Verizon makes makes bid to let fox guard henhouse

Carrier suggests regulations be scrapped, replaced without "antiquated" regulations

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Verizon has updated its position on net neutrality. Verizon is no longer interested in the joint proposal it made with Google in August that wired networks should be relatively neutral but wireless could be skewed as much as the carrier liked.

It wants to eliminate the current regulations and limits on its activities and draft a new law that puts an appropriate part of the blame for blocking, bandwidth throttling and network isolation on the culprits who have escaped scrutiny until now: operating system vendors.

The proposal came during a panel discussion at a meeting of the ultra-conservative and very powerful Federalist Society in Washington.

Verizon's top spokesperson Tom Tauke, who followed up his panel performance with a press release, said the FCC should look at net neutrality from the point of view of the user, taking into account the interface and computer (and, presumably the table, the mouse and the coffee that's gotten way too cold to ensure fair treatment on the Internet's backbone) as well as the telecom infrastructure the FCC traditionally regulates.

He had four recommendations:

  • Rules should be a federal framework, so the carriers don't have to deal with legislatures or restrictive rules in a lot of states;
  • the framework should rely on case-by-case judgments in court or in front of a regulatory body (which is too expensive for most customers) and should not involve "anticipatory" rulemaking, which presumably means telling the carriers ahead of time not to do things like set up phones so it's easy to make accidental data connections and then charge customers for doing it;
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