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Four Democrats slam Google and Verizon over net neutrality

By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, August 17, 2010 16:39 EDT
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Four members of Congress bashed a “net neutrality” proposal made by Google and Verizon, calling on US regulators to find their own way to insure all data is treated equally online.

“Rather than expansion upon a proposal by two large communications companies with a vested financial interest in the outcome, formal FCC action is needed,” the legislators said in a letter to Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski.

A copy of the letter available online Tuesday was signed by Congressional Democrats Anna Eshoo, Edward Markey, Mike Doyle and Jan Inslee.

The lawmakers condemned any paid prioritization of data routed over the Internet and called for wireless and wired connections to be held to the same standards of openness.

“These types of arrangements, whether they are called paid prioritization or fast lanes, harm the Internet,” the legislators argued in the letter.

“A common-sense non-discrimination requirement without loopholes is essential.”

They also rejected the idea of allowing carriers that provide wireless Internet service to provide “managed services” such as mobile television programs out of concern the data might win priority treatment.

“An overly broad interpretation of managed services would create an exception that swallows the rule,” the legislators maintained.

“For example, managed services might be rebranded or repackaged services and applications — only with priority treatment not available to competitors.”

The foursome did agree with Google and Verizon when it came to giving the FCC the power to regulate Internet service providers (ISPs).

Google and US telecom giant Verizon last week proposed a framework would ban “undue discrimination against any lawful Internet content” and give the FCC exclusive authority to oversee broadband Internet access service.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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