Just days after the FCC announced it was abandoning its efforts to reach a compromise on net neutrality, Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg laid out a "joint policy proposal" that would provide guidelines for how information and Internet traffic should be handled over wireless and wireline networks.
Google published the terms of the Google-Verizon agreement in a blog post titled "A Joint Policy for an Open Internet."
Their plan, which does not treat wireless and wireline networks equally and has been accused of having a "giant, enormous, science-fiction-quality" loophole, includes seven key elements, detailed in the slideshow below: (READ REACTIONS):
"There is no prioritization of traffic that would come from Google over the Internet, period," Verizon's CEO said. "There would be no paid prioritization of traffic over the Internet. If someone else wants to bundle capabilities in a new service that has different features, and those were transparent to everybody and measurable, that would be permissible." Both CEOs also emphasized that there was no business arrangement between the two companies.
Schmidt made reference to an article by the New York Times published Thursday, which reported that Google and Verizon were finalizing a deal that "could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content's creators are willing to pay for the privilege." "You've read a lot in the press since Thursday, almost all of which has been completely wrong," Schmidt said.
The proposal represents the two firms' "joint efforts to offer suggestions to the public policy arena to see how we can move our industry forward," explained Seidenberg. "We want to make sure we don't go backwards, because we end up with a lot of false promises." According to Seidenberg, the FCC will review the proposal and comment on it soon.
Initial reactions to the plan have been mixed, although critics have already slammed the proposal, arguing that it will create a two-tiered Internet and has major loopholes. Read what critics and supporters are saying about the proposal here.