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Google Loves Neutrality, Except When They're Busy Killing It
by Karl Bode 09:31AM Thursday May 08 2014 Tipped by ArrayList See Profile
Add Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, DropBox, Yahoo and about 145 other companies to the list of voices that aren't particularly impressed with FCC boss Tom Wheeler's half-hearted effort to protect network neutrality. In a letter (pdf) the companies express concerns that Wheeler's approach effectively signs off on the kinds of gatekeeper, pay-to-play efforts incumbents like AT&T have been dreaming about for years.

If these reports are correct, this represents a grave threat to the Internet.
"According to recent news reports, the Commission intends to propose rules that would enable phone and cable Internet service providers to discriminate both technically and financially against Internet companies and impose new tolls on them,” the companies wrote in the letter.

"If these reports are correct, this represents a grave threat to the Internet. Instead of permitting individualized bargaining and discrimination, the Commission’s rules should protect users and Internet companies on both fixed and mobile platforms against blocking, discrimination and paid prioritization, and should make the market for Internet services more transparent.”

Google's participation in the coalition letter is curious, again, because it was Google's draft language that ensured the rules would be wimpy in the first place. Google worked hard alongside AT&T and Verizon to make sure the rules had ample loopholes and didn't protect wireless, so their participation in protesting the dysfunctional end result is ironic if not disingenuous. In 2010 Google insisted pushing for loopholes and weak language wasn't an immense flip flop (protip: it was), then went mute on the subject for years.

The letter itself is rather ambiguous and doesn't recommend a course of action for the FCC outside of taking the "necessary steps to ensure that the Internet remains an open platform for speech and commerce." Most consumer advocates and a growing number of companies believe the FCC should finally step up to the plate and reclassify ISPs as common carriers under the Communications Act so bad behavior can be effectively policed moving forward.

The lack of a specific recommendation to reclassify under Title II suggests some of the signing companies weren't comfortable with the suggestion, Google very likely among them.

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honeymoooon

@107.223.175.x

Google is evil

Google is a lot more evil than many think. They're still in the honeymoon phase, they can't do any wrong (except force google + on all of us).

Their deal with Verizon was absurd.
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 recommendation

Re: Google is evil

Google is acting like anyone w/ a captive market does. Google doesn't want competitors to enter, so they can afford to pay the vig to get front and center.

Result: ad costs go up, transit costs go up. You consumer products $$$ you buy go up. More jets are bought.

The free and open internet dies. You can have EZ Pass and drive through fast, or wait at the toll barriers. In any case it's still going to cost you $4 to drive on that road that used to be free because hey you are using it and we need to maintain it, so it's only fair that you pay for it--expect my taxes (internet operator fees) already did.

If you think google is evil now, wait until they are creating drones to vaporize you and sell them to the government. SkyNet people.

ArrayList
DevOps
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Brighton, MA
What deal with Verizon?

cableties
Premium
join:2005-01-27

Re: Google is evil

LMGTFY:
»www.nytimes.com/2010/08/05/techn ··· ret.html

Back in 2010...
--
Splat

cableties
Premium
join:2005-01-27
Yes, Google is evil.
But working there...if you are smart (Masters, PhD...) and attractive (meaning under 30 and fit), they will hire you.

On every floor, there was a food dispensary that had whatever your group voted on. Snacks, drinks...heck if you like a certain brand of cherry cola..and it was all agreed on, they would stock it. In the lunch area, there were five stations to eat with cooks.

Google figured that they lost money in the time the employees left the building to go eat...with traffic, etc, ... it was more affordable to provide "great" food services inhouse than to allow you to leave.
--
Splat

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

Re: Google is evil

"But working there...if you are smart (Masters, PhD...) and attractive (meaning under 30 and fit), they will hire you."

...most Fortune 100 companies attract these type of people. Or they do a startup.

And I trust Google more than Facebook. More than the ISPs. Their collaboration with the NSA, while unfortunate, is necessary as long as they are HQ'ed here.

f_off

@37.235.48.x
Masters, PhD don't mean that you are smart
kaila

join:2000-10-11
Lincolnshire, IL
At the time, Google was trying to get Android off the ground and had massive incentive to entice carriers to offer the platform. I wonder if they regret that decision now.

I don't think they're evil per se, and I'm pretty sure the abuses by carriers and big ISP's are at least a full order of magnitude worse than anything Google has.

One also has to remember that Google's entire business model is dependent upon their reputation with users. F'ing that up comes with enormous consequences.

