Last updated: August 10, 2010 - 8:32am
[Commentary] We have spent much of the past year trying to resolve our differences over the thorny issue of "network neutrality."
This hasn't been an easy process, and Google and Verizon are neither regulators nor legislators. But as leaders in our respective fields, we have searched for workable public policies that serve consumer interests and create a climate for investment and innovation. What has kept us at the table and moving toward compromise was our mutual interest in a robust Internet and our recognition that progress would occur only when players from across the Internet space work together. The proposal we outlined Monday as a suggested policy framework for lawmakers translates these principles into a fully enforceable broadband Internet policy. In developing this framework, we were guided by two principles: our commitment to an open Internet, and the need for continued investment in broadband infrastructure, which is critical to U.S. global competitiveness.
First, our policy framework states that consumers should be able to choose any lawful content, services or applications they want; in other words, they can choose whatever Internet service they want, go to whatever legal Web sites they want, and use whatever software or applications they want. Our companies have long supported the FCC's openness principles toward wireline broadband, and we also believe that blocking and degrading Internet traffic is antithetical to the principle of openness and to consumers' expectations.
[Eric Schmidt is chief executive of Google. Ivan Seidenberg is chief executive of Verizon. Google and Verizon Wireless have partnered on devices, including mobile phones, that use Google's Android software platform.]
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