Is the Future of Mobile Broadband Pay As You Go?

Over the past few weeks, I have been considering a mobile broadband solution. My reasoning is two-fold: I’d like a backup in case my regular connection fails–Comcast here has become somewhat spotty as of late–and something for when I’m on the road at a conference and don’t want to depend on the available Wi-Fi, which is sometimes unreliable.

For the time being, I have settled on Virgin Mobile’s Broadband2Go offering (I’ll have a review of it coming in a week or two after I’ve put it through its paces). It’s cheap, the initial cost of startup is not high, and it’s now Mac compatible. But while at Wal-Mart, I was shocked to see Verizon and AT&T are now offering their own prepaid plans. I must have missed their announcements–and it’s kind of surprising to me that those companies be interested in getting into the game.


Over the past few weeks, I have been considering a mobile broadband solution. My reasoning is two-fold: I’d like a backup in case my regular connection fails–Comcast here has become somewhat spotty as of late–and something for when I’m on the road at a conference and don’t want to depend on the available Wi-Fi, which is sometimes unreliable.

For the time being, I have settled on Virgin Mobile’s Broadband2Go offering (I’ll have a review of it coming in a week or two after I’ve put it through its paces). It’s cheap, the initial cost of startup is not high, and it’s now Mac compatible. But while at Wal-Mart, I was shocked to see Verizon and AT&T are now offering their own prepaid plans. I must have missed their announcements–and it’s kind of surprising to me that those companies be interested in getting into the game. Leer más “Is the Future of Mobile Broadband Pay As You Go?”

The FCC’s Crusade to Keep the Internet Free

Verizon and Google want to exempt wireless networks from rules

By Todd Shields and Brad Stone

Imagine an Internet for which consumers paid a low price for basic service and higher prices for add-ons like 3D video. Or imagine if Comcast (CMCSA), now seeking approval to acquire NBC Universal, allowed its customers to download Universal movies at superfast speeds, while relegating the latest Harry Potter film from rival Time Warner (TWX) to the slow lane.

Open-Internet advocates say such cable-television-like tiered services and virtual toll booths would violate “Net neutrality,” the concept that all information coursing across the Web is equal.


Logo of Comcast
Image via Wikipedia

Verizon and Google want to exempt wireless networks from rules

By Todd Shields and Brad Stone
Imagine an Internet for which consumers paid a low price for basic service and higher prices for add-ons like 3D video. Or imagine if Comcast (CMCSA), now seeking approval to acquire NBC Universal, allowed its customers to download Universal movies at superfast speeds, while relegating the latest Harry Potter film from rival Time Warner (TWX) to the slow lane.

Open-Internet advocates say such cable-television-like tiered services and virtual toll booths would violate “Net neutrality,” the concept that all information coursing across the Web is equal. Leer más “The FCC’s Crusade to Keep the Internet Free”

Net Neutrality: What’s Really Going on?

“Net neutrality is dead!” “Net neutrality lives!” “Google has sold out!” “Google denies selling out!”

The past couple of days have seen contradictory reports about the state of the Federal Communications Commission’s push for network neutrality, all culminating yesterday when the FCC announced that it had called off closed-door net neutrality talks between major industry players such as AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and Google. Net neutrality refers to the principle that ISPs should not be allowed to block or degrade Internet traffic from their competitors in order to speed up their own.

What you need to know about the FCC’s broadband plan

Since the flurry of activity surrounding net neutrality yesterday was often confusing, let’s try to pin down what we know.

The New York Times got the ball rolling two days ago when it reported through anonymous sources that Google and Verizon were near a deal that would let Verizon “speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege.” While the deal between Verizon and Google was separate from the talks the FCC had been having with major industry players, the newspaper noted the deal between two major industry players “could upend the efforts of the Federal Communications Commission to assert its authority over broadband service.”

It didn’t take long for net neutrality advocates for sound the alarm, as Free Press President Josh Silver wrote at the Huffington Post that the Verizon-Google deal would mark “the end of the Internet as we know it.” Google, which has traditionally been viewed as a proponent of net neutrality and has worked with consumer advocacy groups to press for net neutrality in the past, quickly denied that it had reached any sort of deal with Verizon. The FCC, fearing a backlash from consumer groups over its backroom negotiations, soon after called off its separate talks with industry leaders.

