Google denies seeking privileged network access

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Google denies seeking privileged network access

Google has reaffirmed its commitment to net neutrality, following reports last week that it had been seeking preferential treatment from broadband providers to generate an internet 'fast lane' for its own content.

The reports implied that Google had offered large US phone and cable companies money in return for privileged network access. The revenue gained by the broadband providers would help them cope with the growing cost of internet traffic, according to the reports.

But a blog post by Richard Whitt, Google's head of public affairs, suggested that the reports had made "confused claims".

Google had been trying to establish so-called 'edge caching', which Whitt argued does not interfere with the concept of network neutrality. "Our commitment to that principle of net neutrality remains as strong as ever," he said.

Whitt added that edge caching is a network upgrade that broadband providers should be allowed to employ. The technology stores frequently accessed data on servers located close to end users so that content can be accessed faster.

He pointed to local caching services provided by companies like Akamai, Limelight and Amazon's Cloudfront.

"By bringing YouTube videos and other content physically close to end users, site operators can improve page load times for videos and web pages," said Whitt.

"These solutions help broadband providers by minimising the need to send traffic outside their networks and reducing congestion on the internet's backbones."
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