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Verizon: Please, Only We Can Lie About Network Neutrality
Our made-up facts are the undeniable truth.
by Karl Bode 12:32PM Thursday Aug 26 2010
We've explored how the Goorizon alliance is the regulatory equivalent of a bobble-head doll: cute and stuffed largely with air, but primarily designed to pre-empt tougher consumer protections. Worse perhaps, Google and Verizon's defense of their proposal has been one distortion after another, the companies insisting the weak-kneed framework is solely about empowering the consumer, and has nothing to do with keeping wireless consumer protections away from their tablet/smartphone Android partnership.

With both Verizon and Google being immensely and documentably full of crap on this issue (and in Google's case they're now in full disagreement with Google circa 2007), it's fairly cute to see a Verizon lobbyist (whose job we can all agree is, in part, to lie whenever necessary) "setting the record straight." In a new Verizon blog post, Verizon's David Fish sets forth a new set of "facts" on the Goorizon proposal in response to "factually challenged" critics like consumer group Free Press. The only problem? Not a single one of them is true. One by one:
Here's a real fact: Verizon wants what any massive, government-pampered duopolist wants: more strings-free taxpayer money, a lazy regulatory body with no consumer protection authority whatsoever, government protection from competition, and the ability to engage in any business practices they like, no matter how unethical or anti-competitive.
quote:
Fact: Our proposal enforces a tough non-discrimination requirement and promotes and protects Internet access.
No, it doesn't. The proposal is about as "tough" as year-old cardboard in a highway rainstorm, excluding wireless from consumer protections entirely, while the landline non-discrimination requirements are packed with absurd loopholes.
quote:
Fact: It includes a presumption against all prioritization on Internet connections.
No, it doesn't. It completely frees wireless from consumer protections, while leaving gaping loopholes for a myriad of managed wireline services. If you actually read the proposal (pdf), it claims prioritization might be considered unacceptable discrimination, then proceeds to vaguely insist this "presumption could be rebutted." The entire framework is intentionally ambiguous.
quote:
Fact: The non-discrimination provision and presumption against any prioritization are stronger than what the FCC could obtain through Title 2 reclassification.

Fact: The non-discrimination provision for Internet connections is in-line with the President’s priority on net neutrality, and it establishes specific FCC authority called for by the Free Press.
These two can be tackled together, and neither is true. Partial Title II reclassification would give the FCC a degree of authority over broadband ISPs, while the Goorizon proposal is designed to ensure the FCC has "no rule making authority" and is required to "give appropriate deference" to telecom industry-backed self-regulatory organizations. And while the assumption is the FTC would step in to fill the void, the FTC is a slumbering agency that, like the FCC, can't even be bothered to address blatant, predatory false advertising in this sector.
quote:
Fact: The FCC is given specific authority for the first time to oversee these provisions.
Again, by "specific authority," Fish actually means "little to no authority whatsoever," with offenses judged and punished by the industry itself. Apparently, Fish hopes that by falsely repeating the "fact" that the FCC is gaining authority here, nobody will notice that said authority is simply for show.
quote:
Fact: Our proposal protects Internet users by ensuring that potential services beyond robust Internet access (e.g. medical monitoring, smart grid and other ideas in the National Broadband Plan) are differentiated from the Internet and subject to GAO and FCC monitoring and reports to Congress.
Verizoogle's exemption for managed services is a neutrality loophole big enough to drive a truck through, given that in an app-mad, tablet and smartphone driven world, everything can become a managed service. About the only thing the proposal restricts are things Verizon had no intention of doing anyway, like the outright blockade of a competing voice service, or packet forgery. Even those might be allowed as long as a carrier lawyer vaguely shows the ISP was acting to protect the network from bogeymen (congestion, child pornographers, P2P, phantoms, goblins, etc.).
quote:
Fact: Openness is fast becoming the standard in the wireless industry, as the FCC envisioned. Verizon purchased spectrum in the FCC’s 700 megahertz auction for national deployment of our 4G network, knowing it came with open access, non-discrimination and no-blocking requirements. Others are following suit.
As we've repeatedly noted, the "open access" conditions attached to the 700MHz auction were also packed with loopholes, allowing carriers to do essentially whatever they'd like as long as it's done to protect the integrity of the network. Like this new proposal, those restrictions were crafted to be intentionally flimsy so Verizon lawyers can tango over and around them at their leisure. They are for show.

And yes, "openness" is so "standard," that AT&T's still busily crippling Android phones and packing them with unremovable AT&T bloatware. It's so open, carriers are crippling phone functionality as to charge consumers more for tethering. It's so "open," companies like Skype are striking exclusive deals with carriers designed specifically to artificially save the concept of the voice minute from its inevitable evolutionary extinction. Crippled handsets, exclusive deals, high ETFs, gated app-store approval criteria and punitive mobile pricing do not equate to "open."

