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Don't Expect Google's Help in Saving Net Neutrality
by Karl Bode 10:43AM Thursday May 01 2014 Tipped by newview See Profile
As net neutrality supporters galvanize to help either reform or scrap Tom Wheeler's latest regulatory gift to the broadband industry, the Wall Street Journal seems to assume that they'll have some help from content companies like Netflix, Facebook and Google. To hear the Journal tell it, because those companies jumped to the consumers' side with SOPA, they'll likely do the same thing here. From the report:
quote:
Among the largest Internet companies, most are staying quiet until the FCC briefs them on the proposal Friday and are referring questions to the Internet Association, a two-year-old trade group representing Google, Yahoo, Netflix and others. But officials inside the companies who follow government policy say they are considering mobilizing a grass-roots campaign to rally public opinion around the idea that the Internet's pipes should be equally open for all.
Note the rather non-committal language used throughout the piece? The Journal seems to forget that part of the reason we've had such wimpy net neutrality rules is because Google worked hand in hand with Verizon and AT&T to make them this way. Most people who've paid attention know that Google did a 180 and sold most consumers down river in pushing the FCC to ensure net neutrality protections didn't effectively cover wireless.

The Google of 2006 really loved neutrality. The Google of 2010 and after (not coincidentally after they made a major push into wireless) didn't. In fact the last time Google posted something meaningful about net neutrality to their policy blog was this 2010 flip flop by Google lawyer Richard Whitt, in which he insists the company didn't sell consumers out (despite ample evidence to the contrary).

In short, if net neutrality supporters are trusting for Google to lend a hand like they did with SOPA/PIPA, they may not want to hold their breath. Google may overall be more consumer friendly than the likes of AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, but they don't want any regulations that could box them into a corner when it comes to profits gleaned from new and "creative" mobile pricing efforts by mobile carriers, content companies and ad networks.

Without Google's help, putting Wheeler's love letter to AT&T, Verizon and Comcast to bed will require the grass roots networks to be tougher, more vocal and more intense than they were with SOPA (which is considered the largest consumer revolt in Internet history).

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topics flat nest 

buzz_4_20

join:2003-09-20
Limestone, ME

Somebody is forgetting where they came from

Without net neutrality, we wouldn't have companies like google.

fg8578

join:2009-04-26
Salem, OR

4 recommendations

Re: Somebody is forgetting where they came from

said by buzz_4_20:

Without net neutrality, we wouldn't have companies like google.

Google was launched over a decade before there were any formal Net Neutrality rules. And please, no B.S. about NN being some kind of "foundational principle".

Everytime I hear that claim, I ask for an RFC or ANYTHING prior to 2002 (when Tim Wu first coined the phrase) to support that claim, and I get nothing but vague responses, nothing specific.

karpodiem
Hail to The Victors
Premium
join:2008-05-20
Detroit, MI

3 recommendations

Re: Somebody is forgetting where they came from

Pretty sure we have more barriers today than ever before. I may not have had ubiquitous streaming video, but I wasn't relegated to a two tier model where streaming bitrate was decided by political gamesmanship.

The Huckster

@70.168.10.x
said by fg8578:

said by buzz_4_20:

Without net neutrality, we wouldn't have companies like google.

Google was launched over a decade before there were any formal Net Neutrality rules. And please, no B.S. about NN being some kind of "foundational principle".

Everytime I hear that claim, I ask for an RFC or ANYTHING prior to 2002 (when Tim Wu first coined the phrase) to support that claim, and I get nothing but vague responses, nothing specific.

Net neutrality was a defacto "rule" since the dawn of the Internet. No matter what you say about 2002, the fact is the ISPs were trying to change how the internet operated, and the intention of net-neutrality regulation was simply to make that defacto rule official.

So, yeah, if the ISPs got what they wanted today back in 2000, Google would have a much more difficult time getting started. Just because there was no official regulation back then doesn't mean the Internet wasn't neutral back then.

fg8578

join:2009-04-26
Salem, OR

Re: Somebody is forgetting where they came from

said by The Huckster :

Net neutrality was a defacto "rule" since the dawn of the Internet.

