Google and Verizon deny “fast-lane” internet plan

Google and US telco Verizon have denied newspaper reports saying they were close to reaching an agreement that would allow content owners to pay to have their content delivered faster to users, effectively creating a two-tier internet.

Google and Verizon denied they had participated in conversations about the payment for Google or YouTube traffic on Verizon’s network.

Verizon said: “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.”

The New York Times, which published the original story, has stood by its report. Earlier this year a Federal Court Appeal ruling said that ISPs were entitled to manage the traffic on their own networks and that the FCC had no authority to mandate so-called network neutrality. Video traffic such as YouTube’s accounts for a growing percentage of total internet traffic, resulting in calls from some ISPs for the providers of such services to pay a premium.