free html hit counter Second (Day) Thoughts on Google-Verizon Framework - Isn't This All About Android? - John Battelle's Search Blog

Second (Day) Thoughts on Google-Verizon Framework – Isn't This All About Android?

By - August 10, 2010

Today’s Washington Post has a second day editorial from the CEOs of Verizon and Google on their proposed legislative framework first announced Monday. Here it is:

Eric Schmidt and Ivan Seidenberg – From Google and Verizon, a path to an open Internet

I read this article three times and I am still not sure what exactly the two are trying to express, or what problem they are trying to solve. Are Google and Verizon in violent disagreement, but together have decided they can live with this compromise? Did the FCC ask the two to sit in a room and not come out till they had an agreement? If so, why?

And what kind of agreement is this? What’s the predicate? What obstacle stands in their way such that they had to get in the room in the first place? Is it really an enlightened attempt by two giants to further debate around a key policy issue? Or is it something else?

As it stands, this piece feels written by committee, and while it may not be fair to say this, it gives me the sense that the two parties are colluding in some way, creating and/or obscuring potential loopholes which will allow side deals in other parts of their business. In particular it raises my eyebrows as it relates to mobile, which the two companies suggest should be outside the framework. This feels forced. Something else is up. Does this have to do with Android, which has become to Verizon what the iPhone is to AT&T? Apple, after all, has pretty much got AT&T pinned down (though lord knows net neutrality ain’t gonna fly in Steve Jobs’ version of the Interwebs). I imagine Verizon, whose partner Google is well known for its pro-net neutrality stance, is not too happy with how the chess game might have played out. Did Verizon force Google into this position?

Because the position feels, well, not particularly “Googley”.

I’d love to be wrong. But this piece doesn’t make be comfortable. I’ll keep digging in, and if you have seen anything that might enlighten me, let me know. The proposal is here. More links as folks start to digest the news:

Google-Verizon plan: Why you should worry (Salon) Dan Gillmor’s analysis. In essence, he is arguing that the framework creates two Internets, one open and public, but over time ignored as an investment platform, the second private and fast, but expensive and dictated by corporations. Ick.

Google-Verizon Pact: It Gets Worse (HuffPo) A rant from the Free Press, which has been all over this since the beginning. Biased, but compelling.

Google and Verizon Offer a Vision for Managing Internet Traffic (NYT) The Times’ news take. Sums up the concerns pretty well.

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3 thoughts on “Second (Day) Thoughts on Google-Verizon Framework – Isn't This All About Android?

  1. Suzanne says:

    the idea that openness should be gated on a platform-by-platform basis is contrary to the basic tenets of net neutrality. content is, essentially, platform agnostic. obfuscating by calling up phantoms of 3D opera only serves to underline the ‘no, no, look over there’ shadiness of the charade. the ground rules for net access should be set after careful research and consideration by a broad spectrum of interested parties—government, advocacy groups, informed citizens, and sure, the giants who can’t help but view all through the lens of their own pocketbooks. we really shouldn’t leave it to the latter to determine the fate of information. our children deserve better.

  2. Brian S Hall says:

    Keep digging! I have written several posts on this; which I consider a Google betrayal. All have been amongst the most popular posts on my personal site.

  3. another John says:

    I follow Apple and I follow ‘net neutrality’. I fail to see where you come up with this:

    (though lord knows net neutrality ain’t gonna fly in Steve Jobs’ version of the Interwebs)

    As far as I know neither Apple Inc nor Mr. Jobs have any public stand on the issue.

    In fact, Jobs promotes the open standard of HTML5 for web apps. Would he want Goorizon to profit on that? Or would he want Verigle to profit from iTunes downloads?

    Doubtful. Yet you cast aspersions. What is the Redmond stance on this?