The far-reaching Google-Verizon proposal
Updated on 07 September 2022
Loads of articles and commentaries have already sounded their concern at the Google-Verizon proposal, not least due to the likely consequences on Net neutrality.
This week’s article on Time Magazine, ‘Net Neutrality: Flash Point for Foes of Big Government’ hit the nail on the head when it suggested that the proposal could lead to ‘virtual tollbooths that would let customers pay for access to faster speeds or subscription content, much as cable providers ask you to fork over extra for channels like HBO’.
Some users may not mind an increase in price: we already pay to see specific channels on cable, so what’s the big deal?!
Users from developing countries who pay for incredibly expensive connections, however, will surely mind. As the author of An Introduction to Internet Governance rightly states, ‘due to limited infrastructure and bandwidth, regulators of developing countries put more focus on fair usage policy – affordable prices and fair access for all. Some raise concerns over cross-border non-discrimination, saying that the traffic from all countries should be treated the same way with no preferences based on termination costs.’ (p. 54)
So where do we strike the balance? If this (or similar) proposal goes through, do we then have to wait for content providers to choose sides, before we can, if we are able to?