Earlier this year, we posted this forecast of the future landscape of the Internet in 10 years. Analysts frighteningly predicted that the nature of the Internet would be less open, with users having to pay more to view content and access information.
Last night, The New York Times reported that Google is close to closing a deal with Verizon Communications. This rumored deal could potentially kill net-neutrality, and bring the above mentioned forecast to reality.
According to a person briefed on the negotiations who did not want to be identified, a deal could be announced within days and would allow Verizon to prioritize Internet traffic.
TechCrunch gives an example:
If Site A want to pay Verizon $X so that it loads faster than Site B, Site B has two options: it could either pay Verizon $2X so that it loads faster, or it can be content with the fact that its rival just paid for better access to the same consumer base.
Google took to Twitter and posted this tweet today in response to this rumor.
@NYTimes is wrong. We’ve not had any convos with VZN about paying for carriage of our traffic. We remain committed to an open internet.”
Verizon has also addressed the rumor on their policy blog, saying
The NYT article regarding conversations between Google and Verizon is mistaken. 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.”
So, unless you want to take the statements of an unnamed source regarding a huge deal between two major corporations that could potentially kill net neutrality and ultimately change the landscape of the Internet forever to heart (spoiler alert: you don’t), we advise to take this news with a grain of salt and set your browser to your trusted sources of tech news for the rest of the week for updates. AND BREATHE!