updated 07:40 pm EDT, Wed August 4, 2010
Google, Verizon in own talks on net neutrality
Google and Verizon have come into an agreement as to how network operators can manage Internet traffic, according to sources familiar with their negotiations. According to a Thursday Washington Post report, this has happened while the FCC tries to create a set of net neutrality rules that the Internet content providers and ISPs are supposed to follow. An official statement from Google and Verizon is expected to come over the course of the next week.
Meanwhile, the high-ranking representatives from the two companies continue to meet with the FCC and staff from AT&T, Verizon, Google, Skype, a cable trade association and the Open Internet Coalition. These meetings are loudly criticized by public interest groups that do not believe Internet companies should have a large influence on the government's decision on how consumers use the Internet.
The unnamed sources say Google and Verizon's own deal would keep the latter from letting the highest bidders buy priority capacity on its DSL and fiber networks. Open Internet access won't apply to cellphones, however, the sources added.
Verizon could offer better quality to some managed service websites such as health care services. Without a better explanation, many fear this definition could also be expanded to include YouTube and other such services to its FiOS customers, with better quality, for example.
The FCC's meeting with the six companies aims to forge rules that would prevent network operators from blocking or slowing down certain websites.
Part of the talks involves deciding whether wireless phones should be included in this and ultimately if carriers can charge for different, better quality levels of service to certain sites or for certain formats.