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Google’s proposed arrangement with network providers, internally called OpenEdge, would place Google servers directly within the network of the service providers. The setup would accelerate Google’s service for users. Google has asked the providers it has approached not to talk about the idea.
At risk is a principle known as “network neutrality:” Cable and phone companies that operate the data pipelines are supposed to treat all traffic the same. It is a fundamental democratization of information transfer that has enabled the ‘net to be the anarchy it is.
This is coming to a head now because in AT&T’s 2006 acquisition of Bell South, the FCC made AT&T agree to shelve plans for a fast lane for 30 months. That moratorium expires in just a couple weeks.