When rumors started to fly a couple weeks ago that Google and Verizon were wheeling and dealing to work around net neutrality rules, open Internet advocates were concerned, and even observers expressed disappointment.
Google and Verizon denied such "dealing," but did release a joint "proposal" under which content creators could pay Internet service providers to ensure that their content receives priority. And though the content creators would bear the increased cost initially, it would undoubtedly trickle down to the customer eventually.
Because Google has been such an advocate for net neutrality in the past, Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam Green said the "proposal" convinced him that Google has gone "evil." Others who believe the proposal is evidence that Google has sold out protested outside the search giant's offices recently, according to The Inquirer.
A little protest never stopped AT&T, however. The largest telecom company, which at one point argued against Google's position in net neutrality debates, is now backing the Google-Verizon proposal, as well as the idea that wireless broadband is different than wired broadband services. Inquirer writer Lawrence Latif explains:
AT&T said that policy makers can help by "protecting wireless broadband networks from onerous new net neutrality regulations", which it claims is "vital to the continued growth of the industry". Or in other words, net neutrality will limit the profits it can extract from wireless services.
Like other observers, the only thing that still surprises me about this mess is how quickly Google appears to have given up on its "Do no evil" philosophy.