Consumer Watchdog Calls On FCC Not To Back Down From Regulating Google And Other “Edge Provider” Connections To Internet In Wake Of Lobbying By Internet Giant

SANTA MONICA, CA – The Federal Communication Commission should protect consumer privacy and regulate connections between the Internet and so-called “edge providers,” like Google, when the agency begins regulating broadband service like a public utility, Consumer Watchdog said today.

An FCC fact sheet about Chairman Tom Wheeler’s plans to reclassify broadband service said he intends to give the Commission authority “allowing it to address issues that may arise in the exchange of traffic between mass-market broadband providers and edge providers.”

Google lobbied the FCC, according to a filing last week, saying “the Commission should not attempt to classify a ‘service that broadband providers make available to ‘edge providers.’”

“Google is too big a goliath to escape FCC scrutiny of how it connects to the Internet,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director. “Google is two-faced. They’ve actively cultivated the public image of supporting net neutrality, but when the new rules would directly affect them, Google works behind the scenes to kill them.”

The Commission is expected to approve new rules at its meeting Thursday that would ensure net neutrality – the idea that all data traveling on the Internet is treated equally. Broadband service would be reclassified as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act and regulated like the phone company.  The FCC would “forbear” from enforcing provisions off the Act that are no longer in the public interest because of changes in technology.

Read the FCC factsheet here:

Read Google’s filing about it lobbying here:


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Published by John M. Simpson

John M. Simpson is a leading voice on technological privacy and stem cell research issues. His investigations this year of Google’s online privacy practices and book publishing agreements triggered intense media scrutiny and federal interest in the online giant’s business practices. His critique of patents on human embryonic stem cells has been key to expanding the ability of American scientists to conduct stem cell research. He has ensured that California’s taxpayer-funded stem cell research will lead to broadly accessible and affordable medicine and not just government-subsidized profiteering. Prior to joining Consumer Watchdog in 2005, he was executive editor of Tribune Media Services International, a syndication company. Before that, he was deputy editor of USA Today and editor of its international edition. Simpson taught journalism a Dublin City University in Ireland, and consulted for The Irish Times and The Gleaner in Jamaica. He served as president of the World Editors Forum. He holds a B.A. in philosophy from Harpur College of SUNY Binghamton and was a Gannett Fellow at the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Hawaii. He has an M.A. in Communication Management from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication.

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