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Groups Petition Google To Call Off Verizon 'Deal'

Free Press, and other groups said Monday they delivered
petitions from over 300,000 people to the offices of Google in D.C. protesting
an agreement on network neutrality principles struck by the two companies.

An e-mail about the special delivery came at about the same time
the top executives of both companies were outlining those principles toreporters.

The groups have been collecting the signatures since last
Thursday, when reports first surfaced of the agreement, which includes allowing
Verizon to create and charge for alternate delivery systems for broadband
content so long as they do not affect the public Internet.

"It shouldn't be left to the whims of two companies to decide for
the rest of us how the Internet works," said Josh Silver, president of Free
Press, in a statement. "We've seen the disasters that can happen when industry
giants are left to regulate themselves.... [O]ur leaders in Washington need to
reject the Google-Verizon deal and get back to making policies that truly
protect Internet users and the open Internet."

Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said
Monday that it was not a "deal," that it had been mischaracterized in
the press, that it involved no paid prioritization, and that as far as Google
was concerned, it would not be delivering YouTube over the kind of non-public
broadband delivery service the principles would allow.