The two companies are rumored to be in the midst of negotiating an agreement that could fundamentally change the landscape of the internet. If a deal is reached between the two media giants, it would allow content providers like YouTube (owned by Google) to get their content to users faster (courtesy of Verizon, one of the nation’s largest Internet service providers). Of course expediency comes at a price. YouTube would have to pay for the privilege, and then ultimately those costs would be passed on to consumers. If an agreement is reached, the Internet would become more of a tiered system (like cable television) where some users pay more for faster access to content. Julius Genachowski, chairman of the FCC, says “…any deal that doesn’t preserve the freedom and openness of the Internet for consumers and entrepreneurs will be unacceptable”. If this deal goes forward despite warnings from the FCC, will it mean the end of “net neutrality” or equal access to the internet? And is there anything wrong with some people paying more for preferred service?
Josh Silver, president & CEO, Free Press
George S. Ford, Ph.D, Chief Economist, Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies