Telefonica wants Google and you to pay at both ends - Telefonica

Google should pay for generating traffic on Spanish network Telefonica, the CEO has said.

In an interview between Telefonica's CEO César Alierta and Spanish newspaper El Pais, Alierta openly and frankly stated companies such as Google ought to shell out and pay for generating traffic on Telefonica's network.

He said: "Search engines use our network, without paying anything for it." Apparently Alierta forgot to mention end users pay for the traffic, or he simply is horribly greedy and wants to charge both ends - bringing an end to net neutrality. El Pais reports Alierta is the first CEO of a carrier to openly declare he wants to send bills to content providers.

EU Commissioner-designate for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes has said she will defend net neutrality. Answering questions during a hearing this year, Kroes said she supports the concept and will protect it. She added that "[internet providers] shouldn't be allowed to limit the access to service or content out of commercial motivation but only in cases of security issues and spamming".

An end to net neutrality would bring severe changes to the way the internet is used. Large corporations would be able to shell out for services, small start-ups and content providers would wind up on the wood road.