It was super short notice, but Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Verizon Communications CEO Ivan Seidenberg are holding a joint press call at 1:30PM EST to announce what we can only surmise is something related to those recent rumors of a net-neutrality-related "deal" -- we'll be liveblogging as fast as we can, so keep it locked right here.
1:06PM And that's it! We're going to go unpack the proposal and see what it really means -- stay tuned!
1:06PM Final remarks: If net neutrality is implemented across networks, it could really affect the quality of life across the country. It's a really big deal.
1:05PM A: Verizon is standing tall and agreeing to no paid prioritization and transparency, and Google is agreeing that it will invest in exploding internet applications, and we've agreed to feed that cookie monster.
1:04PM TechCrunch: There's some confusion about services -- all these networks are merging into IP-based networks. What services might there be that aren't on the internet? A: I think everyone's trying to turn this into a problem. You think 3D goes over the internet? Some companies might want to send 3D over the internet, some might want to do something else because the quality might be better.
1:03PM Dow Jones: Have you reached out to any other carriers or internet companies? A: This is not a deal -- this is a joint policy announcement, and we believe it's in everyone's best interest to follow the policy. We've talked to our other colleagues and we think they should follow our policy. We think this moves the ball forward, and we hope others will see this the same way.
1:01PM Q: You mention entertainment services, can you mention what you envision? A: See, we'll give you an example and you'll trivialize it. Let's assume the Opera wants to broadcast all their operas in 3D -- maybe they don't want to do it on the public internet. Who knows what they'll want to do? We want to protect the public internet and keep options and innovation open.
1:00PM Q: What kind of things would you offer under the paid provisions, since you obviously want them? A: Google loves the internet, and we have no intention of doing anything other the internet. Ivan: Other services could be built -- today we offer the internet and FiOS. We want to make sure someone can come along and offer something else, subject to this agreement.
12:58PM Q: So you can't slow down on application for being bandwidth hungry? A: No, that is not allowed. If it's a lawful application and it's not damaging the network, it's fine. We don't do that now.
12:58PM A: On network management, it's really not geared towards any service, it's geared towards the network in general -- if we have to prioritize voice traffic in an emergency or kill spam, network operators need flexibility. It's not about services.
12:57PM A: We enjoy all this drama, but this is not a big dramatic moment.
12:56PM Q: Why didn't this proposal come out as part of the closed door meetings you were having with the FCC and other carriers? A: There's no big mystery here -- we've had discussion with the FCC, and we've been talking for over a year. There were all kinds of rumors, so the best thing to do is just tell everyone what we're doing.
12:55PM Reuters: Two things -- first, have you run this proposal by the FCC, and can you confirm whether you actually have some sort of business arrangement working behind this? A: There is no business arrangement, and any reports that there are are misleading and incorrect. We've met with the FCC, and the FCC will review our proposal and make comments. There is no business proposal -- this is a joint effort to move policy.
12:53PM A: Not only is not allowed to prioritize against the open internet in any case, but they have no incentive to do so, because that's not what their customers want. Google will monitor Verizon to make sure that happens.
12:52PM Financial Time: So you're being paid directly for other services? A: One of the things we've learned from working with Eric and his team is that our ability to grow our network is great, there are so many ways to monetize new growth over the broadband network."
12:51PM Financial Times is asking something inaudible about "carving up." A: This is another issue that's gotten strange, as though there's a finite algorithm that allocates. Today there is no paid prioritization, and we want transparency standards. We will not degrade anything relating to the public internet. This is a case where we shore up the public internet.
12:50PM A: In all fairness, there could be other services differentiated from the public internet that could be perceived as the public internet that people could pay for. Google: We're not going to do any of those things. We like the public internet.
12:49PM Washington Post: I'm confused by what you mean by managed services? Does this mean that Google can buy up capacity on your network to have faster YouTube? A: I think the answer is no, but let's make sure we explain this. Under the principles we're talking about here, there's no prioritization of traffic coming from Google period. That was a key principle -- no paid prioritization.
12:47PM Back to Eric for Q/A time!
12:46PM "We will be post these principles on our website and follow them as corporate policy thereafter."
12:46PM "Google is what consumers expect when they think of a robust and vibrant internet, and we want to follow suit."
12:46PM "Why now, why Google? As Eric stated in his earlier comment, there's been so much discussion of this issue, that we feel this debate has been hijacked by issues that's not reflective of what the company's doing. We support the FCC, we built a fiber network, we built a wireless network, we purchased spectrum and agreed to open-access."
12:45PM "The last element of our proposal is support of reform of the Federal Universal Service Fund so that it supports deploying broadband."
12:44PM "The sixth element would be recognizing that wireless is a different world than the wireline world -- wireless has different technologies, different interplay between different devices and the network. We're worried that too many rules will hamper our ability to optimize our network, but a transparency requirement would be a very good thing."
12:42PM Ivan's turn! "I have three additional elements to cover.. building on the four things Eric said, the fifth on is that we'd like to make sure the broadband platform in our country becomes strong."
12:41PM "Three, we would clarify the FCC's authority in the space... and the FCC would have the ability to impose a $2m fine on bad actors."
12:41PM "Two, we would have enforceable transparency provisions that apply to both wireline and wireless broadband, and consumers would know what is happening with their service."
12:40PM "The highlights of the proposal are few -- we believe very strongly that the wireline broadband proposal should be enforceable... there should be no discrimination or blocking of internet traffic, and all blocking is presumed to violate the rules."
12:39PM "Now, you've read a lot of a press about today, almost all of which has been completely wrong -- please report what we actually announce today, and now what you've read in the past." Saucy!
12:38PM "An open internet importantly allows the next Google to be created... two people in a garage need an open interent."
12:38PM "We think this is the time to release a more detailed joint policy proposal, and we think this will move the debate forward."
12:37PM "Last October we expressed our common ground, and last January we made a filing. We want to set aside the debate and recognize that we need each other. We need network, and they need the valuable content we provide."
12:37PM Eric Schmidt is on the line! "Thank you all for being on the call -- I'm very happy to be here with Ivan. We've also got our public policy VPs on the call. We've been talking about the state of the internet, and whether there's a common ground."
12:36PM Okay, here we go -- still no blog updates though.
12:33PM Still no update on Google's policy blog, and Verizon's appears to be down. Way to prioritize that network traffic, guys.
12:31PM Sounds like we're running a little late -- they're "gathering additional participants." Given the last-minute nature of this entire thing, we can't say we're too surprised.
12:28PM Okay, we're on the call a few minutes early here -- both Google and Verizon have said a "preview" of the announcement will be posted on their respective public policy blogs at 1:25, but we're not seeing anything yet.