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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.

“Verizon and Google’s proposal, despite Tauke’s claims, is far weaker than the framework proposed by Chairman Genachowski last fall, and far worse than numerous bipartisan legislative proposals offered in Congress over the past several years.

"The simple fact is Verizon and Google cooked this scheme to carve up the Internet among themselves and other industry giants because they fear competition on the free and open Internet. It's up to Chairman Genachowski and the FCC, not Verizon or Google, to fulfill President Obama's promises to preserve Net Neutrality."

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