WASHINGTON – Verizon’s
top lobbyist Tom Tauke gave a speech yesterday at an industry-sponsored
forum where, according to various press reports, he defended his
company’s recent Net Neutrality pact with Google.

Tauke claimed that the two companies’ proposal “fulfills the
president’s campaign promise of non-discrimination and transparency on
the Internet,” but the pact would exclude all wireless Internet
connections, and would even go so far as to bar the Federal
Communications Commission from having any authority to make and enforce
Net Neutrality rules, instead requiring it to defer to a third-party
industry group.

Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner made the following statement:

“Verizon is simply dead wrong in claiming their farce of a
framework would fulfill President Obama’s Net Neutrality promises.
Verizon can’t hide the fact that, if enacted, this pact would mark the
end of the open Internet era.

“The Google-Verizon deal contains no protections for
wireless access, which accounts for nearly one-third of all Internet
connections, giving Verizon and other ISPs the green light to block or
degrade content on their wireless networks. In addition, it would allow
Internet service providers to discriminate online by offering private
Internet services alongside those on the “public” Internet. As a
candidate, Obama himself opposed the two-tiered Internet this proposal
would create.