Google, Verizon deny net neutrality report

Fri, 08/06/2010 - 8:20am
Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week

Verizon and Google are denying a story published by The New York Times that said the two companies had negotiated a deal that would force users to pay fees to get Web content at a faster rate.

The New York Times claimed the deal could result in tiered charges for Internet access, under which providers would force users to pay higher fees for faster speeds. Such a deal would fly in the face of net neutrality tenets, under which all Internet content is treated equally.

Google and Verizon flatly denied the story in separate statements issued yesterday. Google's public policy blog stated on Twitter: "@NYTimes is wrong. We've not had any convos with VZN about paying for carriage of our traffic. We remain committed to an open Internet."

Verizon said the article "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."

The story broke yesterday after its was announced that the FCC had ended a round of closed-door discussions with companies, including Google and Verizon, on Internet regulation after it failed to produce a way forward on net neutrality.

FCC Chief of Staff Edward Lazarus said the stakeholder discussions had "been productive on several fronts, but has not generated a robust framework to preserve the openness and freedom of the Internet – one that drives innovation, investment, free speech and consumer choice.  All options remain on the table as we continue to seek broad input on this vital issue."

The meetings were part of the FCC's ongoing efforts to enforce net neutrality regulations in the wake of the Comcast decision. The regulations are a key interest to operators of both cable and wireless networks. The regulations could potentially undermine wireless operators' ability to manage their networks, particularly with heavy data users who pose a threat to network performance.

More Broadband Direct 8/06/10:

•  Data leads the charge for Mediacom's Q2 earnings
•  Google, Verizon deny net neutrality report
•  FCC to open spectrum for wireless backhaul
•  On the Call: TWC's Britt, Cablevision's Seibert
•  Consumer demand boosts cable, satellite TV profits
•  Motorola Foundation kicks in $100k to Cable Center lecture series

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