Internet search giant Google has been accused of back-tracking on its support for net neutrality amid claims that it is trying to broker a deal that would mean its content and services are transmitted more quickly over the internet than that of its competitors. The Wall Street Journal claims that Google is hoping to locate its servers alongside those of internet service providers' to speed up the delivery of its products and services to web users by creating a Google-only "fast lane" for its internet traffic. But Google said the newspaper has misunderstood its intentions, and that it continues to believe in the principle of net neutrality, whereby all content transmitted over the internet – be it a pirated song or legal download from a service such as iTunes – is given equal priority by internet service providers.
Google has said that what it in fact intends to do is co-locate its servers next to those of the internet service providers in order to carry out a process known as "edge caching", where popular content is delivered from nearer to where most people are searching for it, thereby speeding up download and delivery times. It means that a copy of, say, a video clip that's popular with British web users, could be stored on servers in London or Edinburgh, rather than having to be transmitted half-way round the world wide web from Australia, where the clip may originate, every time someone in the UK wants to watch it. ( www.telegraph.co.uk )