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FCC Chief of Staff Edward Lazarus called off closed-door negotiations with major ISPs and Internet companies on Thursday, pledging "to seek broad input on this vital issue." The announcement comes in the wake of news that Verizon and Google are hatching plans to abandon open Internet protections. Both the corporate deal-making and the closed-door meetings have generated widespread public outrage.After today’s FCC meeting, Chairman Julius Genachowski said: "Any outcome, any deal that doesn't preserve the freedom and openness of the Internet for consumers and entrepreneurs will be unacceptable."
Google and Verizon 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. Any agreement between Verizon and Google could also upend the efforts of the Federal Communications Commission to assert its authority over broadband service, which was severely restricted by a federal appeals court decision in April. People close to the negotiations who were not authorized to speak publicly about them said an agreement could be reached as soon as next week. If completed, Google, whose Android operating system powers many Verizon wireless phones, would agree not to challenge Verizon's ability to manage its broadband Internet network as it pleased.