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Google, Verizon CEOs advocate for light Net regs

Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg co-wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal asking the FCC to take a light regulatory approach to the Internet.

Google and Verizon Communications have teamed up once again to ask the Federal Communications Commission to take it easy on regulating the Internet.

On Tuesday, Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg co-authored an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal praising aspects of the FCC's National Broadband Plan, which will provide a road map for policymakers and lawmakers over the next decade to promote affordable and ubiquitous broadband. But the executives warned that when it comes to regulating the Internet, the FCC needs to take a "light" approach.

"The Internet has thrived in an environment of minimal regulation," the op-ed reads. "While our two companies don't agree on every issue, we do agree generally as a matter of policy that the framework of minimal government involvement should continue."

They went on to encourage the FCC to continue "creating the right climate for private investment and market-driven innovation to advance broadband."

This is not the first time the two companies have come together to ask for a "light" regulatory approach. In October of last year, Schmidt and Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam posted a joint blog highlighting their agreements on the Net neutrality issue and calling for the feds to ensure the Internet "remains an unrestricted and open platform--where people can access any content (so long as it's legal), as well as the services and applications of their choice."

The FCC is currently working on drafting official rules for Net neutrality that are supposed to keep the Internet open to everyone. Verizon and its service provider brethren have opposed such regulation. Google has supported it, but the company says the FCC should not be heavy-handed in applying any new regulation.

Some groups have recently advocated that the classification for Internet be changed so that it is regulated like telephony infrastructure. Verizon and other providers disagree with reclassifying the Internet in this way. And over the past several weeks, executives have given speeches and posted blogs stating that such a change would severely hamper innovation on the Internet.