Dems Bag on Google, Verizon Net Neutrality Plan

Four members of the U.S. House of Representatives are openly speaking out against the proposed guidelines Google and Verizon recently unveiled to regulate Internet neutrality. The Congress members see the proposal as bad for consumers, and a move away from the open flow of data over the Internet.

Jay Inslee (D, Washington), Ed Markey (D, Massachusetts), Anna Eshoo (D, California) and Mike Doyle (D, Pennsylvania) shared their concerns with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in a letter that’s available at Representative Inslee’s Web site.

The proposal Google and Verizon jointly offered leaves data on wired Internet connections relatively untouched, but allows for the controlled flow of data over wireless networks.

“Exclusion of wireless services from open Internet requirements could widen the digital divide by establishing a substandard, less open experience for traditionally underserved regions and demographic groups that may more often need to access or choose to access the Internet on a mobile device,” the letter said. “Moreover, such inconsistent principles could confuse consumers, who would have different and uneven experiences depending solely on the connection that their mobile devices might use to reach the Internet.”

The group went on to say that the notion of supporting managed services, or services that carriers define as features outside of regular Internet traffic, “would sap the vitality and stunt the growth of the Internet.”

The proposal’s wording, they argue, would let Internet service providers side step nearly all data throttling restrictions and underscores the necessity for Federal mandates to enforce true net neutrality instead of accepting the Google and Verizon proposal.

“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 group said. “The public interest is served by a free and open Internet that continues to be an indispensable platform for innovation, investment, entrepreneurship, and free speech.”