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."

User Comments: 3

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Emin3nce said:

Way to stuff around with the interweb.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

What ever happened to good old fact checking and getting the whole story before you run screaming to the world that the sky is falling? I mean, I can see some blogger in their parents' basement taking a few minor scraps of info and blowing it into a huge sensational conspiracy story, but the NY Times and other reputable organizations as well?

In a day and age where information is easier to get and more prevalent than ever, it is inexcusable for these outfits to be throwing out suppositions as fact (and coincidentally making news out of something that isn't even newsworthy).

TJGeezer said:

What corporate PR spokespeople say can sound official, but what counts will be the terms of the actual agreement. Google's got a pretty good reputation for openness, but a huge telecom like Verizon? That's another story. Like cable, that whole industry seems to be in the business of buying legislators and getting favorable laws and legislated monopolies passed at huge lobbying cost. Seems to me that damning Google and exonerating Verizon are equally premature at this point. I haven't been able to find enough specifics about the actual agreement to pretend to know either way. I'm inclined to wait and see. At the very least, the public notice brought to the matter by the NYT story will tend to keep all the parties honest, I'd think.

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