Google & Verizon Plan Would End Free, Public Internet as We Now Know It
Interview with Craig Aaron, managing director of Free Press, conducted by Scott Harris
After years of debate between giant telecommunication companies and public advocates on the need to protect free, public access to the Internet -- qualities which make this communications platform such a hot house for innovation and vibrant democratic discourse -- the issue seems to be coming to a head. While the Federal Communications Commission dithered in taking steps to safeguard an open Internet, often referred to as Net Neutrality, Google and Verizon were in negotiations to develop their own vision of how the Internet will function in the future.
In an Aug. 9 announcement, Google and Verizon put forward a joint policy proposal that envisions two "Internets," one public and one private. The private Internet would provide a fast lane to content for those who could afford it, with lots of bells and whistles if you pay to play. Everyone else would be relegated to a slower and lower quality of service on the wired public Internet. The Google-Verizon proposal would eliminate the concept of Net Neutrality on wireless networks, the destination most observers believe the Internet as a whole is rapidly moving toward, and at the same time weaken the FCC's ability to effectively regulate the Internet.
The media reform group Free Press has for years been actively engaged in the fight for Net Neutrality. Free Press -- along with other national organizations in a Save the Internet Coalition -- is urging President Obama, Congress and FCC to reject the Google-Verizon proposal and instead pass strong Net Neutrality protections. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Craig Aaron, managing director of Free Press, who examines the Google-Verizon proposal, and who describes the campaign now underway to defend a free and open Internet.
Contact Free Press toll-free at (877) 888-1533 (877) 888-1533 or visit www.savetheinternet.com
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