London, August 7: Google, the internet giant, has admitted that it has been in talks with the US communications provider Verizon, and even agreed on an outline plan on how internet traffic should be carried over networks, amid a net neutrality row.
The firm was accused of betraying one of the most widely accepted "laws" of the internet called net neutrality, which is based on the principle that everyone has equal access. [What is Net Neutrality?: Explained]
"We have been talking to Verizon for a long time about trying to get an agreement on what the definition of net neutrality is," The Telegraph quoted Eric Schmidt, the chief executive of Google, as saying.
"People get confused. What we mean is that if you have one data type, like video, you don't discriminate against one person's video in favour of another. It's OK to discriminate across different types," he added.
However, many people fear that if the plan becomes public, it could serve as a blueprint for how to carve up the internet and sell the best performance to the highest bidder.
Some critics have described it as "doomsday scenario" that "marks the beginning of the end of the internet".
The principle of net neutrality was one of the founding ideas of the web.
"The deal between Verizon and Google about how to manage internet traffic is deeply regrettable and should be considered meaningless. The fate of the internet is too large a matter to be decided by negotiations involving two companies," Gigi Sohn, President of Public Knowledge, a digital rights campaign group, said.