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Google's Net Neutrality Principles Slowly Disappearing
Paying Telco 'Troll Toll' For African Market Share
by Karl Bode 12:18PM Friday Feb 01 2013
You might recall that while generally seen as a champion of network neutrality, Google and BFF Verizon played starring roles in ensuring that the FCC's network neutrality rules recently passed were essentially watered down nonsense that don't apply to wireless. Now Google's purported network neutrality principles on several other fronts appear to be getting watered down even further.

You'll also recall that phone company executives feel entitled to payments from content companies just because content runs over their networks, something that has been at the heart of the neutrality debate around the world. While Google has traditionally fought these efforts, earlier this month Google decided to start paying mobile carrier Orange just such a "troll toll" just so they could get better access to the exploding African cellular market:
quote:
Talking to BFM Business TV, CEO Stephane Richard didn't give an exact figure on the payments made to France Telecom-Orange by the search giant for delivery of its content, beyond admitting that its not "hundreds of millions". However, he admits that the the telco is being paid to deliver traffic for the search giant and claims that the dominance of Orange in Africa has provided leverage for the the firm to negotiate the best financial arrangement with the Chocolate Factory.
Techdirt meanwhile notes that Google's principles are eroding on other fronts as well, with the company giving French publishers a €50 million payment because European newspapers believe just linking to their content violates copyright. That a company praised for disruption and innovation is slowly shifting to turf protection isn't surprising. Neither is a government-pampered monopoly telco with an entitlement mindset extorting someone for obnoxious cash payouts.

Still, the fact that Google, the biggest champion of net neutrality worldwide is starting to backslide into the techno-ethical muck should sound a very clear warning bell for neutrality advocates worldwide. These waning principles are also a primary reason why funky, disruptive but lower-return projects like Google Fiber probably don't have a high survival rate over the next decade.

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TheKrell

join:2003-12-07
Fairfax, VA

I like your new Google with horns!

And I for one am surprised.

michieru
Premium
join:2009-07-25
Miami, FL

...

It's a shame really coming from a company like Google. I wonder what was they're reasoning if they had any.

ITALIAN926

join:2003-08-16
kudos:2

Re: ...

Lets see, they just finally became and ISP AND a TV provider, Maybe their plans ARE to expand further than 2 cities.

gaforces
United We Stand, Divided We Fall

join:2002-04-07
Santa Cruz, CA
It's a business, they will embrace net neutrality when its in thier best interest, and shun it if it isnt.
They have to grease the pipes to enter new markets. Thats how business is done in these emerging nations. The chinese and russians are probly bidding to do the same.
Knowledge is power, hearts and minds, and Google is the one to give it to them.
--
Let them eat FIBER!

michieru
Premium
join:2009-07-25
Miami, FL
Reviews:
·Comcast Business..

Re: ...

It's within Google's best interest for net neutrality even if they became a TV provider and ISP as ITALIAN926 See Profile states.

If a particular country did not have internet/Google I can also understand by greasing up the pipes for a new start-up business that is providing internet.

However this is the French who had Google before, and now want Google to pay for hyperlinks. I am sure Google and anyone else would say go screw yourself. So what I am wondering is what did the French tell Google for it's to accept the fee and go against it's principals. Google to pay for the content it indexes will also be Google's death. Which makes their business model not make any sense.

Mike
Premium,Mod
join:2000-09-17
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:1
When Googled switched from an innovator to an advertiser... it started rolling down hill.

Current CEO is to blame.

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

1 edit

Re: ...

said by Mike:

When Googled switched from an innovator to an advertiser... it started rolling down hill.

Current CEO is to blame.

Very sarcastic or you haven't been paying attention
Google Inc. has always been an advertiser
And the current CEO, invented google

Sort of like saying Steve Jobs didn't understand Apple computers.

The difference is Page in early 1998 wrote a paper decrying web advertisements and by incorporation in sept.1998 had already sold text ads "to support the service" which rapidly ramped the money machine we see today.
To think page and Brin didn't hope to monetize Google (at first thru academia) and haven't learned a bit about running a for profit business in the mean time is silly.
Evil is in the eye of the beholder.

tmh

@comcastbusiness.net

Re: ...

said by tshirt:

To think page and Brin didn't hope to monetize Google (at first thru academia) and haven't learned a bit about running a for profit business in the mean time is silly.
Evil is in the eye of the beholder.

Sounds like running a for-profit business means you learn to eat your own young.

Just like in politics.
funny0

join:2010-12-22

meanwhile

on g+ more and more US govt and hollywood types are pilling on
ergo more of us early adopters are leaving
BYE!
cooperaaaron

join:2004-04-10
Joliet, IL

Is it...

paying to give the people of Africa better internet access, because there is no other option that they have ?
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

It's a shame!

Really that is all I have to say on this.

As a business it is NOT in their best interest to be paying any "extortion" fee to have data the ISP's customers request delivered. That is between the ISP and the customer and is an anti-internet flood gate they certainly don't want to open.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Verizon Online DSL
·Comcast

Re: It's a shame!

...but if the ISP is the only game in town and is throttling Google's traffic heavily without payment, what choice does Google have? They can't just go over and set up a cellular network in an African country; they'd have to figure out how to buy spectrum first, and they'd be entering even more unknown territory than GFiber.

I don't think that Google is any less in favor of Net Neutrality than it ever has been; Net Neutrality is good for their bottom line. However they make enough money off of ads that sometimes the benefits (ad revenue) of tapping a captive market outweigh the troll toll imposed by the holder of that captive audience, unfortunately.

