Google is so worried about Verizon Wireless's commitment to open access using the 700Mhz spectrum, that it's asked the FCC to get a pledge from Verizon that the carrier will honor the FCC's open-access conditions before the FCC sells it the band.
Verizon won the auction for the nationwide C block of the 700MHz spectrum, but Google points to Verizon's alleged attempts to abandon the conditions, including a filing with the FCC that said the commission “could not force the C block winner to allow all applications on the network.”
The people concerned wonder whether it is another expanding front in the Net Neutrality battle, or is time for the carriers to accept the fact that Net Neutrality is essentially a done deal, and carriers need to prepare for the next battle — developing software and services to run on open networks.
The IP Democracy blog has Google's filing (PDF) and the following comment from Verizon: "Google's filing has no legal standing."
Network neutrality is a principle that is applied to residential broadband networks, and potentially to all networks. A neutral broadband network is one that is free of restrictions on the kinds of equipment that may be attached, on the modes of communication allowed, which does not restrict content, sites or platforms, and where communication is not unreasonably degraded by other communication streams.
Advocates offer three principal definitions of Network Neutrality:
Absolute Non-Discrimination: a maximally useful public information network aspires to treat all content, sites, and platforms equally."
Google's "Guide to Net Neutrality": "Network neutrality is the principle that Internet users should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the Internet. The Internet has operated according to this neutrality principle since its earliest days... Fundamentally, net neutrality is about equal access to the Internet. In our view, the broadband carriers should not be permitted to use their market power to discriminate against competing applications or content. Just as telephone companies are not permitted to tell consumers who they can call or what they can say, broadband carriers should not be allowed to use their market power to control activity online."
Limited Discrimination without QoS Tiering: United States lawmakers have introduced bills that would allow Quality of Service discrimination as long as no special fee is charged for higher-quality service.
Limited Discrimination and Tiering: This approach allows higher fees for QoS as long as there is no exclusivity in service contracts.