Some people need to cool the rhetoric and stick to the facts.
-Verizon
It's fairly clear that Verizon lobbyists thought that by giving a few very minor and pathetic concessions on landline neutrality, they'd be rewarded with not only no neutrality rules applied to wireless, but they'd be able to pre-empt the FCC's interest in partial Title II reclassification of broadband ISPs. While Verizon protecting their revenues from government regulation is expected, the pretense that these actions are pro-consumer altruism is insulting.

And while consumer groups certainly aren't above layering annoying hyperbole (it's the end of the Internet!) on top of their arguments to grab the attention of a lazy public, their "facts" on the Goorizon proposal are much closer to the mark than Mr. Fish's. Here's a real fact for Mr. Fish: Verizon wants what any massive, government-pampered duopolist wants: more strings-free taxpayer money, a lazy regulatory body with no consumer protection authority whatsoever, government protection from competition, and the ability to engage in any business practices they like, no matter how unethical or anti-competitive.

Mr. Fish and Verizon apparently believe consumers and the press aren't smart enough to realize this, and judging from this morning's editorial in the Washington Post calling for "legislative enactment of something like the Google-Verizon plan," they very well may be right.

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gaforces
United We Stand, Divided We Fall

join:2002-04-07
Santa Cruz, CA

Lobby

Is all this BS intended to circumvent the already loophole filled agreements they made to purchase the spectrum in the auction?
--
Let them eat FIBER!

Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:42

Re: Lobby

No, it's just layered on top of those meaningless Carterfone rules to ensure a good fauxsumer show.

gaforces
United We Stand, Divided We Fall

join:2002-04-07
Santa Cruz, CA

Re: Lobby

I dunno if I agree with that. They are spending a lot of money for just show?

Good business strategy to get all the ducks lined up in a row before the LTE networks come online for easy killing and plucking.
--
Let them eat FIBER!

Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:42

3 edits

3 recommendations

Re: Lobby

They are spending a lot of money for just show?
The goal is to lay down a regulatory framework that prevents the FCC from expanding its authority through Title 2 reclassification, under which the FCC would have some actual authority to regulate ISPs. Verizon hopes to either get an entirely voluntary, self-regulatory system in place, or to get one of their well-lobbied Democrat or Republican friends in Congress to draft a law based on their proposal before more progressive laws with tough protections can be tabled. Both of those would be entirely for show, with Verizon proclaiming they support consumer protections, but having written said rules, knowing precisely how to get around them.

aztecnology
O Rly?
Premium
join:2003-02-12
Murrieta, CA

Re: Lobby

Good job Karl.

I wonder if big V pays their lobbyist with their $1.99 phantom fee...

»Verizon's $1.99 Phantom Fee Returns
--
.:|:. This link for rent...!

N3OGH
Yo Soy Col. "Bat" Guano
Premium
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Philly burbs
kudos:2
The idea of "a lot" of money is relative.

If I thought I could make/save millions, a couple grand would be squat...
--
Petty people are disproportionally corrupted by petty power

morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000
Reviews:
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Verizon's Arrogance and Greed

Verizon's arrogance and greed is simply amazing. Perhaps more amazing is the fact that VZ managed to glom onto Google and get them to switch their net neutrality tune while gaining some credibility and goodwill from a Google partnership.

Google's goodwill has no where to go but down. Bad move.

FreedomBuild
Well done is better than well said
Premium
join:2004-10-08
Rockford, IL

Re: Verizon's Arrogance and Greed

said by morbo:

Verizon's arrogance and greed is simply amazing. Perhaps more amazing is the fact that VZ managed to glom onto Google and get them to switch their net neutrality tune while gaining some credibility and goodwill from a Google partnership.

Google's goodwill has no where to go but down. Bad move.
Everyone has a price...but only a few are 'priceless'
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Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
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1 recommendation

United States is now a Third World Country.

Goorizon is to big to regulate. Goorizon will payoff lawmakers as necessary to buy legislation favorable to them. American Lawmakers have only the interest of the wealthiest Three Percent of American Citizens in mind they do not have any respect for ordinary American Citizens.

NOCTech75
Premium
join:2009-06-29
Marietta, GA

1 recommendation

Re: United States is now a Third World Country.

Have you ever been in a 3rd world country?
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: United States is now a Third World Country.

That question is often asked of people that make the claim that the US is a 3rd world country. I haven't seen many affirmative responses.
Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
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kudos:1
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Re: United States is now a Third World Country.

Our lawmakers are behaving like those behave in a third world county. They are making decisions on behalf of special interests rather than acting on behalf of their constituents. Lawmakers accept payoffs campaign contributions from big corporate and write laws in their behalf. You do not have to live in a third world country with livestock running around in the streets to live in a country where lawmakers behave like those in a third world county.

