Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Google-Verizon Net Proposal Smells of Lobbyists Crafting It To Be Law For Congress - With Loopholes Included

Having read the net neutrality proposal from Google and Verizon, I can’t help but wonder who’s hands were behind this.

If I had to guess, I think it’s mostly lobbyists that Verizon typically use to convince the Federal government to do its bidding. Yeah, my words aren’t so nice and if you’ve read my posts in the past, I care very little about the interests of wireless providers (I like T-Mobile but only because it’s less evil today than all the rest).

Why am I bring this up? I wouldn’t be surprise if Google And Verizon has an army of lobbyists ready to wine and dine members of Congress as well as those at the FCC to convince of the wisdom of their joint proposal on the Internet.

Let’s be clear. This is a bad proposal. It’s written and crafted as if it’s a bill to be passed through committee, voted on by Congress, and to be signed into law by the President. It’s filled with nice wordings like oversight, “public interests”, innovation, and fines. But it’s also filled with loop holes.

First, the most blatant is the exclusion of wireless services from any interference from the FCC. Wireless providers can do as they wish. Honestly, no good and valid reasons were provided. Why Google went along with this after it went a few rounds with Verizon during the 700Mhz auction? Was it just for show?

So while there is no evidence of a backroom deal between the two, you’d have to wonder what Google is getting out of this. And while Google has claim to want to make sure the “public Internet” doesn’t change and is protected, many services and products will be forced to migrate to the special Internet.

And you know what? If you want access, as a consumer, you’ll have to pay for it. Just like me. Dave the Mobile Sage said it best when I posed this issue to him. He said it’ll be like broadcast TV and cable. You get some things but you’ll have to pay for more if you want access to added information or media.

However, this isn’t broadcast. This is the Internet. Once we start allowing companies to carve their own fiefdom, it’ll be all over. Remember when Apple had eWorld and Microsoft tried a hand at its own Internet? Imagine if that had succeeded. Yahoo would have its own domain as would AOL. All the information that we have today behind walls, accessible only to privileged few.

This was suppose to be a short post but it really got a way from me. Bottomline. This proposal was crafted with the typical loopholes special interests put into place to give the little guys like you and me the shaft.

If you’re wondering where ATT is in all this, I’m guess they’re not happy with it. The loopholes are probably not big enough. As for all the rest like Microsft, media companies? Either silence is speaking volumes or they’re gauging the public’s pulse in this. My guess is that it’s both.

I have no aversion to corporations making money. I personally own a few shares here and there of Google, Apple, and some telecoms from mutual funds. So if they make money, it's better for me. But the need to squeeze every last penny out of the consumer is just something I don't understand at all.

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