A senior Verizon spokesman said the company’s net neutrality proposal offered stronger protections than the FCC’s Title II reclassification plan, continuing a war of words with media reform nonprofit Free Press.
In a blog post yesterday, Verizon spokesman David Fish said Verizon and Google’s joint plan for non-discrimination provision and presumption against any prioritization are stronger than what the FCC could obtain through Title 2 reclassification.
Comparing Free Press’ statement slamming a recent speech by Verizon public affairs chief Tom Tauke to a work of “light fiction,” Fish said the approach advocated by Free Press would “harm the Internet and its users, not help them.”
“We believe a practical, principled and pro-consumer resolution of the network neutrality debate is within reach,” Fish said. “But, to get there, some people need to cool the rhetoric and stick to the facts.”
The verbal battle between the carrier and the nonprofit was ignited earlier this week when Tauke defended Verizon’s joint net neutrality pact with Google in a speech before the Technology Policy Institute’s Aspen Forum.
In the speech, Tauke dismissed claims that the pact, which proposes wireless broadband be completely excluded from net neutrality regulations, would create a two-tiered Internet and prioritize some Web traffic over other traffic.
“Verizon is simply dead wrong in claiming their farce of a framework would fulfill President Obama’s Net Neutrality promises.
Free Press reacted to Tauke’s speech with a heated statement that referred to the pact as a “farce.”
“Verizon can’t hide the fact that, if enacted, this pact would mark the end of the open Internet era,” said Free Press Research Director Derek Turner in a statement. “The Google-Verizon deal contains no protections for wireless access, which accounts for nearly one-third of all Internet connections, giving Verizon and other ISPs the green light to block or degrade content on their wireless networks.”
The FCC is still pondering whether to reclassify broadband Internet services under Title II of the Communications Act in order to circumvent a court ruling that undermined its authority to enforce net neutrality regulations.