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Update: Google, Verizon look to bridge net neutrality debate, denies reports end of open Internet

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said Wednesday that the search giant and wireless partner Verizon are "trying to find solutions that bridge" disagreements over net neutrality, according to CNET.

Schmidt didn't confirm that the companies have reached their own accord over whether content can be slowed on wireless networks. Sources told the Post Wednesday that the companies agreed that Verizon won't be allowed to block or slow down some applications on its fixed-line network but that it could do so on wireless networks. But Verizon could also allow better quality of service to some Web sites that partner with them or pay for faster downloads, sources said.

Update: Google denied a report that it agreed with Verizon that companies like it could pay for extra capacity on networks. In a message on Twitter, Google wrote: "@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 wrote in its policy blog that the report was "mistaken," and that "to suggest this is a business arrangement between our companies is entirely incorrect."

There are few details on what has been decided between the companies. Engineering details on carving network pipes for paid prioritization versus managed services have been the biggest sticking points of negotiations among Google, Verizon and other participants of FCC meetings.

"We're trying to find solutions that bridge between sort of the 'hard-core Net neutrality or else' view and the historic telecom view of no such agreement," Schmidt told reporters on the sidelines of the Techonomy conference in Lake Tahoe, according to CNET.

Schmidt said his belief is that the core of Net neutrality is the idea that network providers shouldn't be able to favor one particular provider of content over another. He said that networks should be able to prioritize a content medium, say, voice over video, according to CNET.

"People get confused about Net neutrality," Schmidt said. "I want to make sure that everybody understands what we mean about it. What we mean is that if you have one data type, like video, you don't discriminate against one person's video in favor of another. It's OK to discriminate across different types...There is general agreement with Verizon and Google on this issue. The issues of wireless versus wireline get very messy...and that's really an FCC issue not a Google issue."

Google has been in talks with Verizon for the past year on how the carrier can manage its network. Google has much at stake: Verizon sells Android phones, including the Droid, that operates on Google's software. At the same conference Wednesday, Schmidt said some 200,000 Android phones are being sold each day. Earlier this week, the Nielsen company reported that Android phones overtook sales of the iPhone.

By by Cecilia Kang  |  August 5, 2010; 8:04 AM ET
Categories:  Consumers , FCC , Google , Mobile , Net Neutrality , Online Video , Verizon  
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Next: FCC stops closed-door Internet policy meetings as Google, Verizon strike side deal


*2nd Sentence clearly refutes the 1st*
" 1st. Sources told the Post Wednesday that the companies agreed that Verizon won't be allowed to block or slow down some applications on its fixed-line network but that it could do so on wireless networks. 2nd. Verizon could also allow for network operators to offer better quality of service to some Web sites that partner with them or pay for faster downloads, sources said."

Does anyone else notice that the 2nd sentence refutes the 1st? How can Verizon not slow down applications but allow for partnerships to be formed that allow for faster downloads.
Users will notice that certain sites have faster downloads, thus even though ISP's will not (technically wink, wink) slow down the other sites, they will. Instead of being slow it is now standard and fast. Of course fast has an advantage. Therefore, the big players of the internet have now successfully tiered the internet, essentially creating a more natural FORCING of users to go to the fastest moving websites. Significant advantage to the bigger players, bringing hierarchy to the web.

This will stagnate innovation and ruin the only chances America has at new age progress. Big Mistake!

Is it not enough we, the American consumers, are already giving away the wireless networks with no hiccup? This is the market everyone is declaring where the future of innovation is heading? Is it not? And we, the American public, give it up with out even a second glance. Seems like the scales are quite unbalanced...

Now they try to slip in a tiering process which Google (once the upholder of net neutrality, now just another Microsoft) is agreeing to because they are so BIG and have SELF INTEREST (android phones).
Before they had 200,000 phones selling a day they were just as adamant as everyone else in the net neutrality debate. Google should be seen as the traitor it is.

Posted by: AW-SY | August 5, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

The buzzphrase "network neutrality" never had any agreed-upon definition. In practice, it simply means whatever the speaker hopes to accomplish by imposing onerous regulations upon ISPs. In Google's case, there are several ways that it can protect its multiple Internet monopolies (Internet search, Internet search advertising, Internet banner advertising, Internet video) by regulating ISPs, and thus several "definitions" that would be acceptable to it.

In this case, Google is being crafty and hedging its bets. Its internal lobbyists are pushing for one definition in negotiations with Verizon and behind closed doors at the FCC, while its hired lobbying groups (Public Knowledge, Free Press, New America, Future of Music Coalition, Open Internet Coalition) are pushing for another. Either way, Google wins, and the public is harmed by higher broadband prices, fewer choices of Internet providers, lower quality of service, slower deployment, less innovation, and (of course) being forced to deal with Google's monopolies.

The only way the PUBLIC wins is if no "network neutrality" regulation of any form happens. It's not necessary. The Internet has survived for 27 years without it and is still going strong -- despite the doomsaying of Google's lobbyists.

Posted by: LBrettGlass | August 5, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

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