Telecom Timeout

Oct 22 2009   1:30PM GMT

Verizon CEO comes out swinging against net neutrality

Jessica Scarpati Jessica Scarpati Profile: Jessica Scarpati

I gotta say, any trade show that opens the ceremonies with some trash talkin’ has my attention.

After giving up a little hip-hip-hooray for Verizon’s long-awaited 4G network (ready for 60 devices thus far and expected to be in 25-30 markets next year) at the opening keynote of SuperCOMM 2009 on Wednesday in Chicago, CEO Ivan Seidenberg shelved his warm and fuzzy feelings there.

The Federal Communications Commission was on the cusp of releasing its proposed net neutrality regulations — a hard sell for the SuperCOMM crowd, to say the least.  Seidenberg pretty much stopped short of calling the net neutrality proponents (and their sympathizers on the FCC) lefty wingbat commies.

“If this burdensome regime of net regulation is imposed on all parts of the Internet industry, it will inject an extraordinary amount of bureaucratic oversight into the economy’s main growth engine for the future,” he said.

Seidenberg said his main beef with net neutrality proponents was their suggestion “that network providers like Verizon and applications providers like Google, Amazon and others occupy fundamentally different parts of the Internet ecosystem — a binary world of ‘dumb pipes’ on the one hand and ‘smart applications’ on the other.”

Verizon Wireless and Google — who has been at the front of Team Net Neutrality — are partnering to release a smartphone that runs on Google’s Android system.

“This is a mistake, pure and simple: an analog idea in a digital universe,” he said. “We can’t create smart economy by dumbing down our critical infrastructure.”

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