Tuesday, August 10, 2010

INTERNET - Attempt to Carve-Out WEB Access Niche

"Web Plan From Google and Verizon Is Criticized" by CLAIRE CAIN MILLER & MIGUEL HELFT, New York Times 8/9/2010


Google and Verizon on Monday introduced a proposal for how Internet service should be regulated — and were immediately criticized by groups that favor keeping the network as open as possible.

According to the proposal, Internet service providers would not be able to block producers of online content or offer them a paid “fast lane.” It says the Federal Communications Commission should have the authority to stop or fine any rule-breakers.

The proposal, however, carves out exceptions for Internet access over cellphone networks, and for potential new services that broadband providers could offer. In a joint blog post, the companies said these could include things like health care monitoring, “advanced educational services, or new entertainment and gaming options.”

The two companies are hoping to influence regulators and lawmakers in the debate over a principle known as net neutrality, which holds that Internet users should have equal access to all types of information online.

This principle is crucial for consumers and for fostering innovation among Internet entrepreneurs, Eric E. Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, said in a call with reporters. “The next two people in a garage really do need an open Internet,” he said.

But some proponents of net neutrality say that by excluding wireless and other online services, Google and Verizon are creating a loophole that could allow carriers to circumvent regulation meant to ensure openness.

The plan “creates an Internet for the haves and an Internet for the have-nots,” said Andrew Jay Schwartzman, senior vice president and policy director at the Media Access Project, an advocacy group in Washington and a member, along with Google, of the Open Internet Coalition. “It may make some services unaffordable for consumers and access to those services unavailable to new start-ups.”

Ivan Seidenberg, chief executive of Verizon, said the proposal excluded cellphone networks because the companies were “concerned about the imposition of too many rules” that could slow the growth of the wireless Web.

HINT: Eric and his cohorts are only interested in making money, "growth of the wireless Web" = exclusive (non-open) profits me. As if Wireless WEB is different than Internet WEB (WWW).

Personal message for Eric, UP YOURS!

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