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Wired and Wireless Connections Should Be Treated Equally

by Travis Harvey | August 10, 2010August 10, 2010 3:30 pm PST

Before Google and Verizon went public with their net neutrality proposal, reports from the WSJ painted a scary picture of a supposed deal in place that would shake up net neutrality in the wireless world.  Together, both companies arranged a press call yesterday to unveil their net neutrality proposal in hopes the FCC would jump on board.  Both companies stand behind the idea that the most neutral internet stems from wired ISPs while allowing wireless ISP to operate under a different set of rules.radiotower

The argument is that different standards should apply to wireless networks because of the technical and operational characteristics necessary to operate such a network so long as the network has a level of transparency to the customer.  This means wireless networks wouldn’t be prohibited from blocking, discriminating, or prioritizing traffic as long as they’re transparent about it.

It seems that Verizon, and likely all wireless carriers, are afraid that they’ll eventually become the dumb pipes that broadband providers have become.  I’m not sure what they’re so afraid of because as we’ve seen, the adoption of broadband doesn’t kill the need for landlines with voice plans.  Wireless ISPs will eventually become the wired ISPs we have today and if such a change is due to limited resources (spectrum), perhaps carriers shouldn’t take on more than they can handle.

It’s a strange proposal, especially coming from Google who’s always seemed to back the idea that any internet connection should operate on a universally standard set of rules.  Why should wireless ISPs be held to a different set of rules if they’re granting access to what is the same internet as wired ISPs?  They shouldn’t.

What do you think?  Should wired ISPs adhere to a different, more strict set of rules than wireless ISPs?  Share your thoughts below.