Google, Verizon deny web pay talks

Google and Verizon Wireless said
the two companies are not looking to create pay tiers for certain web sites on
mobile phones.

“We’ve not had any convos with
(Verizon) about paying for carriage of our traffic,” Google said on
Twitter. “We remain committed to an open Internet.”

A New York Times story about the talks “is mistaken,” said David Fish, Verizon’s
executive director of media relations wrote on the company’s public policy
blog. “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.”

Verizon Wireless has acknowledged
having talks with Google over the past 10 months about Internet traffic to cell
phones. The two companies have a common interest, with Verizon now carrying so
many phones using the Google-backed, Android-based operating system. Such
phones are quickly coming to dominate the smart phone landscape in the United
States.

However, Google has been one of the
big forces behind the Open Internet Coalition, which supports “network
neutrality,” the notion that no Internet content should be blocked, slowed
or given preference on Internet networks in any way to users in the United
States. Verizon Wireless, like other wireless carriers, has not been as big a
fan of the idea with concerns about network congestion.

The Times reported that Google and
Verizon “are nearing an agreement that could allow Verizon to speed some
online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are
willing to pay for the privilege.

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