Free Press Urges Policymakers to Reject Google-Verizon Pact

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Liz Rose, Communications Director, 202-265-1490 x 32;
Jenn Ettinger, Media Coordinator, 202-265-1490 x 35

Free Press Urges Policymakers to Reject Google-Verizon Pact

WASHINGTON - In
response to today's announcement by Google and Verizon that the two
companies had established a joint policy proposal for the open Internet,
Free Press Political Adviser Joel Kelsey issued the following statement:

"Google and Verizon can try all they want to disguise this
deal as a reasonable path forward, but the simple fact is this
framework, if embraced by Congress and the Federal Communications
Commission, would transform the free and open Internet into a closed
platform like cable television. This is much worse than a business
arrangement between two companies. It's a signed-sealed-and-delivered
policy framework with giant loopholes that blesses the carving up of the
Internet for a few deep-pocketed Internet companies and carriers.

"If codified, this arrangement will lead to toll booths on
the information superhighway. It will lead to outright blocking of
applications and content on increasingly popular wireless platforms. It
would give companies like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T the right to
decide which content will move fast and which should be slowed down. And
it will destroy the open Internet as a platform for small business
innovation and job creation, cementing companies', like Google's,
dominant market power online.

"Still worse, this deal proposes to keep the FCC from making
rules at all. Instead of an even playing field for everyone, it
proposes taking up complaints on a case-by-case basis, or even leaving
it up to third-party industry groups to decide what the rules should be.
The only good news is that neither of these companies is actually in
charge of writing the rules that govern the future of the Internet. That
is supposed to be the job of our leaders in Washington.

"Congress and the FCC should reject Verizon and Google's
plans to carve up the Internet for the private benefit of deep-pocketed
special interests, and move forward with policies that preserve the open
Internet for all. This begins with the FCC reasserting its authority
over broadband to ensure it can protect the open Internet and promote
universal access to affordable, world-class quality broadband.

"The Internet is one of our nation's most important
resources, and policymakers everywhere should recognize that the future
of our innovation economy is far too important to be decided by a
backroom deal between industry giants."

Read the Free Press fact sheet "How the Google-Verizon Deal Threatens to Destroy the Open Internet": http://www.freepress.net/files/carving_up_the_internet.pdf

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Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at www.freepress.net

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