The December ruling in favor of new net neutrality policies has Verizon “deeply concerned by the FCC’s assertion of broad authority for sweeping new regulation of broadband networks and the Internet itself,” the company said in a statement today.
The landmark ruling took place on December 22nd and called for internet traffic delivered via traditional broadband connections to be treated equally regardless of its origin, destination or type as long as it’s legal content.
The basic argument against net neutrality from the point of view of an internet service provider like Verizon or Comcast is that certain types of content use more bandwidth—videos and music files, for example—and that providers should be able to manage traffic as they see fit.
That raises concerns for consumers and content providers alike, however. Aside from managing traffic by limiting download speeds of certain types of files, what would stop a service provider from giving preferential treatment to traffic from websites it either owns or strikes deals with? In order to address these concerns, the FCC ruled that all content must be treated equally.
The ruling doesn’t apply to cellular broadband data, though—the idea being that bandwidth is more scarce across over-the-air networks run by the likes of Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T. Some proponents of net neutrality criticized the FCC ruling, saying that by not extending regulations to the realm of cellular data, it didn’t go far enough to protect consumers.
Verizon’s appeal targets the ruling that deals with keeping home broadband connections neutral. The company doesn’t go as far as saying it’s against net neutrality, but instead says, “We believe this assertion of authority goes well beyond any authority provided by Congress, and creates uncertainty for the communications industry, innovators, investors and consumers.”
What’s somewhat more curious is that the beginning of Verizon’s statement says the following:
“Verizon has long been committed to preserving an open Internet and meeting the needs of our customers. We have worked extensively with all players in the Internet and communications space to shape policies that ensure an open Internet and encourage investment, innovation and collaboration with content providers and others to meet the needs of consumers.”
The preservation of an open internet is pretty much what the FCC’s net neutrality ruling is all about. Verizon’s basically saying that they’re dedicated to keeping the internet open and, as such, the government doesn’t need to step in and create laws to make sure the internet stays open.
So either trust Verizon or the government on this one, I guess.
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