FCC Calls Off Net Neutrality Negotiations

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While Google denied rumors about secret dealing with Verizon that could pave the way for a tiered pay structure for Web content and broadband services, the Federal Communications Commission cancelled further negotiations with broadband providers on a net neutrality compromise.


PCWorld.com reports Edward Lazarus, the FCC's chief of staff, said the discussions have "not generated a robust framework to preserve the openness and freedom of the Internet -- one that drives innovation, investment, free speech, and consumer choice." As a result, he said, "All options remain on the table."


But at least one digital rights group says the failure of negotiations with broadband providers gives the FCC the green light to promulgate net neutrality rules. Public Knowledge president Gigi Sohn said: "The path before the Federal Communications Commission is now perfectly clear. It must act to ensure that consumers are protected, that everyone can have access to broadband and that the commission has the authority to ensure and open and non-discriminatory Internet."


In other words, they don't want the service and content providers like Google and Verizon left to determine policy on their own. Still other observers would rather Congress take up the cause anew.