Out of Control Policy Blog

Some Early Takeways from the Verizon-Google Net Neutrality Proposal

Scott Cleland at Precursor.org has weighed in with his first impressions of the joint policy proposal on network neutrality from Verizon and Google yesterday, He cites two important takeaways, condensed here. See his blog entry for more insights.

First, it is even more clear that the FCC should give the legislative process time to play out on net neutrality.

While this is a legislative proposal of only two of the many major stakeholders in the net neutrality debate, it still sends a strong signal to Congress and the FCC that the stakeholder negotiating process -- that has been occurring over the last several weeks -- holds real potential for substantive progress and resolution, if the FCC is patient and gives the process the appropriate time and breathing room to play out....

Second, Google's many major concessions are an important reality check for the FCC and net neutrality absolutists. While FreePress and the net neutrality fringe demand the pure absolute net neutrality of a monopoly regulated utility under Title II, Google now apparently believes that extreme position is no longer credible....

In short, Verizon and Google appear to have changed the overall dynamic with their announcement, showing that stakeholder negotiations and the legislative option may be viable and should be given time and support to further develop.

Those who don't want a negotiated compromise, but seek a heavy-handed edict from the FCC, like FreePress, will surely push the FCC to go it alone, ignore Congress, and abandon the potential for a much more broadly negotiated settlement of this mess -- that will only get messier 'if the FCC rushes to usurp both Congress' and the Court's authority.

With the FCC's broadband regulatory authority up in the air after Comcast v. FCC, Verizon and Google are looking to demonstrate that the market can deliver a solution without a strignant regulatory regime. The ball is in FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's court now.



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