Google to abandon net neutrality?

A source says a deal with Verizon could mean film studios would pay more for delivering higher-quality downloads.

By TheWrap Aug 4, 2010 8:57PM

On the issue of network neutrality, Google seems to have gone over to the dark side.


While the Federal Communications Commission continues to wrestle over the issue, Verizon and Google have reached a tentative deal on handling Internet content that could lead to film studios being charged extra if they want to deliver better-quality movie downloads, an individual familiar with the deal has told TheWrap.


The as yet  unannounced agreement -- potentially to be presented to legislators or the Federal Communications Commission as a model for legislation -- essentially anticipates the splitting of Internet connections into two lines. One would be for normal traffic and one for "managed services," the source said.

For wired connections, normal traffic would compete much as it does today, with Verizon offering a voluntary guarantee not to favor big websites.


In return, Verizon would be able to charge for higher-priority traffic that could include medical uses, sports or gaming -- or for some assurance that premium-priced, first-run movies aren't interrupted with constant blips or breaks.


For wireless connections, there would be no neutrality guarantee, and Verizon could charge websites individually for better service.


The agreement appears to abandon network-neutrality principles that Google, among other companies, had been pushing.

Verizon, of course, sells several phones that are powered by Google's Android software.


There was no official word from either company Wednesday.


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