August 13, 2010

Google Clarifies Net Neutrality Policy Proposal

Google on Thursday denied selling out on the idea of insuring all data is treated equally when it comes to routing traffic on the Internet.

A legal agenda for "net neutrality" proposed this week by Google and US telecom giant Verizon has led to "myths" about the Internet firm's devotion to the other cause, said Google media counsel Richard Whitt in a blog post.

According to Whitt, Google has not "sold out" when it comes to net neutrality and the proposal would not exempt wireless Internet connections from rules of fairness regarding handling of digital information.

Google had "decided to partner with a major broadband provider on the best policy solution" they could devise together, Whitt said.

"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 said.

Efforts to figure out how regulators should keep Internet service providers from giving preferential treatment to some data at the expense of other bits of information have been unsuccessful.

A US appeals court in April dealt a setback to the FCC's efforts to force ISPs to treat all Web traffic equally. The court decided that the FCC had not been granted legal authority by Congress to regulate the network management practices of ISPs.

"We're not so presumptuous to think that any two businesses could, or should, decide the future of this issue," Whitt said. "We're simply trying to offer a proposal to help resolve a debate which has largely stagnated after five years."


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