The Google-Verizon net neutrality saga has taken yet another strange turn as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has ended closed-door talks with several companies over the future of net neutrality and has lashed out against the practice of paying for faster transmission of data over the Internet.
"Any outcome, any deal that doesn't preserve the freedom and openness of the Internet for consumers and entrepreneurs will be unacceptable," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski told reporters Thursday.
His remarks were in reaction to reports that Google and Verizon are about to strike a deal that would charge some Internet content providers more than others for the transmission of their data to users across the world. Clearly Genachowski is opposed to such an arrangement.
The FCC also made another move related to an impending Google-Verizon deal: They cancelled closed-door meetings seeking a compromise on regulating Internet traffic and establishing net neutrality, according to the Wall Street Journal.
According insiders familiar with the details, talks were abruptly cut off soon after the net neutrality story broke. The FCC believes the Google-Verizon deal undermines broader issues.
The entire affair has blown up into a PR nightmare. Google and Verizon have both denied they are attempting to end net neutrality, but they have confirmed that they are talking to one another.
It seems as if the two are trying to define net neutrality through an agreement and model their definition as a standard for the industry.
However, the two companies are likely to find that others aren't as willing to accept their agreement as they might have hoped.
Anything involving paying different prices for the transmission of Internet traffic is sure to be challenged by both watchdog organizations and the very companies Google allied itself with last year in support of the FCC's net neutrality rules.
The situation is getting ugly. The FCC won't allow Google or Verizon to derail its plan for net neutrality. The two companies are going to have to issue more than 140 character denials for this story to go away.