The various reports swirling in the news, from the NYT to the WSJ, to Bloomberg, WaPo and Politico, all point to some kind of deal between Google and Verizon in the works. Google has a partial denial via Twitter: "@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."
Note what Gizmodo points out about Google's denial:
It's notable that the Google denial says very specifically that Google has not had discussions about paying for carriage of Google and YouTube. But that doesn't mean they haven't spoken with Verizon about creating a framework that would undermine net neutrality generally. The WSJ report seems to support that interpretation.
All of which leads to one conclusion as reiterated by Congressman Ed Markey, author of H.R. 3458, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act and the leading proponent for Net Neutrality in Congress. The FCC needs to act. Markey:
"The potential deal between two broadband behemoths underscores the need for the FCC to act quickly to protect the free and open Internet. In the absence of such action, it's increasingly clear that cozy cooperation between communications colossi will reign on the Internet. No one should be surprised that such companies will seek to slant the playing field in their favor, a result that will stifle the next generation of Internet innovators and short-circuit the economic benefits needed to power our economy in the 21st century. It is time for the FCC to step in to protect consumers, innovation, and fair competition."
This is not a decision that should be ceded to the telecoms. The FCC needs to act to protect Net Neutrality, and do it quickly.