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August 6, 2010

FCC net neutrality negotiations falter

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by Darren Allan

Talks on net neutrality headed up by the Federal Communications Commission in the States have been halted.

Net neutrality is, by a very simple definition anyway, the belief that the Internet should be kept a level playing field for all content.

The news comes in the wake of multiple reports which suggest that Google and Verizon are close to brokering some manner of deal whereby speedy premium traffic lanes could be purchased on the net.

This raises the prospect of big companies getting their wallets out in a “doomsday scenario” where they carve up chunks of the net between them, the Independent writes.

Google, however, strenuously denied that it would attempt to push through any deal where it could buy fast lane net corridors for its own traffic.

Internet rights activists fear that whatever Google and Verizon are up to, it will be the first step to an Internet where Joe Public the average blogger no longer affords the same clout as Charlie Corporation. And a downhill slope from there…

The FCC did not say whether the manoeuvring between the two companies that has seemingly been going on this week had anything to do with the ceasing of its net neutrality debate.

But out of the whole affair, there’s one word that readily springs to mind, and that’s “ominous”.

Story link: FCC net neutrality negotiations falter

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