The Federal Communications Commission on Aug. 5 ceased broadband policy discussions with Google, Verizon, Skype and AT&T. Suspension of the talks came amid reports that Google and Verizon were hashing out a deal.
The Federal Communications Commission on Aug. 5 broke off broadband policy
discussions with Google, Verizon, Skype and AT&T, citing too much
"We have called off this round of stakeholder discussions," said
FCC Chief of Staff Edward Lazarus. "It has 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
Lazarus also said all options remain on the table. The participants had held
court on how carriers can manage traffic without impinging network access for
Suspension of the talks came amid reports that Google and Verizon were hashing out
a deal in which Google and other content owners
would pay Verizon to have their content accelerated on the carrier's broadband
This plan reportedly applied to fixed wired networks and not wireless
Google and Verizon both denied such a plan, which flies in the face of FCC
network neutrality principles that call for an open Internet with no traffic
prioritization or favoritism.
The mere notion that Google and Verizon were considering such a deal
horrified consumer advocates who feared this sort of broadband brokering would
put too much control in the hands of corporations that provide the data pipes
and those that seek to shuttle content over it.
The issue prompted FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to decry such a move by
Google and Verizon.
reporters Aug. 5 it was "unacceptable" for
Internet service providers to provide faster Internet to content providers who
paid for it.
"Any outcome-any deal-that doesn't preserve the freedom and openness of
the Internet for consumers and entrepreneurs will be unacceptable," said
The chairman is trying to push for the "third way," to reclassify
broadband service providers, and is spearheading the National Broadband Plan to
bring broadband to more consumers in rural areas.