To whom it may concern: I have always loved humor and laughter. As a young engineer I got an impulse to start a Dial-a-Joke in the San Jose/San Francisco area.
We’ve already covered the FCC Net Neutrality vote earlier today, but something new has come to light. Something that’s very odd. Something that’s quite frankly a little terrifying. Engadget dug up the FCC’s release [ PDF ] and found the following nugget buried in the all-important section “Measured Steps for Mobile Broadband”: Further, we recognize that there have been meaningful recent moves toward openness, including the introduction of open operating systems like Android. In addition, we anticipate soon seeing the effects on the market of the openness conditions we imposed on mobile providers that operate on upper 700 MHz C-Block spectrum, which includes Verizon Wireless, one of the largest mobile wireless carriers in the U.S.
Posted by Alan Davidson, Google director of public policy and Tom Tauke, Verizon executive vice president of public affairs, policy, and communications The original architects of the Internet got the big things right. By making the network open, they enabled the greatest exchange of ideas in history. By making the Internet scalable, they enabled explosive innovation in the infrastructure. It is imperative that we find ways to protect the future openness of the Internet and encourage the rapid deployment of broadband.
Editor’s note : Jonathan Askin is Associate Professor of Clinical Law at Brooklyn Law School and Founding Director of the Brooklyn Law and Incubator Policy Clinic ( BLIP ). He previously worked at the FCC and for the Obama campaign on telecommuncation policy. I can’t help but analogize Google’s role in the Net Neutrality Wars with Anakin’s shift to the Dark Side in Star Wars . I’m watching the discussion about the policy framework to govern the Internet with the repelled fascination of a guy who, as a child, loved Star Wars Episodes 4-6 and now, as an adult, begrudgingly watches Episodes 1-3. In the present drama, Verizon plays the Emperor, Google plays Anakin, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plays the Old Republic, and Internet-Company-Not-Yet-Born might play Luke Skywalker—if the FCC is not blinded by the Verizon-Google Jedi mind trick and can formulate a forward-looking Internet policy framework that will foster competition and innovation.
Last week, a firestorm erupted after Google and Verizon jointly proposed new rules to lawmakers for protecting the “open Internet” and net neutrality. When Google and Verizon professed their love for the open Internet (“Google cares a lot about the open Internet,” said CEO Eric Schmidt), they left out the future of the Internet, the wireless Internet. Instead, they would only apply to the wired Internet.
The Tea Party, the “American socio-political movement that emerged in 2009 through a series of locally and nationally coordinated protests,” and known for its colorful protest signs (as seen here), hates Net Neutrality . Why does the Tea Party hate Net Neutrality? “I think the clearest thing is it’s an affront to free speech and free markets.” Thus spoke Jaime Radtke, chairwoman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriot Federation. Net Neutrality is an affront to free speech?
Last month, I wrote that it was hard to feel sorry for AT&T . The context there was that their love/hate relationship with Apple over the years has been tough on them. Boo hoo. Today, AT&T is playing the sympathy card again — this time in the context of net neutrality. Pathetic. In a post entitled “ Wireless is Different, ” AT&T makes the case for why they agree with the Google/Verizon net neutrality proposal.
The past few days I’ve been bookmarking posts about Google, Verizon, and net neutrality to read later. For the past few hours I’ve been doing that — and I’ve barely made a dent. It seems that everyone who has ever written a word on the Internet is up in arms about the situation.
“ The new Internet. If AT&T and Verizon have their way .” That was the final warning in a public service announcement that ran on television in the run up to the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2007. Guess who made that video? Google. That’s striking, of course, because of the news this week that Google has now compromised with Verizon on a proposed net neutrality plan.