Google, Verizon urge FCC to hold back on broadband regulation

As the FCC moves forward on its ambitious national broadband plan, Google and Verizon are urging the commission to tread lightly.

In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg praised many of the plan's elements, including increasing broadband speeds and coverage. However, the two sounded a note of caution: "The Internet has thrived in an environment of minimal regulation. While our two companies don't agree on every issue, we do agree generally as a matter of policy that the framework of minimal government involvement should continue."

Minimal government, and a light regulatory touch, was a drumbeat pounded by numerous wireless executives last week at the CTIA Wireless 2010 conference in Las Vegas.

Both Verizon and AT&T have warned the FCC against regulating the Internet too heavily, and especially against reclassifying broadband as a common carrier service, which would give the agency far greater authority to regulate the service. Google has often been at odds with telecom heavyweights, especially over policies such as net neutrality. However, Google and Verizon came together on the topic earlier this year, calling for "minimal interference from the government while acknowledging the role for appropriate oversight (and enforcement)."

For more:
- see this Washington Post article
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)

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