Economia da Informação

Ainda sobre a Google e a neutralidade na rede

Posted in Sem categoria by Flávio Clésio on 13 de agosto de 2010

Fonte: The Economist

No, these are special puppies

Google has joined Verizon in lobbying to erode net neutrality

Aug 12th 2010 | WASHINGTON, DC | From The Economist print edition

TWO firms want to redefine the internet. Or so it seems, judging by the “legislative framework proposal” that Google and Verizon, an American telecoms operator, published on August 9th.

Since May the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been considering reclassifying broadband internet access as a telecommunications service. Under existing law, this would give the commission the authority to enforce “net neutrality”: the principle that all data, regardless of origin, should move at the same speed.

The commission last ruled on this in 2002. It heeded cable-broadband providers, who argued that, since they offered e-mail and web hosting along with their internet access, they were really selling information services, which are more lightly regulated. The Supreme Court agreed, though a dissenting justice observed that a pet store might just as logically package its puppies with leashes and then argue that it sold leashes, not puppies. Now, as the FCC regrets its ruling, Google and Verizon are lobbying for Congress to declare wireless services open to data discrimination.

They also want the law to create a new class of “additional online services”, which may use internet infrastructure, content and applications but are somehow not part of the internet. In providing these services, firms would be free to discriminate. Google and Verizon are arguing that internet access is just a puppy, sure, but it is not the same as the special puppies they might sell in the future.

Verizon has invested heavily in fibre-optic broadband access. That it wants to avoid tedious regulation is not a surprise. Google, however, had supported the FCC’s approach as recently as this summer. It may believe itself strong enough to negotiate with each provider, or it may want a deal for its mobile operating system from wireless-telecoms operators. Whether all this is good for consumers or innovation remains to be seen.

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