Google and Verizon unveil vision for keeping the Internet true to its roots.
Recent breathless reports made it sound like Google and Verizon had come up with a plan to divvy the Internet world up between themselves.
It turns out the giant companies were hammering out some joint principles they say should govern how Internet service providers handle much of the data that flows on the intertubes. In other words, they were talking about net neutrality.
Much less sexy than taking over the world but still important.
NPR's Eyder Peralta reports on it for our sister All Tech Considered blog.
In a conference call, Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said the agreement lays out seven principles on how service providers can manage traffic.
The agreement states networks should be transparent about how they manage traffic and that they cannot degrade traffic or provide paid prioritization to any service on the public Internet. The policy does leave room for providers like Verizon to create "additional, differentiated online services."
Seidenberg explained that includes services like Verizon's FIOS TV or hypothetically could include something like a Metropolitan Opera 3D broadcast of a performance.
Some companies, he said, may not want to transmit something like that over the Internet, so they want the ability to be able to provide a differentiated service.
That said, Seidenberg added, these services could not be "designed to circumvent the rules."
Schmidt said that Google "loves the public Internet" and that neither Google nor any of its properties like YouTube would be providing any services outside of the public Internet.
Meanwhile, NPR's Neda Ulaby captured the sense of disappointment felt by many as it became clear what hadn't happened:
"This is not a deal," said Google CEO Eric Schmidt on a conference call Monday. "This is a joint policy announcement."
You could almost hear the air of anticipation whooshing out of the room.
That's because geeks, tech heads and open-Internet advocates had been on pins and needles all weekend, waiting for an announcement about a deal between Google and Verizon that, rumor had it, might change the workings of the Internet forever.
"We enjoy August drama," Schmidt joked. "But this is not our dramatic moment."