Where Facebook Stands on the Net Neutrality Debate
Google and Verizon have the tech web talking a lot with their controversial net neutrality proposal. One of the biggest criticisms about it is how wireless is treated differently than the non-wireless Internet.
Jeff Jarvis has a great post about this subject talking about how considering these different is like saying there’s an Internet and a "Schminternet". Someone else that takes issue with the different treatment of wireless, however, is a name you might know even better – Facebook.
The company has provided a statement (via InformationWeek) on its stance on this issue. "Facebook continues to support principles of net neutrality for both landline and wireless networks," said Facebook spokesperson Andrew Noyes. "Preserving an open Internet that is accessible to innovators — regardless of their size or wealth — will promote a vibrant and competitive marketplace where consumers have ultimate control over the content and services delivered through their Internet connections."
Mobile is a huge part of Facebook use, so it makes sense for Facebook to want to preserve wireless neutrality. It may not be the biggest part (yet), but it’s a significant part. Last month, Facebook’s head of mobile products, Eric Tseng, said Facebook has 150 million users accessing the social network through phones and other mobile devices. He also talked about some big plans for the company’s mobile strategy going forward.
That might not be the only concern, however. Dean Wilson at TechEye has some interesting thoughts. "Or, in other words, Facebook is afraid of the notion that Google, which could soon be its biggest competitor with its Google Me social network, may have a man on the inside in terms of net neutrality," he writes."It wouldn’t be the only one which fears that ‘net neutrality’ might turn out to be ‘favouring Google’, but it is certainly top of the list of those who believe the internet should be favouring Facebook instead."
"Facebook is not as neutral as it claims, however," he adds. "In May of this year it signed deals with several major phone networks to offer its web portal for free to users. While this may at first sound like a generous offering, it is in fact preferential treatment, as users are many more times likely to use a free portal than one that eats their credit or monthly data allowance."
Facebook CEO Zuckerberg (along with Google CEO Eric Schmidt) have both shown their support of the FCC’s net neutrality plans.