Really? Then it should be easy to quote an RFC that says so. Where is it?

The Huckster

@70.168.10.x

Re: Somebody is forgetting where they came from

Clearly you don't know the meaning of "defacto." Look it up. »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_facto

The Internet operated AS IF it were officially neutral. It wasn't until 2002, when the ISPs started showing some signs that they wanted to change things around that they decided to begin talking seriously about net-neutrality. It wasn't an official rule before then because they didn't need one. Everyone was playing fair, whether it was because the business was simply different back then, or because of technological limitations in the 1990s.

It's like this: let's suppose you live in a condo complex. Since the condo complex was built, everyone had an unwritten rule of keeping the common areas clean, and did a good job of doing so... then this year in moves a slob who decides to make a mess of the common areas, and now the condo association decides to add an official rule that common areas must be kept clean by the condo owners.

What you're arguing is the equivalent of saying because this new rule is in place now, it means since day one the common areas were always a pig sty.

The Internet behaved as if net-neutrality laws were in place since ARPANET. It wasn't until things were starting to change for the worse that the FCC decided to come in and make an official decision regarding the matter.

fg8578

join:2009-04-26
Salem, OR

1 edit

Re: Somebody is forgetting where they came from

[deleted]

anontoanon

@38.99.37.x
Um, the Internet was naturally neutral until 2002.

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Somebody is forgetting where they came from

said by anontoanon :

Um, the Internet was naturally neutral until 2002.

Free range, organic, unpasteurized, hand picked equine excrement.
"The Internet" is an evolving construction and any rules are temporary subject to practicality and enforceability. To believe it is frozen at any one point in time or that it was intended to be static and unable to adapt is against the core principles it was founded on.
remember article 1 was titled Constant Change.
jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA

2 recommendations

Re: Somebody is forgetting where they came from

Oh, the "change mantra". ISP figured out that they could use the "Network Management" card to justify going from "naturally neutral" to getting Netflix to pay and the customer to pay for content - ie double dipping. It's artificial, human intervention and a money grab. Nothing more.

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5

Re: Somebody is forgetting where they came from

removed as a waste of time
jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA
Google was also launched before CAPS and throttling were in place, so there's that too.
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1
A decade ago there was still some competition, with DSL competing with cable and some CLEC holdouts. The net neutrality issue came to the forefront in 2005 when then CEO of AT&T Ed Whitacre proclaimed Google should have to pay him extra to run over "his pipes". It's no surprise you've selectively forgotten history to satisfy your bias.

fg8578

join:2009-04-26
Salem, OR

Re: Somebody is forgetting where they came from

said by sonicmerlin:

It's no surprise you've selectively forgotten history to satisfy your bias.

The facts I stated are correct.

Google was founded in the late 90s. There were no NN rules until 2010. Those are two facts. There is nothing biased about them.

So tell me again how google owes its existence to NN, which didn't even exist at the time?
jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA

Re: Somebody is forgetting where they came from

It's a concept that has been around well before 2010. The term was coined by Columbia media law professor Tim Wu in 2003 as an extension of the longstanding concept of a common carrier. Proponents often see net neutrality as an important component of an open internet, where policies such as equal treatment of data and open web standards allow those on the internet to easily communicate and conduct business without interference from a third party. A "closed internet" refers to the opposite situation, in which established corporations or governments favor certain uses. A closed internet may have restricted access to necessary web standards, artificially degrade some services, or explicitly filter out content. These are facts too. I don't believe that Google would have existed or grown to what it is today with this idea being in place naturally. Look at how much trouble Netflix is having. I'm not saying causation, but it certainly is correlation.

»www.jthtl.org/content/articles/V···1_Wu.PDF
TuxRaiderPen

join:2009-09-19
Not every thing in how the internet came to be is set down or codified in somr RFC.

There are alot of unwritten, gentlemens agreement and the like on how things *should* be done.

When these started to conflict with the bean counters and the MBA slease in making $$ they got tossed aside.

20/20 hindsight shows that a good number of things SHOULD have been put into RFC's or in writing, but as the internet as a whole is just a mish mosh of networks getting an agrement on all this would be hard then, and much harder to nil now.