ArrayList
DevOps
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Brighton, MA
Reviews:
·RCN CABLE
·Comcast

Re: Google is evil

said by kaila:

I don't think they're evil per se, and I'm pretty sure the abuses by carriers and big ISP's are at least a full order of magnitude worse than anything Google has.

Communications companies have been doing it for decades. Google has nothing on them.
--
A sane approach to our federal budget: Ignore the tea party
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
·ooma
·Verizon FiOS
I don't see google chomping at the bit to offer cable-tv content and collect BILLIONS OF DOLLARS with regular rate increases such as cablecos and telcos do today and for tomorrow want to revive the bill by the byte AND the newly coined term engineered throttling through peer saturation as a TOLL BOOTH passing the cost off by proxy.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: Google is evil

Just wait until Google has to appease the content owners for its pay TV service offerings. Google pays for peering so I guess they're already on board with that.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Bite the Bullet

Just bite the bullet and reclassify them and force line sharing amongst all wired broadband medias.

No matter what they do, if they don't create a competitive market, without the silly expectation that every one that wants to provide service needs to dig up the streets and yards to run multiple lines to a place wanting service, then it will fail.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: Bite the Bullet

said by Skippy25:

Just bite the bullet and reclassify them and force line sharing amongst all wired broadband medias.

Why just wired? What about wireless? Does this also go for munis, coops, Google, and everyone else passing bits through some sort of physical medium?

tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·FirstLight Fiber
·Hollis Hosting
·G4 Communications

Re: Bite the Bullet

said by openbox9:

Why just wired? What about wireless? Does this also go for munis, coops, Google, and everyone else passing bits through some sort of physical medium?

That is a good question, but what you are proposing is not really network neutrality, but network element unbundling.

As a start we need to regulate both wired and wireless ISPs as common carriers. This would not affect ownership of the first-mile but impose transparency requirements.

Then my preference would be to make first-mile access, both wired and wireless a wholesale business open to all qualified players. This is obviously much more difficult and controversial, especially wireless since frequencies are allocated to individual companies. To a very limited extent wireless carriers already work together to rent tower space so the practice is not completely alien.

I know it is a gross over simplification but broadband should be thought about much like the Interstate highway and Airport system. They are a common good - that allow individual companies to utilize the infrastructure to deliver services. I realize thinking in terms of common social good has fallen out of favor in this age of every man for himself deregulation but it provides many benefits

/tom

elray

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

"Neutrality" isn't

Trying to force outcomes isn't going to work. All it will do is create unforeseen consequences. "Network Neutral" treatment is in effect, discrimination against data that has the need for - or is willing to pay for - higher priority delivery. Enforcing the lowest common denominator, as usual, claiming it is "fair", will only result in poor performance for one and all, and a flight from the public internet to private arrangements.

"Pay-to-play" makes sense - streaming services are presenting a non-neutral data load, and their customers want to be assured that it will receive sufficient prioritization, meter-anxiety-free, so they can enjoy viewing it.
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Re: "Neutrality" isn't

It's funny because until now network neutrality has been the de facto rule of the web, and you love to cite how wonderful and robust our Internet connections have become thanks to private investment. Now you're saying if we continue wi the way things have been for the last 20 years, the world as we know it will end.

Could you possibly be any less hypocritical?
elray

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

Re: "Neutrality" isn't

That past twenty years did not involve 200+ million consumers seeking to replace their pay-tv subscription. HD and 4K streaming, including wireless broadband delivery, dramatically changes the bias of the amount of data delivered - in one direction, and accordingly, if the end-user expects good performance, some value needs to be placed on those bits.

Network neutrality was not the "de facto rule"; data was considered lossy, retransmittable and/or batch-oriented. In today's market, consumers want better data - as witnessed by all of the complaints over Youtube cat videos; they want assurances.

Do they want to pay for it? Not much - but we're not talking about large dollar amounts - they'll be negotiated in bulk, behind the scenes, and the consumer won't be paying them directly.

linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·TracFone Wireless
·CenturyLink

1 recommendation

Re: "Neutrality" isn't

If you noticed, the ones doing the loudest howling are huge corporations like Amazon and Verizon who are claiming it will ruin the web.

It won't.

What it might do is change the revenue stream. It might feed us less annoying targeted ads based on the browser we use or the sites we visit. I would celebrate any victory that serves up 50% less advertising.

--
Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside

fg8578

join:2009-04-26
Salem, OR

They were for it before they were against it

"Many agreements just like Comcast-Netflix already exist. Firms like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have for years connected directly to broadband networks via paid peering arrangements."

Netflix, Comcast Hook Up Sparks Web Drama