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Net Neutrality

August 5, 2010 by staff 

Net Neutrality, IDG News Service – Google and Verizon are in talks on how to manage network traffic, an agreement that could influence U.S. regulators view network neutrality, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal today.

Verizon confirmed the talks have been ongoing with Google and the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for 10 months, the newspaper reported.

The deal apparently would be to establish principles on network neutrality, or the belief that service providers should not reduce the speed of certain types of traffic on their networks. The agreement, however, apparently would allow service providers to prioritize traffic, if customers pay for this service, the newspaper said.

network providers have argued that they need to restrict certain types of Internet traffic in order to maintain a quality of service through their customer bases. This has occurred, for example, for file-sharing protocols like BitTorrent. But there are fears that network providers are unfairly limiting other types of applications and protocols for competitive purposes. Wireless networks are not subject to the agreement, the report said.

The FCC has been talking with major service providers on how to regulate network neutrality. That has drawn criticism from groups like Public Knowledge, whose communications director wrote that any deal between Google and Verizon could be short-lived because they have no force of law.

A deal between Google and Verizon “can not replace a legally binding global agreement in the public interest includes not only network management, but the universal service and other issues involved in the broader issue, even if the FCC has authority over broadband, “Brodsky wrote in Art group blog.

Google officials contacted in London said it had no comment.

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