Google, Verizon deny plans to undermine net neutrality

By on August 5, 2010, 4:41 PM
Just weeks after the principles of net neutrality were inscribed in the legal scripture of Chile, rumors have surfaced that a potential deal between Google and Verizon could undermine the open Web. The New York Times and others report that the industry titans are finalizing an arrangement that would let content owners -- such as Google -- pay Verizon for faster speeds.

For instance, Google could pay to have Verizon deliver YouTube data to users faster than a competing site. It's believed that such a practice would lead to tiered pricing schemes for Web access, similar to how cable companies charge more for premium channels and services. Both companies have quickly refuted these claims.

Verizon issued a statement today saying the NY Times "fundamentally misunderstands" the situation. "…Our goal is an Internet policy framework that ensures openness and accountability, and incorporates specific FCC authority, while maintaining investment and innovation," the telecom giant said. "To suggest this is a business arrangement between our companies is entirely incorrect."

Similarly, Google said the Times article is simply wrong. "We have not had any conversations with Verizon about paying for carriage of Google traffic. We remain as committed as we always have been to an open Internet." Furthermore, the FCC has stated that "any deal that doesn't preserve the freedom and openness of the Internet for consumers and entrepreneurs will be unacceptable."

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