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The end of the internet as we know it?

Suspicions that Google and a major US telecommunications company are divvying up the internet is causing a little bit of panic…

A REPORTED DEAL between Google and US telecommunications company Verizon has led to fears that the internet, as we know it, may soon become a thing of the past.

The partnership have been accused of being involved in talks about a new system for how internet traffic is carried over networks.

Fears have been raised that the plans, if true, could introduce a tiered system of bandwith access -  meaning the end of a level playing field for internet users.

On Thursday, the New York Times said that the two companies “are nearing an agreement that could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege”.

It added that this could  “overthrow a once-sacred tenet of Internet policy known as net neutrality, in which no form of content is favoured over another”.

The news of such a deal has sparked worry across the web, prompting SaveTheInternet.com to launch a petition beseeching “Google: Don’t be Evil“.

Blog Skeptisys has this disquieting vision of a post-neutral internet age.

Google denied the accusations outright on Friday, saying to The Guardian: “The New York Times is quite simply wrong. We have not had any conversations with Verizon about paying for carriage of Google traffic. We remain as committed as we always have been to an open internet.”

Verizon said: “Our goal is an internet policy framework that ensures openness and accountability, and incorporates specific FCC (the US Federal Communications Commission) authority, while maintaining investment and innovation. To suggest this is a business arrangement between our companies is entirely incorrect.”

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