NOCTech75
Premium
join:2009-06-29
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Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: United States is now a Third World Country.

said by Mr Matt:

Our lawmakers are behaving like those behave in a third world county.
So what is your experience in making laws in a 3rd world country? What 3rd world country did you visit and participate in their government functions? What laws in the 3rd world country you were in did you pass?
Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
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Re: United States is now a Third World Country.

Jamaica 1973. At the time the government in Jamaica was corrupt. I was with a sales team that was invited to present our PABX systems to Continental Telephone. We gave up, because the local politicos wanted a significant pay off in order to allow our products to be imported to their country. The situation was so bad that Continental stopped all construction in the country. When the existing Jamaican government thugs were overthrown construction resumed.

NOCTech75
Premium
join:2009-06-29
Marietta, GA

Re: United States is now a Third World Country.

Sounds like you weren't actually making laws in Jamaica, but thanks for trying, please drive through.
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1

Re: United States is now a Third World Country.

said by NOCTech75:

Sounds like you weren't actually making laws in Jamaica, but thanks for trying, please drive through.
So he has to *make* laws to make an analogy. Are you daft? Why do you purposely ignore the relevance of his experience? What do you gain by keeping yourself in total ignorance?

There was a government with huge control over an industry. His company wanted to compete in that industry. With government help the incumbent made it nearly impossible for the little guy to succeed. The government officials received "contributions" for their efforts in return.

It's not that freaking hard to understand.

NOCTech75
Premium
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Re: United States is now a Third World Country.

said by sonicmerlin:

said by NOCTech75:

Sounds like you weren't actually making laws in Jamaica, but thanks for trying, please drive through.
So he has to *make* laws to make an analogy. Are you daft? Why do you purposely ignore the relevance of his experience? What do you gain by keeping yourself in total ignorance?
So you are in a 3rd world country? Really, better get away from that keyboard oh ITG, and go out and live on the tough 3rd world streets of Cleveland.
PCDEC

join:2004-10-12
Allentown, PA
Yes. I live in the United States of America.

FFH5
Premium
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Tavistock NJ
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1 recommendation

said by Mr Matt:

United States is now a Third World Country:
Not even close. And telecomm issues wouldn't be what could put us in to 3rd world status. What could is a massive continually growing deficit and sending jobs overseas faster than we create new ones in the US.
cmarslett

join:2006-11-22
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Re: United States is now a Third World Country.

So you are changing your tag? I thought the whole purpose(s) of the Tea Party/Republicrats was to export jobs and spend borrowed money on a bunch of worthless wars and other corporate welfare projects (i.e., increase the trade and federal deficits as fast as possible).
SuperWISP

join:2007-04-17
Laramie, WY

Proposal would let the camel's nose into the tent.

The big problem with the "Goorizon" proposal is that it would allow the government to regulate the Net. Once that camel's nose is in the tent, that would be it -- game over! The FCC would attempt to acquire the power to enforce "decency" on the Net. And because any traffic prioritization would be deemed to be "presumptively" wrong, quality of service would go into the toilet and rates would go up.

The Internet has prospered for 27 years with no regulation, and it needs none. We should reject not only this proposal but all proposals to regulate the Net.

Back Haul

@myvzw.com

Re: Proposal would let the camel's nose into the tent.

Brett,

Are the special access lines you use to carry your WISP traffic back to the Internet backbone part of the "Internet"? If so, then I am curious why you think the net has never been regulated. You yourself have advocated all over the place for even more stringent special access regulations, since they are an input to your business.

Also, if what you really mean is last-mile ISPs like yourself, you are wrong there too. All sorts of webs of regulations have applied since the birth of the Internet, from the Computer Inquiries to ISP-bound traffic access charges, to the 1998 Advanced Service Order. We are only recently in an era of un-regulation.
Angrychair

join:2000-09-20
Jacksonville, FL
Proving once again, "only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
WernerSchutz

join:2009-08-04
Sugar Land, TX
said by SuperWISP:

The big problem with the "Goorizon" proposal is that it would allow the government to regulate the Net. Once that camel's nose is in the tent, that would be it -- game over! The FCC would attempt to acquire the power to enforce "decency" on the Net. And because any traffic prioritization would be deemed to be "presumptively" wrong, quality of service would go into the toilet and rates would go up.

The Internet has prospered for 27 years with no regulation, and it needs none. We should reject not only this proposal but all proposals to regulate the Net.
Better "decency" rules than let thieves run wild.
WaltFrench

join:2010-08-07
Oakland, CA

1 recommendation

Re: Proposal would let the camel's nose into the tent.

“The Internet has prospered for 27 years with no regulation…”

Of all the totally ridiculous, anti-factual statements that can be constructed in the English language, this is close to the worst.

The internet originated as a DOD project, 100% government funded. It was BORN in a government-driven environment.

