Back in October of last year, Google and Verizon came together in order to provide an intense amount of corporate support for the FCC's then-fledgling net neutrality push. Today, said push has turned into quite the monster, with a recent court ruling asserting that the FCC doesn't actually have the authority to impose net neutrality. Since then, a cadre of telecommunications firms have banded together in one form or another to attempt a compromise (and slyly get what each of them really want), and today the Big G and Big Red have taken the stage together in order to publicize a well-thought out policy proposal for "an open internet." Both firms seem to agree that web users "should choose what content, applications, or devices they use," and they both want "enforceable prohibition against discriminatory practices" -- and yeah, that definitely includes prioritization and blocking of internet traffic, including paid prioritization. In an odd twist, what seems to be happening here is that both Google and Verizon are actually in favor of more government oversight on the internet, but they want that oversight to be beneficial to consumers. In other words, more regulations from the feds to enforce fewer regulations imposed on you from your ISP. Get all that?
Where things really get interesting is when they touch on the wireless angle; essentially, they're admitting that the very proposals they are putting forth for wireline shouldn't apply to wireless just yet (aside from the whole "transparency" thing). It seems that the prevailing logic is that there's simply not enough spectrum for this idyllic "play fair" scenario to truly work, so fewer restrictions would be necessary for the wireless internet space to blossom as the wireless side already has. Moreover, we get the impression that these guys feel the wireless space as a whole is simply too competitive right now to withstand any red tape.
The proposal also mentions that, if passed into law, the FCC would have the ability to fine "bad actors" (read: misbehaving ISPs) up to $2 million for breaking any of these "open internet" stipulations, and naturally, both outfits are highly in favor of the National Broadband Plan taking hold, moving forward and getting broadband to places that are currently using a strange mixture of used canisters and rope to check their inbox.
*Verizon has acquired AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.