Verizon's Thorne Comes Out Punching

by Bruce Stewart

Verizon continues to set the stage for a big showdown around Net Neutrality this year, as senior vice president John Thorne is quoted today in the Washington Post telling Google that their "free lunch" on the carrier's tab must come to an end:

"The network builders are spending a fortune constructing and maintaining the networks that Google intends to ride on with nothing but cheap servers," Thorne told a conference marking the 10th anniversary of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. "It is enjoying a free lunch that should, by any rational account, be the lunch of the facilities providers."

Cynthia Brumfield over on IP Democracy (my new favorite site) has been following this issue closely and as expected has an astute analysis of the latest developments. She's been taking both sides to task for their ratched-up rhetoric lately, and today Verizon gets her attention:

Why should Google’s “lunch” be yours when they created something that in your wildest dreams Verizon could never have developed? It took a whole lot more than “cheap servers” to do what Google has done. And they did so at a time when the idea of a free, open and unhindered Internet seemed like an unalterable reality, even to the telcos.