Public access to the internet was originally thru telephone companies which were totally regulated in their obligation to act as "common carriers" who (a) could NOT discriminate as to who you could contact, and (b) could not be responsible for the legality of what you did on their network. Once upon a time, we had enforced network neutrality.

The FCC, created by your Congress in 1934, is charged with ensuring efficient, low-cost, most valuable management of the nation's airwaves. Wireless services have (at least, nominally) ALWAYS been under the government. The airwaves that cell phones use is licensed from the government.

Even the blatantly one-sided Verizoogle proposal doesn't dare make such obviously clueless assertions. Why do you? If you want to assert that govts always screw up business, go ahead. But I'm about to get on a (delayed) flight and am sure glad that the FAA requires Delta to inspect its planes, requires minimum rest times for crews, etc, on the flight I'll be on, unlike those poor souls who perished in Buffalo.

So, to your claim: it's absurd. To your political beliefs, ask any real economist: what are the conditions where a "free market" performs badly? When you have only two sellers controlling over half of a market, is there any reason to expect the country to benefit? PS: the answer is "Gawd, no!"
chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA

Verizon a consumer's predator?

"Here's a real fact: Verizon wants what any massive, government-pampered duopolist wants: more strings-free taxpayer money, a lazy regulatory body with no consumer protection authority whatsoever, government protection from competition, and the ability to engage in any business practices they like, no matter how unethical or anti-competitive."

Sounds like the top executives would fail a business ethics course if they went back to college.
Angrychair

join:2000-09-20
Jacksonville, FL

Re: Verizon a consumer's predator?

Business ethics? Isn't that an antithetical?
chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA

Re: Verizon a consumer's predator?

These courses do exist. At least in private schools.

coldmoon
Premium
join:2002-02-04
Broadway, NC
Reviews:
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said by chgo_man99:

"Here's a real fact: Verizon wants what any massive, government-pampered duopolist wants: more strings-free taxpayer money, a lazy regulatory body with no consumer protection authority whatsoever, government protection from competition, and the ability to engage in any business practices they like, no matter how unethical or anti-competitive."

Sounds like the top executives would fail a business ethics course if they went back to college.
The only people that the execs are accountable to are the shareholders who (presumably) have profit as their top priority. I don't think they would care what grade the execs got in their ethics classes or even if they ever took such courses...

JMHO

Mike
--
Returnil - 21st Century body armor for your PC
chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA

2 edits

Re: Verizon a consumer's predator?

I think schools really mean well by teaching those courses.

The more people in power who have some ethics, the less need for a regulation in government level.

These courses became very widespread since fall of Enron.

But unfortunately, the reality seems to be very different with government agencies overlooking consumer protections and going to bed with corporations for their money.

They should still teach those courses though. They should be in public schools as well.
WernerSchutz

join:2009-08-04
Sugar Land, TX
said by coldmoon:

said by chgo_man99:

"Here's a real fact: Verizon wants what any massive, government-pampered duopolist wants: more strings-free taxpayer money, a lazy regulatory body with no consumer protection authority whatsoever, government protection from competition, and the ability to engage in any business practices they like, no matter how unethical or anti-competitive."

Sounds like the top executives would fail a business ethics course if they went back to college.
The only people that the execs are accountable to are the shareholders who (presumably) have profit as their top priority. I don't think they would care what grade the execs got in their ethics classes or even if they ever took such courses...

JMHO

Mike
The only people execs should be accountable to are the ones that SHOULD ENFORCE THE LAW.

•••••••
Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
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To the best of my recollection one of the major stockholders in Verizon is a foreign company, Vodafone. Listen carefully and you can hear the hissing sound as Vodafone tries to suck us dry! What interest does Vodafone have treating Americans fairly above profits.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: Verizon a consumer's predator?

What interest does Verizon have in treating you fairly above profit? What interest does any for profit company if treating your fairly beyond profit? BTW, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture between VZ and VOD with VZ owning a majority share.
WaltFrench

join:2010-08-07
Oakland, CA

Karl, I know you had a lot of ground to cover...;

Perhaps the most blatant lie is the notion that we ALREADY HAVE a reasonably net-neutral environment. But in fact, wireless access today does not even meet the CarterPhone standard that broke down AT&T's landline monopoly.

Best example I can cough up: Verizon and AT&T, the dominant wireless carriers, forbid users from tethering other equipment to their company-provided equipment. Rather than define the AMOUNT of data you use, they arbitrarily restrict the EQUIPMENT that you can attach, and the TYPE OF USE you can make. That's two of Google's 2007 4 Freedoms, totally steamrollered today, and obviously not restricted under the Verizoogle proposal.
33358088
Premium
join:2008-09-23
kudos:2

and people want american isps to get into canada

NOT and NO FRAKIGN WAY EH........