Artwork: Chip TaylorSo where does all this leave network neutrality? The answer is that no one really knows, although the commission could always go back to its previous plan outlined by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski this past May, where the commission would reclassify ISPs as common carriers while at the same time insisting that ISPs be exempt from the vast majority of regulations in the current common carrier rules. But this plan has run into a buzzsaw from both the telecommunications industry and from members of Congress in both parties, who implored the FCC to drop its reclassification plan and instead either work with Congress to get net neutrality rules or simply drop the subject all together.


Brad Reed, NetworkWorld

Net neutrality is dead!” “Net neutrality lives!” “Google has sold out!” “Google denies selling out!”

The past couple of days have seen contradictory reports about the state of the Federal Communications Commission’s push for network neutrality, all culminating yesterday when the FCC announced that it had called off closed-door net neutrality talks between major industry players such as AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and Google. Net neutrality refers to the principle that ISPs should not be allowed to block or degrade Internet traffic from their competitors in order to speed up their own.

What you need to know about the FCC’s broadband plan

Since the flurry of activity surrounding net neutrality yesterday was often confusing, let’s try to pin down what we know.

The New York Times got the ball rolling two days ago when it reported through anonymous sources that Google and Verizon were near a deal that would let Verizon “speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege.” While the deal between Verizon and Google was separate from the talks the FCC had been having with major industry players, the newspaper noted the deal between two major industry players “could upend the efforts of the Federal Communications Commission to assert its authority over broadband service.”

It didn’t take long for net neutrality advocates for sound the alarm, as Free Press President Josh Silver wrote at the Huffington Post that the Verizon-Google deal would mark “the end of the Internet as we know it.” Google, which has traditionally been viewed as a proponent of net neutrality and has worked with consumer advocacy groups to press for net neutrality in the past, quickly denied that it had reached any sort of deal with Verizon. The FCC, fearing a backlash from consumer groups over its backroom negotiations, soon after called off its separate talks with industry leaders.

Artwork: Chip TaylorSo where does all this leave network neutrality? The answer is that no one really knows, although the commission could always go back to its previous plan outlined by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski this past May, where the commission would reclassify ISPs as common carriers while at the same time insisting that ISPs be exempt from the vast majority of regulations in the current common carrier rules. But this plan has run into a buzzsaw from both the telecommunications industry and from members of Congress in both parties, who implored the FCC to drop its reclassification plan and instead either work with Congress to get net neutrality rules or simply drop the subject all together. Leer más “Net Neutrality: What’s Really Going on?”

Is Google Working With Verizon to Upend Net Neutrality?

It sounds unlikely, but sources close to Google and Verizon have said that the two companies are working together on a deal that would help Verizon charge some Internet content providers more than others in exchange for priority data transfer speeds.

Such an agreement would fly in the face of net neutrality, a philosophy of web content previously promoted by Google.

The news comes from The New York Times, which cites “people close to the negotiations who were not authorized to speak publicly.” The two tech giants will reportedly make the deal “as soon as next week.”

Consumer advocacy groups and many content creators have argued in favor of net neutrality, which would ensure that the consumer’s ability to access certain pieces of web content would not be tiered based on expense like premium channels on cable television, or first-class and coach seating on airlines. [Más…]

Some of those advocacy groups (Public Knowledge, Free Press, Media and Democracy Coalition and New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative) e-mailed Mashable with a joint statement, outraged by the alleged deal. They called it “unseemly and inappropriate” and said “the Internet belongs to all of us, not to Verizon and Google. There is widespread public support for an open Internet.”

Details on what the deal would entail are scarce, but The New York Times gave one sensational example: Google-owned YouTube may, in theory, pay Verizon additional fees to ensure that its videos are given priority when passing over the various connections of the Internet to reach consumers.

It’s unclear whether this deal would apply to Verizon’s mobile data network, to its FiOS broadband service, or both. The future of net neutrality and its alternatives has not yet been decided, but if this is a broadly encompassing deal, it could influence public policy.


It sounds unlikely, but sources close to Google and Verizon have said that the two companies are working together on a deal that would help Verizon charge some Internet content providers more than others in exchange for priority data transfer speeds.

Such an agreement would fly in the face of net neutrality, a philosophy of web content previously promoted by Google.

The news comes from The New York Times, which cites “people close to the negotiations who were not authorized to speak publicly.” The two tech giants will reportedly make the deal “as soon as next week.”

Consumer advocacy groups and many content creators have argued in favor of net neutrality, which would ensure that the consumer’s ability to access certain pieces of web content would not be tiered based on expense like premium channels on cable television, or first-class and coach seating on airlines. Leer más “Is Google Working With Verizon to Upend Net Neutrality?”