So beating for "RFC! RFC! RFC! SHOW ME THE RFC!" is not helping the cause, nor would it probably help either, as an RFC is not "LAW." It too is more of an gentlemens agreement type thing. If you don't follow some of the RFC's then your network or protocol or program may not work with every one elses ie: if you decided to tweak SMTP and those tweaks broke SMTP from outside your tweaked servers.

We got ourselves painted into this corner, and unfortunatley, now it will take some one with regulatory authority to fix it, and probably would any way. Just going to need a big stick in a lot of ways.
--
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Want health care? Get a job! No to ACA! No to USNHS or USHIP or anything like them!
Job = Benefits = Health care, simple.
steevo22

join:2002-10-17
Fullerton, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·AT&T DSL Service
said by fg8578:

Everytime I hear that claim, I ask for an RFC or ANYTHING prior to 2002 (when Tim Wu first coined the phrase) to support that claim, and I get nothing but vague responses, nothing specific.

An RFC is not needed. Or wasn't needed, maybe it is needed today. I dunno.

Before the current money grab the net was inherently neutral, cooperative. It was never envisioned that *anyone* would do something as outrageous as what some ISPs are doing now.

Only after some ISPs decided it made business sense to delay every 11th packet 4700 ms to screw up VOIP and streaming did this become an issue.

TCP/IP was designed to reassemble packets in the order they need to be in before they are needed as long as the speed was adequate. But buffering individual packets a number of seconds, well, TCP/IP was not designed to handle that transparently. So that fails.

The ISPs installed a "bandwidth management appliance" like a Net Enforcer to do this, but guess what? If you buy your VOIP or streaming from them they'll turn it off on your account so things will work for you. If you don't they will throw up their hands and deny they are deliberately screwing with you.

This is all being done in the shadows and they deny it. But they are doing it intentionally.
InvalidError

join:2008-02-03
kudos:5
Signing direct peering deals with every content and service provider the way many large ISPs have started doing with major services like Netflix is not practical even for the "greedy ISPs" themselves so the need for generic transit for everything else that does not single-handedly represent a huge chunk of an ISP's traffic is not going away any time soon if ever.

Before Netflix, Youtube and other similar services came along, no single site was responsible for anywhere near 30% of all internet traffic the way they are now.

The FCC's initiative to publicly shame ISPs who consistently failed to deliver anywhere near advertised speeds did a pretty decent job at making ISPs step up their game. It would not be so hard to exclude services ISPs have peering agreements with from future such initiatives to focus on general transit/peering performance.

newview
Ex .. Ex .. Exactly
Premium
join:2001-10-01
Parsonsburg, MD
kudos:1
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·Comcast

It ain't over yet ...

quote:
Netflix, Google, Yahoo, and other Internet giants represented by the Internet Association trade group are considering grassroots campaigns to fight against net neutrality regulations that would allow Internet service providers to speed up access to certain websites and online services. the Wall Street Journal reports.
»www.dailydot.com/news/fcc-netfli···trality/

noway

@66.249.88.x

Re: It ain't over yet ...

said by newview:

quote:
Netflix, Google, Yahoo, and other Internet giants represented by the Internet Association trade group are considering grassroots campaigns to fight against net neutrality regulations that would allow Internet service providers to speed up access to certain websites and online services. the Wall Street Journal reports.
»www.dailydot.com/news/fcc-netfli···trality/

If Google was behind this effort, it wouldn't be an issue about getting $20,000 together to put up a billboard. Google could get that much money together by using what falls out of its chairmans pockets and lands in his office couch.
Millenium

join:2013-10-30
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

...

Inhibiting competition is a strong incentive for large content providers to favor pay-to-play. What would Facebook enjoy more than there being no new Twitter or Instagram? Or Google no new ad wizard treading their territory? Or Netflix no new video streaming service?

Welcome to the free and fast lane.

camper
Premium
join:2010-03-21
Bethel, CT
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

The strategy ...

This article raises a couple of interesting points.

