AT&T calls Verizon-Google net neutrality plan reasonable

Google, Verizon net neutrality - AT&T Ralph de la Vega
Google, Verizon net neutrality - AT&T Ralph de la Vega

AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega had some kind words for rival Verizon’s joint proposal with Google regarding net neutrality.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

“It’s a positive sign that shows that those two companies can agree on something as different as net neutrality,” de la Vega, head of AT&T’s consumer and mobile divisions, told analysts during an investor conference on Wednesday. He called it the right step forward in coming up with a reasonable agreement.

The Google-Verizon proposal is not a business deal but instead meant to spur the conversation regarding the contentious net neutrality issue. The two sides have generally been considered to be on opposite ends of the debate because Google wants no prioritization of traffic and many believed Verizon wanted the ability to prioritize traffic based on security and business interests. Without net neutrality, a broadband provider like Comcast could ensure that its NBC or Hulu streaming videos come through at a higher bitrate than rival CBS videos.

While the Google-Verizon proposal sounds nice, reading between the lines has caused many to express concern. The companies constantly referred to the “public Internet” but made room for a specialized service outside of that which wouldn’t have to worry about these rules. This could include content that starts from the Internet but is packaged in a different way.

Additionally, the Google-Verizon proposal doesn’t include the mobile broadband space, which may be why AT&T likes it. This could potentially mean that certain online content will only be available through certain mobile broadband providers – it will sort of be like cable packages but for your smartphone.

To be fair, I think that’s a doomsday scenario and AT&T probably won’t go this route because that’s not what the customers want. Additionally, there is a legitimate spectrum scarcity in the mobile broadband space, so maybe the net neutrality rules should be a bit different.

Let us know what you think in the comments, friends.

[Via The Wall Street Journal, photo]

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