Vint Cerf is the father of the Internet and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google, yet he has been silent on the issue of net neutrality in the wake of the recent Google/Verizon agreement to suspend neutrality when it comes to wireless.
Today on the Google policy blog there is a joint statement from Google and Verizon upholding net neutrality principles except when applied to wireless broadband.
"In recognition of the still-nascent nature of the wireless broadband marketplace, under this proposal we would not now apply most of the wireline principles to wireless, except for the transparency requirement. In addition, the Government Accountability Office would be required to report to Congress annually on developments in the wireless broadband marketplace, and whether or not current policies are working to protect consumers."
But this is a bullshit argument. Internet traffic has to prioritized on the backbones and local networks before it gets to the local wireless transmitters therefore it will be available in a prioritized order to local wireline consumers too.
Mr. Cerf has strong views on maintain net neutrality. Just over a year ago, on the Google policy blog he wrote:
"Allowing a handful of broadband carriers to determine what people see and do online would fundamentally undermine the features that have made the Internet such a success, and could permanently compromise the Internet as a platform for the free exchange of information, commerce, and ideas.
...we believe that providers should have the flexibility to manage traffic congestion and malware on their networks in non-discriminatory ways. They should not, however, be in the anti-competitive business of picking winners and losers."
Google and Verizon believe it is OK to pick winners and losers when it comes to wireless broadband. But does Mr. Cerf agree?
His absence in this debate could be seen as disagreement. After all, if Mr. Cerf had green lighted the Google deal with Verizon, it would carry great weight and help avert the tremendous amount of criticism surrounding this business partnership.