Press Release

Public Knowledge Calls Verizon-Google Deal ‘Regrettable’

August 4, 2010 , , , ,

Background:  It has been reported that Verizon and Google have reached a private agreement on a legislative proposal for Net Neutrality.

The following is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge:

“The deal between Verizon and Google about how to manage Internet traffic is deeply regrettable and should be considered meaningless.  As a legal agreement, it is not binding on either company.  As an agreement in principle, it should not be taken as a template or basis for Congressional action.

“The fate of the Internet is too large a matter to be decided by negotiations involving two companies, even companies as big as Verizon and Google, or even the six companies and groups engaged in other discussions at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on similar topics.

“There is an open, public and comprehensive process at the FCC to decide the more fundamental issues of FCC authority over broadband, an issue that not only applies to network management but also is crucial to whether millions of people will have broadband service supported by universal service.  The FCC should focus its energies on resolving the issues in those dockets and discontinue any private talks.

“The point of a network neutrality rule is to prevent big companies from dividing the Internet between them. We do not need rules to protect Google and Verizon, but we need a rule to protect the customers of Google and Verizon and the competitors of Google and Verizon.”