Now, mainstream media (even the NY Times), often gets the details wrong. But Edward Wyatt’s piece in todays paper says that GOOG and Verizon are nearing an agreement in which Google would pay extra charges to Verizon to give higher priority to google’s YouTube traffic:
The charges could be paid by companies, like YouTube, owned by Google, for example, to Verizon, one of the nation’s leading Internet service providers, to ensure that its content received priority as it made its way to consumers.
Now, the flip side of prioritizing some traffic is that you are deprioritizing other traffic. Such agreements violate net neutrality, considered to be one of the core principles that has allowed so much innovation to occur with the web. Such private agreements favor the big guys, who can pay to get their traffic prioritized. Which of us would use some new startup’s video sharing service if the video is slow and choppy; but how could a new startup pay fees at the same level of google to get their video equal priority?
“The point of a network neutrality rule is to prevent big companies from dividing the Internet between them,” said Gigi B. Sohn, president and a founder of Public Knowledge, a consumer advocacy group.
So, I hope the article is wrong or that Google decides not to throw away it’s principles for the bucks they could make from a cozy relationship with Verizon to guarantee that their and only their products perform well.