Yes, By God We’re Still Talking About Net Neutrality

Tomorrow, the FCC will unveil its policy framework around network neutrality (yes, it did this last September but network neutrality is like tech policy’s Groundhog Day) and vote on the proposed rules. But even after the vote, it is an issue that won’t go away.

Google and Verizon Sell Their Net Neutrality Compromise

The news media wasn’t buying the network neutrality compromise that Google and Verizon shared on Monday, but today the two chief executives of the companies wrote a joint editorial explaining their goals and their proposed framework in the Washington Post. If they can get Congress to buy into it, the agreement could influence policy.

There are hundreds of millions of Internet users in the United States, and no two companies should be so presumptuous as to think they can solve this challenge alone.

–From a Washington Post editorial penned by Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg.

AT&T Tries to Strong-arm the Feds

As regulators dive deep into broadband politics, Ma Bell has turned not only to lobbyists, but also to threats. AT&T today issued a ho-hum press release — except for the last line, when it tied its billions in capital investment to favorable laws and regulations.

FCC’s Net Neutrality Push to Boldly Go Where Congress Has Failed Thrice Before

jgJulius Genachowski, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, plans to propose a set of rules to define network neutrality in a speech Monday at the Brookings Institution, according to the Wall Street Journal. The proposed rules would require carriers to treat all traffic across both wired and wireless networks equally, the Journal said. Carriers, especially those in the wireless realm, are likely to oppose such an effort, which they have consistently portrayed as the government interfering with their ability to manage their networks.
Monday would be an ideal time for Genachowski to initiate the debate, something Congress has done three times since 2006 with eight different bills. Genachowski is set to speak presumably as part of a release of a report by the institution that sings the praises of open networks. (We covered this report on Tuesday.) An FCC spokeswoman declined to comment, but affirmed that Genachowski was making a speech. Read More about FCC’s Net Neutrality Push to Boldly Go Where Congress Has Failed Thrice Before

FCC Committed to Enforcing Net Neutrality

[qi:105] Hey Comcast, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski has two words for you: network neutrality.
Actually he has more than two words. In an interview with TheHill.com, Chairman Genachowski said, “One thing I would say so that there is no confusion out there is that this FCC will support net neutrality and will enforce any violation of net neutrality principles.” The statement seems to be a direct answer to Comcast, which has questioned the legality of the FCC’s enforcement of network neutrality.
Comcast has filed an appeal of an FCC decision issued last August that rapped the broadband service provider on the knuckles for blocking P2P files using a special type of network management techniques. Comcast doesn’t believe the FCC has the authority when it comes to enforcing network neutrality. The FCC has until Sept. 21 to respond.
Chairman Genachowski told the Congress Daily that his general counsel, Austin Schlick, was “focusing on what exactly the right strategy is” in this fight with Comcast. He also told the publication that even though the FCC is focused on the National Broadband Stimulus, network neutrality remains a top priority.

How Neutral Should Wireless Networks Be?

As more of us hop on our 3G-connected smartphones or netbooks, and future 4G connections offer the promise of wired-like speeds via wireless networks, Ars Technica has posted a great article on how regulators in Canada are weighing the issue of network neutrality over wireless networks. Some of the practices described in the article seem egregious, such as carriers charging higher fees to access certain web sites or trying to charge more to send texts with advertising in them.

These clearly violate the assumptions of net neutrality, exactly like Verizon’s (s VZ) refusal to run politically minded text messages did. However, much like legislators use the awful specter of child porn to demand tougher rules about tracking online users, showcasing such examples of interference on wireless networks obscures a cold, hard truth: Wireless network neutrality may not be as practical as advocates might like. Read More about How Neutral Should Wireless Networks Be?

Google NOT Turning Its Back on Network Neutrality

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google, long a network neutrality champion, is looking to cut deals with broadband providers — both cable and phone companies — in a move to get faster access for its own content. Google, however, says it it not backing away from network neutrality, and that its OpenEdge effort is in fact a plan to peer its edge-caching devices directly with the network operators so that the users of those broadband carriers get faster access to Google and YouTube’s content.

Yo FCC! Are You Doing Anything About Metered Broadband?

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has recently taken up a populist and politically lucrative crusade against Comcast and its nefarious efforts to block certain kinds of traffic. But this is nothing more than a diversionary tactic, one aimed at taking attention away from the service providers’ implementation of metered broadband.