Yesterday, anti-property groups Public Knowledge and Free Press came out against Verizon for…drum roll please…obeying the FCC’s new Net Neutrality regulations.
Apparently, Verizon Wireless believes that as long as it does not block lawful websites, or competitive voice or video telephony applications, it’s free to discriminate against a Google “wallet” payment service that will compete with a similar mobile payment service being developed by the wireless carrier. Verizon hasn’t entirely ruled out allowing the Google application being placed on its new Android phones offered through the carrier. But, for the time being, Verizon and Google are “continuing commercial discussions,” aimed at better integrating the Google app into Verizon’s phones.
Apparently – THANKFULLY – Verizon is free to manage its private property in this manner.
Of course, this has the anti-property groups’ undies in a wad.
Today’s dispute between Google and Verizon is just the type of situation that likely would not happen if it were clear that a firm ‘no discrimination’ standard were in effect for wireless services.
These actions illustrate yet again the grave mistake made by the FCC in failing to adopt meaningful consumer protections for mobile services in its Net Neutrality proceeding last year. Free Press will continue to fight for real Net Neutrality protections on the mobile Internet.
The upshot of all of this kvetching – to borrow an old quote from Public Knowledge’s Gigi Sohn – is:
…[W]e believe that the [Net Neutrality] rules approved by the Commission are a good start to making certain consumers and innovators are protected from the power of large telephone and cable companies to remake the Internet to suit favored partners… (Emphasis added)
That’s right – A good start. A baseline floor. Moving goalposts. The camel’s head underneath the tent. A slippery slope. Mario Puzo’s Godfather 1, then 2, then 3. To be continued…
You get the idea.
Apparently, obeying the law isn’t good enough. For groups like Public Knowledge and Free Press, they will only find satisfaction when Net Neutrality regulations so hamstring network providers that they’ll simply give up and let Uncle Sam run Al Gore’s amazing Internet.
(Sadly) More to come…