Net neutrality

John Gapper

Net neutrality was always a slippery concept, which may account for the fact that the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have such different accounts of talks between Google and Verizon over the vexed subject.

For the NYT:

Such an agreement could overthrow a once-sacred tenet of Internet policy known as net neutrality, in which no form of content is favoured over another.

Contrariwise, according to the Journal:

The two companies have been negotiating with each other for months on a compromise on the thorny issue of so-called net neutrality – the principle that Internet providers such as phone or cable companies should not deliberately slow or block Internet sites or services.

The problem, and reason Google and Verizon have been talking to each other, is that no-one can exactly define net neutrality, and it would be devilishly difficult to draw up a law to enforce it, even if that were desirable (which I don’t think it is). Read more