Google-Verizon deal raises Eshoo's eyebrows


News about a potentially game-changing deal between Mountain View's Google and Verizon has caught the attention of local Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, who has "real concerns" that the deal risks undermining efforts by the FCC to maintain net neutrality and could "widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots" online.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that a deal is in the offing between Google and Verizon for Android-equipped phones that would "allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content's creators are willing to pay for the privilege."

Advocates of net neutrality say such a deal would set a precedent and lead to more companies like Google paying for trouble-free access to online content, while blocking or slowing down access to other content and online applications. The deal has been widely cast among Internet denizens as a violation of Google's "don't be evil" policy.

As far as Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, is concerned, "I remain a champion to ensure that the next Google is able to flourish on the Internet, and not have its content sit in the slow lane."

The reported Google-Verizon deal risks current efforts by the FCC to regulate broadband access, she added.

"FCC Chairman Genachowski is making progress on net neutrality, but he must act quickly to protect an open and free Internet." Eshoo writes.  "And I believe these reported side deals by companies risk undermining his efforts.

Eshoo, who sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, also said such a deal could lead to costlier Internet access for consumers.

"Premium pricing for access to the Internet, whether accessing it via phone or Internet, is bad for consumers, especially those who can't afford to pay for high speed access," Eshoo writes. "This would widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots."

Google has denied that the deal would end net neutrality. CEO Eric Schmidt has told the press that said that Google does not believe that certain content providers should have priority over others, but Google does believe that certain types of data should have better connectivity, such as digital voice.


Like this comment
Posted by steve
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 6, 2010 at 2:41 pm

NEWS FLASH: There will always be haves and have nots, and, surprise of all surprises, there will always be a gap between them.

For example, there are people who can afford to own a house in Palo Alto (premium housing) vs those who can afford to rent in East Palo Alto (not so premium housing) a.k.a the haves and the have nots.

Like this comment
Posted by News Flash
a resident of Castro City
on Aug 6, 2010 at 3:37 pm

The Voice needs to follow the news more closely.

Google has said: "The NYT is quite simply wrong. We have not had any conversations with Verizon about paying for carriage of Google or YouTube traffic. We remain as committed as we always have been to an open Internet."

Verizon has said: "The NYT article regarding conversations between Google and Verizon is mistaken. It fundamentally misunderstands our purpose. As we said in our earlier FCC filing, our goal is an Internet policy framework that ensures openness and accountability, and incorporates specific FCC authority, while maintaining investment and innovation. To suggest this is a business arrangement between our companies is entirely incorrect."

The article should say that Google and Verizon deny that there is any such deal rather than saying the Google denies that the nonexistent deal is bad. If they deny the deal then it's arguable whether this is news at all or just furthering a rumor mill.

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Posted by Na_Dude
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Aug 6, 2010 at 4:07 pm

***From NYTimes Article***
"nearing an agreement that could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege".

"The agreement could eventually lead to higher charges for Internet users".

I'm sick of these companies trying to squeeze every freakin dollar out of every possible person.

Like this comment
Posted by dfb
a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 6, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Congresswoman Eshoo, it is Congress who is responsible, not the FCC. The Communications Act is outdated, based on technology model that is nearly 100 years old. The Act needs to be scrapped, rewritten so that it is modeled on our modern communications systems. So get cracking and work with policy and legal experts on crafting a modern communications act based on a layered regulatory model. Kevin Werbach is a good person to approach for help.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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