Google has responded to some of the criticism and accusations it has been seeing recently after it announced a ‘net neutrality’ deal with Verizon. While Google has been trying to portray the deal as the best possible compromise on the matter, most people are saying that the company has ‘sold out.’Google counters this saying that a compromise was the best possible solution, in the circumstances. “[G]iven political realities, this particular issue has been intractable in Washington for several years now. At this time there are no enforceable protections,” Richard Whitt, Google’s Telecom and Media Counsel, explained.
“We’re not saying this solution is perfect, but we believe that a proposal that locks in key enforceable protections for consumers is preferable to no protection at all,” he added.
That may very well be true, but it’s a bit of fear-mongering. There are no ‘net neutrality’ laws or regulations in the US at the moment, yes, but telcos have managed to show some restraint even without them. What’s more, the FCC is trying to setup a legal framework on the matter, which would cover all communications, albeit without too much success.
Another “myth” Google is trying to dispel is that the “proposal represents a step backwards for the open Internet.” This relates to the first issue, because there are no regulations now, any framework is better than none at all, Google argues.
Of course, what people were actually saying is that the move is a step backward on what Google first wanted and fought for in terms of net neutrality. Google admits this much, it would be hard for it not to, but says it as a necessity.
“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,” the blog post adds.
Google says that the wireless market doesn’t need regulation because it is in the early stages and because it is more competitive. “[T]he wireless market is more competitive than the wireline market, given that consumers typically have more than just two providers to choose from,” Google says.
What’s more, the company says that the technical limitations of wireless communications are greater justifying the need for “network management.”
The company also argues against some of the harsher critics which are saying that Google’s business interests, namely Android, were put first. “This is a policy proposal – not a business deal. Of course, Google has a close business relationship with Verizon, but ultimately this proposal has nothing to do with Android,” Google says.
Finally, Google says that the proposal is just that, a proposal, it has no intentions of legislating the internet along with Verizon. The company says that because talks have stagnated, they’ve come up with this framework to get things moving again.