Can you believe the sheer gall/arrogance/evil/greed of Google and Verizon to think that they can just come waltzing in here on a summer afternoon, unveil their own proposal/deal/agreement/plan and think that it might somehow kick the FCC into gear and force Washington to move this Net Neutrality matter out of debate mode and into a decision mode? Who died and gave Google and Verizon the right to decide what's best for the future of the Internet?
As you might have guessed, the public outcry against the Google-Verizon "proposal" (that word is actually in Google's blog post headline) has largely been negative, with some people portraying Google as an evil being out a bad 1950s horror movie, the ultimate villain who's coming in to rob each of us of our birth-given right to 50 Mbps download speeds.
Come on, people. It's not an agreement or a deal or even a "bill" (as it has been referred to). And anyone who thinks it is either 1) didn't read the proposal as it was offered via Google's official blog post or 2) has no concept of how long, drawn-out and overly detailed any official document in Washington can be.
The Google-Verizon document was not quite two pages long. Yes, two pages. I think I actually turned in longer outlines for high school English essays. But that's OK. This Google-Verizon proposal rightly should not have been bogged down with details. The folks in Washington still need to sort through those. But before they can do that, they need a framework. Now, they have one - from two of the largest technology companies, no less.
Whether you like it or not, this proposal could very well serve as the new starting point, co-offered by both content provider and service provider, a compromise of sorts that symbolizes the industry's interest in moving forward. Of course, this is only the first step of what will continue to be a long journey. Thanks to the power of the Internet - which includes blog comments and tweets - there's been no shortage of public feedback on what people like and don't like about the plan.
The most unpopular part of the proposal came in the form of an exclusion to the rules for wireless. Critics overwhelmingly pointed to the wireless exception as one of the biggest red flags of the proposal - and I'm inclined to agree. But I'd have to see more details about what Google and Verizon have in mind, what sort of red flags the FCC throws out and how the public reacts to proposed changes.
You can't have a process for shaping legislation without a starting point. That's what this Google-Verizon proposal is - something to build upon.