Amidst all the rancor that we’ve seen during the last few weeks over the Federal Communications Commission’s proposed net neutrality rules comes a joint filing by Verizon and Google that asks a refreshing question. What do the antagonists have in common regarding this vexing problem? “Because our businesses rely on each other, it is appropriate for us to jointly discuss a number of things,” wrote Alan Davidson of Google and Thomas Tauke of Verizon on Thursday, such as “how we ensure that consumers get the information, products and services they want online; encourage investment in advanced networks; and ensure the openness of the web around the world.” And so they’ve come up with a set of broad principles and the outline of a voluntary industry-wide system for handling network management disputes, with government intervention included only in the most dire cases–a set of “overarching values that create a framework to guide players throughout the internet space.” It makes sense that Google and Verizon would try this out. As Ars readers know, they don’t just “rely on each other,” they’re business partners now, not just in offering the DROID smartphone on Verizon’s network, but in Google’s online phone store, as well. “We believe that we need a policy that will ensure openness and preserve the essential character of the Internet as a global, interconnected network of networks and users that is thriving based on a common set of core values,” their statement explains.
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