Google and Verizon Meet to Discuss Net Neutrality
In a move that could drastically change the economics of Internet service, Google and Verizon have begun discussing a plan that would allow Verizon to charge different monetary rates, and grant different download speeds , to different kinds of Internet content, according to the New York Times.
This plan would undermine the current equality between all kinds of Internet traffic, a state known as net neutrality, and introduce a delivery and pay scheme similar to television, with its network, cable and premium cable options.
The agreement between Google and Verizon would also further erode the ability of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate the Internet. The FCC attempted to protect net neutrality as a matter of policy with the Broadband Plan it announced earlier this year, but lost the ability to do so in a court case against Comcast.
For the past few weeks, FCC officials have met with representatives of Google and Verizon, as well as other major Internet players like Skype, AT&T and the net neutrality advocacy group Open Internet Coalition, in the hopes of negotiating a way for the FCC to regulate Internet traffic despite the earlier court ruling.
The talks between Verizon and Google circumvented that process, and allowed the two companies, who work together on the Android smartphones , to present a consolidated negotiating position against the FCC, net neutrality advocates and other Internet content providers.
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