Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) reportedly are circumventing and, they probably hope, preventing FCC intervention in broadband Internet by developing hammering out a deal for Verizon to clear the path for Internet users who are willing to pay for faster access. Consumers wouldn't, at least directly, pay for the improved service, although opponents believe that consumers would somehow be disadvantaged. Reports say that fees for preferred network access would be paid by companies like Google's YouTube.
The deal flies in the face of net neutrality which was supported primarily by Google and which is part of the FCC's national broadband plan. That agency is having a tough time of setting up broadband controls since a court ruling on a Comcast case negated its authority to control how Internet providers control the flow of content and applications. The FCC reportedly has been seeking a political compromise by bringing together "industry stakeholders," including cable companies, Google and Verizon, in private meetings.
Since net neutrality impacts the cable industry it was not surprising that Time Warner (NYSE: TWC-WI) CEO Glenn Britt touched on it when commenting on the MSO's second quarter when he pointed out that Time Warner Cable and "other interested parties are working constructively with the FCC to find a reasonable path for them to implement the national broadband plan," he said.
AT&T, Verizon join Google in net neutrality group
The other side: Net neutrality compromise skewered