Google and Verizon Wireless Aug. 5 said they are not striking a deal to accelerate online content to Internet users more quickly for fees.
The New York Times stated that Google is working with Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content's creators are willing to pay for such service. Google and Verizon said that report was not accurate.
Such an agreement would skewer the idea of network neutrality, a set of Federal Communications Commission principles that calls for no impingement of Internet content, Web sites, platforms or devices by Internet service providers.
As an example, the Times said Google's YouTube site could pay Verizon to make sure its content reached consumers in a timely fashion. The Times, which said a deal could come next week, suggested these fees would lead to higher costs for Web users.
Google Aug. 5 claimed the Times story reporting the negotiations was wrong, adding on its Twitter public policy account that:
"We've not had any convos with VZN about paying for carriage of our traffic. We remain committed to an open Internet."
In a public statement on his corporate blog, Verizon spokesman David Fish called the Times' story "mistaken":
"It 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."
Fish did not expressly deny the Times' point about payment for placement in network traffic.
Consumer advocates fear such deals would put too much power in the hands of Google and Verizon, threatening prospects for an open Web.