Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's Fine to Disagree with Google-Verizon Net Neutrality Agreement, But Disagree with the Actual Agreement

Many critics are wrongly deriding the Google-Verizon agreement on network neutrality as a "two-tiered Internet," which he called "dead wrong," says Tom Tauke, Verizon's executive vice president of public affairs.

Tauke pointed out the the deal explictly prevents Verizon from offering anything other than "best effort" Internet, with no packet prioritization, on its fixed network.

Internet access then would remain a simple best effort access, with no "better" tiers of service allowable on Verizon's part. If application providers decide that is something they want to do, all initiative rests with them.

On the other hand, one can imagine many useful managed services that would benefit from quality-of-service measures. Broadband, in other words, is more than simple Internet access. It also is the platform for "tele-work, health-care monitoring, smart grids, smart transportation" and other services, Tauke said.

Some will argue the rules need to extend to wireless networks as well. It's fine to disagree with that part of the agreement. But it isn't correct to label the deal some sort of "tiered access" regime where it comes to the fixed network. That just isn't correct.

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