Verizon on Net Neutrality: “Trust Us.”

With the depressing defeat of the Net Neutrality bill before the House Telecom and Internet subcommittee yesterday, many Internet users are getting a bit nervous. Are we on the precipitous edge of one of those nefarious slippery slopes people are always talking about? Will common sense prevail? If it doesn’t, can we trust providers like Verizon and AT&T to not cripple the Internet?

Verizon is claiming that we can. In fact, they recently told Congress: “Our commitment to our customers, our commitment to [the U.S. Congress] is this: We will not block, impair, or degrade content, applications, or service.”Mark that word: commitment.

Now go read David Isenberg’s account of the last commitment Verizon made to him as a customer, when his phone line went out. They committed to be there within an 11 hour window to restore service. That commitment flew out the window as soon as it became inconvenient for Verizon to do so. We’ve all had experiences like this. How quickly do you think Verizon’s “commitment” to offer web surfers unimpaired Internet access will last when the executives decide that that’s inconvenient or just not profitable?

Verizon: “Trust us.” []


Edit Your Comment

  1. Chris H says:

    This is following the age-old industry approach to lobbying against consumer protection laws. First you start by arguing that there’s no problem. When the problem is documented, then you argue, “well we wouldn’t do that…competition for consumers will prevent us from doing that. Golly gee.”

    Just two years ago, they denied that there was even a problem:

    “The proponents of network neutrality regulations have yet to show there’s a problem,” says Brian Dietz, a spokesman for the National Cable and Telecommunications Association. “It’s truly a solution in search of a problem.”

    Grant Gross, Advocates push for network neutrality policy, Network World, Apr. 5, 2004.

    So, the next step is that they’ll argue that net discrimination is good for you and that consumers want it. After all, if they didn’t, they just cancel their DSL accounts, right?

  2. Paul D says:

    Insightful analysis by Chris H.

    He has certainly nailed the process by which most corporations deal with problems.

    1. Deny that there is a problem.
    2. Deny that the existing problem affects the company.
    3. Deny that the existing problem, which affects the company, will affect the consumer.

  3. airship says:

    4. Deny that the existing problem, which affects both the company and the consumer, is the fault of the demonic baby-eating management of the company.