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Verizon: Still Committed to FCC Broadband Bill Negotiations

Verizon says
it is committed to an FCC-led negotiation on broadband legislation.
That came late Wednesday in response to a report it had come to a side
agreement of sorts with Google.

Verizon had
no comment on a Bloomberg report that it had come up with an agreement
with Google on managing network traffic flow that would including not
slowing traffic online, though it would not
apply to wireless broadband, according to the report from Bloomberg's
Todd Shields.

"We've been
working with Google for ten months to reach an agreement on broadband
policy," said company spokesman David Fish in an e-mail. "We are
currently engaged in and committed to the negotiation
process led by the FCC. We are optimistic this process will reach a
consensus that can maintain an open Internet and the investment and
innovation required to sustain it."

of Google and Verizon had been in meetings with FCC Chief of Staff Ed
Lazarus Wednesday about possible legislative solutions to clarifying the
FCC's authority to regulate network management,
just the latest of a series of such meetings. An agreement between
Google and Verizon on a broadband policy they could both live with would
be atleast a step in that direction.

"The broad stakeholder discussions continue to actively include Google and Verizon," said the FCC in a statement late Wednesday.

knowledge (PK), which is part of the Open Internet Coalition, whose
representative Markham Erickson has been in the FCC meetings, backs FCC
Chairman Julius Genachowski's proposal to classify
broadband transmission as a Title II service to help clarify that
authority. It, for one, was not happy with the report.

"The deal
between Verizon and Google about how to manage Internet traffic is
deeply regrettable and should be considered meaningless," said PK
President Gigi Sohn. "As a legal agreement, it is not
binding on either company.  As an agreement in principle, it should not
be taken as a template or basis for Congressional action."

Free Press, another fan of Title II reclassification, said the report underscored the need for the FCC to step in.

"Two of the largest companies - Google
and Verizon - have reportedly agreed to abandon consumer protections,
filter content and limit choice and free speech on the mobile Internet,"
said Freee Press President Josh Silver in
a statement. "If true, the deal is a bold grab for market power by two
monopolistic players. Such abuse of the open Internet would put to final
rest the Google mandate to ‘do no evil."

Google's press team had not returned an e-mail for comment at press time.