View campus.

To beat such critics to the punch, Google’s Washington counsel Richard Whitt posted a long blog post on Thursday aiming to counteract myths about the Google/Verizon proposal, including:

FACT: It’s true that Google previously has advocated for certain openness safeguards to be applied in a similar fashion to what would be applied to wireline services. However, in the spirit of compromise, we have agreed to a proposal that allows this market to remain free from regulation for now, while Congress keeps a watchful eye.

Why? First, the wireless market is more competitive than the wireline market, given that consumers typically have more than just two providers to choose from. Second, because wireless networks employ airwaves, rather than wires, and share constrained capacity among many users, these carriers need to manage their networks more actively. Third, network and device openness is now beginning to take off as a significant business model in this space.

engebretsonicon copyConnected Planet’s take,
Joan Engebretson:

Of all the Net neutrality guidelines that backers hope to achieve, imposing NN guidelines on wireless service will be one of the most difficult. Although the FCC with its proposed “third-way” plan appears to favor some elements of Net neutrality, commissioners have indicated a need for different policies toward wireless because of unique congestion issues posed by spectrum-based communications.

Now that Google has reached the agreement with Verizon, that leaves only the consumer groups arguing for some of the more restrictive elements of Net neutrality, such as those involving wireless.

That’s our take on this. Let us know what you think in the comment section below:

4 Responses to “Google counters neutrality criticism but faces protest Friday”

  1. George says:

    I think Google has come to its senses and so will the rest of them. There is no such a thing as a free lunch

  2. Aavishkar says:

    Google needs to remember two old adages.

    “It takes time and perseverance to build a good reputation but just one mistake to leave it in ruins.”

    And

    “A person is known by the company she/he keeps”.

    Google might have achieved much more had they chosen to go it alone rather than have the albatross of Verizon’s customer unfriendly reputation queer the pitch.

  3. Mary Evslin says:

    Much of rural America does not have the choice of two mobile providers..in many cases we have none. And the argument about limited bandwidth for mobile providers is, in rural America, the same for land line providers. We have limited or no bandwidth to residences, very, very inadequate backhaul and a growing desire to use data for new services.

    I don\’t see the difference. Mary

  4. Any NN decision should be part of a National Broadband Strategy aimed at digital inclusion and closing the divide caused by redlining. If private firms can’t justify extending broadband to rural and underserved communities, and those that do enjoy a monopoly, then we should encourage public networks and public-private partnerships that promote competition.

    The 10-year-old TechNet objective of 100Mbps to 100M HH by 2010 was obsolete when conceived. The bandwidth goal should have been 1Gbps to break the “chicken vs. egg” dilemma where service providers don’t deploy until there’s enough market demand and application need, but app developers can’t create until bandwidth is there. Private entities may not be able to justify such investments, but governments can. Public investments measure success differently, and it’s not necessarily ROI and payback period. Public entities invest in infrastructure – like bridges, highways, air and sea ports, and the electric grid. Today broadband Internet access is critical infrastructure.

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