Google, Verizon shake hands on policy threatening net neutrality
Would create 'two' internets, one public and one that would charge extra for higher-priority services, which could include better-quality movie downloads
Google and Verizon on Monday formally announced a joint agreement on handling internet content that would severely impact net neutrality.
As reported on TheWrap last week, the agreement could lead to movie studios being charged extra if they want to deliver high-quality downloads of films over the web.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg made the announcement in a call with the media. They suggested the plan would ensure freedom of choice for consumers but also let internet service providers attract the investment needed to expand and improve the speed of internet connections.
Hoping to calm fears that there was an actual deal in place between the two major players -- and that it would doom net neutrality -- Schmidt said that the plan is intended to set aside “a very divisive debate.”
“There is no business arrangement," he said. "Not a deal. This is a joint policy announcement,” he said.
The proposal, which the CEOs said would be offered to the Federal Communications Commission and Congress, preserves the openness of the internet, Seidenberg said. “There is no paid prioritization over the [existing] internet,” he said. Read more
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The offering could become the second-biggest this year if underwriters exercise an option to buy more shares.
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