Google Loves Neutrality, Except When They're Busy Killing It
by Karl Bode 09:31AM Thursday May 08 2014 Tipped by ArrayList
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.
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.
Re: Google is evil
said by kaila:Communications companies have been doing it for decades. Google has nothing on them.
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.
A sane approach to our federal budget: Ignore the tea party
Re: Bite the Bullet
said by Skippy25: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?
Just bite the bullet and reclassify them and force line sharing amongst all wired broadband medias.
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?
Santa Monica, CA
·Time Warner Cable
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.