Google And Verizon Undermining Net Neutrality?

Google And Verizon Undermining Net Neutrality?

The internet is abound with rumors that Google and Verizon may have secretly made an agreement regarding treatment of internet traffic. Bloomberg, The New York Times, and The Washington Post are all reporting that Google and Verizon have made a backroom deal that would allow preferental treatment to some parts of the web, and prioritization of data delivery to certain devices. Google and Verizon both deny the claims.

The source of the information for these claims are "people close to the negotiations who were not authorized to speak publicly about them," which doesn't sound very credible, but as AndroidGuys notes, "papers like The New York Times and Washington Post don't typically completely make stuff up."

TechCrunch writes about the rumored agreement:

Yesterday, the New York Times published a story that detailed an agreement in the works between Verizon and Google that would effectively kill off net neutrality by allowing “Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege”. The news sparked outrage in the tech community, because Google has a long history of advocating net neutrality. Now both Google and Verizon are coming out to claim that the New York Times story is incorrect.

Bloomberg and The Washington Post both put up coverage of the story. Here is an excerpt from The Washington Post's article:

Specifically, Google and Verizon's agreement could prevent Verizon from offering some prioritization to the biggest bidders who want better delivery of content on its DSL and fiber networks, according to the sources. But that wouldn’t apply to mobile phones, the sources said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the companies have not officially made their announcement.

And Verizon could offer some managed services -- better quality to some Web sites such as those offering health care services, the sources said. But some analysts speculate that managed services could also include discounted YouTube and other services to FiOs customers at better quality.

Phandroid writes that "To be clear, the supposed deal would not include slowing data or giving preferential treatment to data on Verizon’s mobile network. To be even more clear, this entire report must be considered rumor until something more official finds its way to the stage."

Google Public Policy's response on Twitter, which you can read above, states that the New York Times "is wrong. We've not had any convos with VZN about paying for carriage of our traffic. We remain committed to an open internet."

Below is Verizon's statement on the matter:

The NYT article regarding conversations between Google and Verizon is mistaken. It fundamentally misunderstands our purpose. As we said in our earlier FCC filing, our goal is an Internet policy framework that ensures openness and accountability, and incorporates specific FCC authority, while maintaining investment and innovation. To suggest this is a business arrangement between our companies is entirely incorrect.

AndroidGuys mentions that "We may not have to wait long to find out: the Times' source says that an agreement could come "as soon as next week.""

Other Sources: AndroidGuys, Bloomberg, Google, Phandroid, TechCrunch, The New York Times, The Washington Post

Image from TechCrunch

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