Candidate Barack Obama told America that he believed in an open and “neutral” Internet — one where the owners of the wires didn’t get to pick and choose which applications would run on the network. Soon after Julius Genachowski was appointed as President Barack Obama’s choice to head the Federal Communications Commission, he outlined a clear and ambitious plan to turn that commitment into a reality.
But now Verizon and Google have struck a deal for a legislative template that would allow Verizon to be the gatekeeper for services running over its Internet Protocol pipe, and Google to be the colorful, well-branded winner. The outcome of this negotiation between Godzilla and Shamu may be good for them, but it would destroy the promise of a neutral network. The FCC needs to assert its authority if the chairman’s and president’s promises are to be kept.