The one that got my attention was that the proposed rules would move the anti-trust monitoring of the Internet from the domain of law to the FCC's domain of regulation. This then allows competitive policies on the Internet to be regulated by FCC appointee's and not anti-trust law.

So even if Mr. Wheeler goes gangbusters in enforcing Net Neutrality once the new regulations are passed, who is to say what the subsequent FCC commissioners will do.

Indeed, Mr. Wheeler's proposed regulations appear to be the first step of many planned steps to hand the Internet over to business interests.

Once Mr. Wheeler's proposed "net neutrality" regulations are approved, that puts into place the platform to further reduce net neutrality by whomever the business community wants to have appointed to the FCC.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: The strategy ...

I am pretty sure there is no way for the FCC or any regulatory body for that matter, to assign itself anti-trust law master.

That will always be in the hands of the FTC and DOJ office.

camper
Premium
join:2010-03-21
Bethel, CT
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: The strategy ...

Not outright, of course. However, if the "net neutrality" monitoring of the Internet is now under the FCC, where does that leave any anti-trust issues raised as a result of violating net neutrality? The business-dominated FCC will be the arbitrator of such disputes.

Step one --- complete.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

1 recommendation

Ultimately...

We will know how good or bad the proposal is by the industry response.

If Charter, AT&T, Verizon and all the other ISPs are happy and proclaiming they are great for consumers and will result with them innovating and investing in their networks, then we know we, as consumers, are screwed and the FCC (Wheeler) just broke it off in us.

However, if the ISPs come out whining and threatening lawsuits while Netflix and other content companies praising the FCC and their proposal then we probably have something to be looking forward to as consumers.

Regardless, if they don't reclassify them into Title II I won't be happy being that no matter what they propose it will not address the number one problem: Competition at the last mile.

Overtkill
Premium
join:2005-09-21
Magna, UT

Not surprised.

I'm not surprised in the least. Large companies will always pick the all mighty dollar over the best interests of the consumer.

sbrook
Premium,Mod
join:2001-12-14
Ottawa
kudos:13
Reviews:
·TekSavvy Cable
·WIND Mobile

1 recommendation

Google plays "Good Guy - Bad Guy" all the time

Google is more and more being driven by the almighty dollar. The bean counters want to ensure that they get max money for clicks any which way they can. If it means more money for clicks, they'll sell their grandma's!

Take Google's blogspot for example. It has become another version of the so called free speech emporium. They don't enforce their terms of service because even bad hateful posts attract clicks and so they get to put ads in front of you.

If selling net neutrality down the river costs them a bit to get a lot of clicks, that's OK!
Millenium

join:2013-10-30
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

1 edit

Re: Google plays "Good Guy - Bad Guy" all the time

said by sbrook:

If selling net neutrality down the river costs them a bit to get a lot of clicks, that's OK!

That's what I think. I can imagine a scenario where Google has paid for access that doesn't go against a user's data allotment (The free lane) or doesn't come over clogged or throttled distribution points (The fast lane). In that scenario, they can easily partner with websites to advertise where competitors without such arrangements might not find it so easy.
ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH

Re: Google plays "Good Guy - Bad Guy" all the time

Google is only out for one thing and that is themselves!
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

A non-issue

On an Internet where traffic is heavily biased in one direction, i.e. videostreaming, i.e. Netflix, any attempt to outlaw special arrangements will have the opposite effect, as we've seen with Netflix and Comcast - taking their data completely off the public Internet; streams remaining on the public internet will suffer "neutral" treatment, and run as slow as everyone else sharing the same choke-points.

Further attempts to force outcomes are just silly. Let the market price data, and the consumer decide whether they want the product or not.

el_huason

@71.160.167.x

What did anyone expect?

Greed knows no boundaries. None whatsoever. Even a "good guy" like Google will fall prey to this - because once they see how much "gravy train" keeps coming their way, the last thing they want to do is make changes to stop it (regardless of what their customers say or do ). I for one will simply repay them in kind - by being dishonest and evasive as much as possible. And no, I don't care what happens to my honor or reputation - thanks to this country's government (and their corporate buddies), I have none left >;(

"Only two kinds of human beings can be trusted - dead and extinct. All others must be avoided at all costs" me.