Wednesday, February 01, 2006
While Ed Whitacre still wants to get paid from "customers" using "his pipes" twice per bit, Verizons VP Tom Hauke responsible for public policy is starting to row back, by opening more distance between Verizon and two other leading Bell operating companies by strongly pushing voluntary Internet neutrality principles, National Journals is reporting in Verizon Splits With Other Bells on Net Neutrality.
"We are trying to work with other players [in the technology and communications industries] to see how we can create the right climate to put market pressure on everyone to abide by the Internet principles," Verizon Executive Vice President Tom Tauke told a press briefing.
The principles govern the ability for a consumer to access any Web site and to attach any device to the Internet. They also seek for any consumer to be able to run any application, and ask that consumers receive full disclosure of terms and conditions when they purchase Internet access. High tech and consumer groups strongly support this approach.
"We think it is important to keep hammering on these principles for the orderly development of the market," Tauke said, asking rhetorically, "Can we get other companies to publicly embrace this set of principles and have some mechanism whereby customers would know which companies are with the program?"But he said Verizon would continue to resist efforts to codify these Internet neutrality principles through legislation. (!?)
Referring to efforts by the European Union and China to fragment the technical root structure of the unified Internet, and to efforts by China to filter Web content, Tauke said there is a "danger of having governments getting involved in the Internet space."
So Europe is trying to fragment the Internet? Together with China? This is new. Fingerpointing? Stop thief! Over there are the dragons!
Tauke, a former Republican member of Congress from Iowa, encouraged Congress to scale back its legislative ambitions. Rather than seek a comprehensive rewrite of telecommunications law, Congress should pass a narrow federal bill allowing Bell companies to enter the video marketplace, he said.
Verizon executives "have not said things that have created the problem" over Internet neutrality, said a tech industry executive, who contended that the problem has been statements from the new AT&T (until recently SBC Communications) and BellSouth.
"Certainly the language that [Verizon Chief Executive Officer] Ivan Seidenberg has been using is much softer than the others," said Craig Aaron, communications director for non-profit FreePress. "I think they are all in the same boat, which is to control the network and be able to find a way to exact a price from everyone who is using the Internet."