With all the rumors circulating about the larger wireless providers trying to wall off competition or generate extra revenue through preferential treatment of traffic, they had to do something, hence Google and Verizon crafted a joint statement on Net Neutrality. Making a statement in denial of a rumor on such a scale is somewhat akin to admitting the rumor was true. It reminds me of a politician claiming he has no plans to raise taxes.
Yes, I believe that most people who work for Google and Verizon, executives included, believe in an open Neutral Internet. And yet, from experience, when push comes to shove, and profits are flat or dropping, the idea of leveraging your assets will be on the table. And what better way to leverage your assets than restrict competition to your captive audience. Walling off a captive audience to selected content will always be enticing to any service provider looking for low hanging fruit. Morals can easily be compromised or rationalized in the face of losing your house, and it only takes one over zealous leader to start a provider down the slope.
The checks and balances so far, in this case, are the consumers who have voiced outright disgust with anybody who dare toy with the idea of preferential treatment of Internet traffic for economic benefit.
For now this concept will have to wait, but it will be revisited again and hopefully consumers will rise up in disgust. It would be naive to think that today’s statement by Verizon and Google would be binding beyond the political moment.