Google on Thursday fired back at critics of its net neutrality policy proposal with Verizon. In a nutshell, Google said it wasn't a sell out, hasn't shelved wireless net neutrality plans and denied it's working with Verizon because of its Android ties.
In a blog post, Google's Washington counsel Richard Whitt tried to debunk "a number of inaccuracies" to move the debate along. Among the key highlights:
- Google said it is not a sellout on network neutrality. Google said it has been working on the issue for five years, but partnering with carriers makes the most sense. "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," said Whitt.
- Whitt also countered that its policy proposal with Verizon is a step back for an open Internet. Enforceable rules are better than having the FCC impose regulations on the Internet.
- Google acknowledged that it has advocated openness on the wireless front, but you have to compromise somewhere. Whitt wrote:
It’s also important to keep in mind that the future of wireless broadband increasingly will be found in the advanced, 4th generation (4G) networks now being constructed. Verizon will begin rolling out its 4G network this fall under openness license conditions that Google helped persuade the FCC to adopt. Clearwire is already providing 4G service in some markets, operating under a unique wholesale/openness business model. So consumers across the country are beginning to experience open Internet wireless platforms, which we hope will be enhanced and encouraged by our transparency proposal.
Meanwhile, Google chafed at the argument that the company is too tight with Verizon. Google said the companies outlined a policy proposal not a business deal. The idea is to advance the net neutrality debate that has gone nowhere for five years.