I mean, what do you do when an ISP won't budge on linking to your backbone in a reasonable manner, causing YouTube to download at one-fiftieth of the capacity of the pipe that you're using?
Rekrul

join:2007-04-21
Milford, CT

Re: It's a shame!

said by iansltx:

...but if the ISP is the only game in town and is throttling Google's traffic heavily without payment, what choice does Google have?

Block all of their IP addresses and put up a page saying;

"Due to the unreasonable demands of your ISP, Google has blocked all of its IP addresses. If you want Google access back, tell your ISP."
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2

Re: It's a shame!

Sounds like ESPN3...er...a great idea!

Oh wait...if Google can still make money while paying the ISP, sure, why not.
Rekrul

join:2007-04-21
Milford, CT

Re: It's a shame!

said by iansltx:

Sounds like ESPN3...er...a great idea!

Oh wait...if Google can still make money while paying the ISP, sure, why not.

Because they may be able to still make money while paying ONE ISP, but can they make money while paying 50 ISPs? Or 100? Or 1,000?

As soon as they start paying one ISP, every other ISP is going to whine that it's not fair that Google pays someone else and not them.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
1.) Deal with the local authorities that should be enforcing net neutrality.

2.) In this case being Africa which probably doesnt have #1 just deal with it and/or ignore them as their number of subscribers and revenue certainly dont matter compared to the possible flood gate they could open.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·MegaPath

Re: It's a shame!

The thing is there really isn't anyone to complain to for NN. It's an "idea" and nothing that really exists. especially in other countries such as Africa. Google will have to do what they're doing now, and pay up or not have their services accessed. With Orange though; if you read the article regarding what Orange had to say, Google's services are in very high demand and use more resources than others, so to keep the services from being throttled, Google has agreed to pay Orange. I see no problem with this. Its a win win for both of them. Google keeps the $$$ from ads and Orange and deliver what the customer wants. Now its only a matter of time that it happens here since its already going other places.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: It's a shame!

And that is the problem.

If the demand is high by the ISP's customers, than it is the ISP's responsibility to meet their consumers demands.

Google is a fool for allowing anyone to extort money out of them so their services could be accessed better. They are opening a box they dont want to open. Right now it is google, next it is X big website, then it is xbox live traffic, then it is netflix, then it is this and that and so on and so on until the ISP's get to choose ALL the winners and losers in ALL industries based on what they want to charge to allow their customers to access said traffic.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·MegaPath

Re: It's a shame!

Orange i would say is different due to the amount of traffic is over their cellular network. But I do agree, by Google giving to Orange and others, they are going to be required to pay others. It's only a matter of time and they can only thank them selves. Especially since NN is a non-issue as you have people agreeing to paying on top of never was an issue to start off with. NN only was an "idea".

skeechan
Ai Otsukaholic
Premium
join:2012-01-26
AA169|170
kudos:2

Troll tolls, throw some Chinese dissidents under the bus...

...standard MO for the company that doesn't do evil.
Rekrul

join:2007-04-21
Milford, CT

Now that companies have a foot in the door...

Now that companies have a foot in the door, they'll be coming out of the woodwork with their hands out. They'll want payments from Netflix, Wikipedia, the IMDb, online games and every other popular site.

Congratulations Google, you just sanctioned internet payola...

Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2

Turn the tables, Google

How about Google just says, "Ok, we'll de-list you from our search engine completely."

I wonder how long it would take for the howls of protest to start.
--
"I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots." ~ Albert Einstein

cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26

Re: Turn the tables, Google

Yes,
That is EXACTLY what Google should do! Shove it right back down their throats and I'm not even a Google fan.
--
The Firefox alternative.
»www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey/
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Re: Turn the tables, Google

LoL. Nobody is forcing Google to pay.
HarryH3
Premium
join:2005-02-21
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

I already PAY for the ISP to send me data

Why should it matter WHERE the data comes from? I don't think that any end-user ISP should be getting paid by the people that own the servers at the other end of the connection.

Google pays for the bandwidth consumed by their data centers. Billions of people around the planet pay for the bandwidth consumed by their devices. Why should the ISP at our end get more money from the sender?

If Google is forced to pay my ISP then why can't my connection be free?
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·MegaPath

Re: I already PAY for the ISP to send me data

Google is NOT being forced. If Karl linked to the Orange story, it actually says that Orange told Google that if they did not pay, they would be throttled down due to the amount of streaming and data coming from and to Google over their cellular network. Orange could NOT keep up with the costs and demands. Google in return decided to pay to keep the services moving as fast as they could and Orange was able to upgrade, etc.

The only one that gave on this is Google. There is no reason to be pissed off with the ISP, Google decided they'd pay and that is where it is. They could have left the services throttled which I doubt you'd notice any difference over a 3g phone/tablet anyway on cellular.
moonpuppy

join:2000-08-21
Glen Burnie, MD

Nothing more than a bribe....

This is normal business in Africa and the rest of the 3rd world. Brides are a normal part of business.

Though, I can see, one day, Google refuses to pay and then Orange cuts them off. Then, all the people complain that Orange is restricting the internet and Google and then Google gets the green light to open up their own service and Orange gets kicked to the curb.

flix

@octopuce.fr

Googe's Free Zone just another example

The Free Zone service is also an instance of Google compromising (or directly violating) on Net neutrality : »www.google.com/intl/en/mobile/la···stp.html