Light Reading

Google Grouses on Net Neutrality

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News Analysis
Light Reading
3/14/2006
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EDITOR'S NOTE: The original headline of this story was changed because it didn't reflect the full context of the remark made by Google's representative. The story itself, however, has not been changed.

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has more than one reason for coming out against phone company QOS fees, according to sources at the VON show here. (See LR Poll: Net 'Squatters' Should Pay.)

One source close to Google says the company dislikes the thought that phone companies may carry only video from content providers that use a proprietary network protocol prescribed by each individual carrier. (See Are Operators Ready for QOS Fees?)

While the protocols would allow carriers to provide a better consumer experience, it would also add significant cost to the content producers, which would have to strike different QOS deals and embrace different protocols for each major network operator. (See Net Neutrality Debate Wydens.)

But even with that looming, Google general counsel Andrew Mclaughlin says many in Washington would rather not get the FCC involved in the Internet at all. “The FCC sucks,” Mclaughlin says. “Why would you want the FCC to get involved in anything? Its track record is pretty bad when it comes to processes and outcomes.”

After his statements, Mclaughlin made it clear he was expressing the views of others in Washington who are not convinced there is a need for regulating the Internet.

Meanwhile, Verizon's director of technology policy, David Young, says this proprietary protocol fear hasn't come to fruition yet; he knows of no carrier that has charged a QOS fee from a content provider or forced it to use the operator’s proprietary network protocols. (See Google Backlash Builds.)

Both Young and Global Crossing (Nasdaq: GLBC) VP of regulatory affairs Paul Kouroupas say, however, that content providers have in the past made “business arrangements” with network operators to reserve bandwidth for their applications.

Kouroupas says content providers can do other things to help the delivery of their products, like locating their servers inside the operator's network, or using P2P content delivery techniques.

But the network neutrality proponents took a kick to the teeth in various panels here as Internet companies have failed to move legislation in the Capitol.

“Why are the interests of truth, love, and the American way getting our butts kicked in Washington?" Google's Mclaughlin asked.

Many in Washington believe that access networks are changing rapidly, and might soon be dominated by wireless Internet connections, which would again change how QOS is implemented. “There is a belief in Washington that wireless is going to blow this thing wide open anyway, so why legislate now,” Mclaughlin says.

He also believes that lawmakers have come to accept the idea that broadband networks are the property of the operators, and rules shouldn’t be imposed on them. “There is a belief that property rights are always good,” he says.

— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

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Dredgie
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Dredgie,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 4:01:52 AM
re: Google Grouses on Net Neutrality
1.Do GOOG think they have a license to print cash off someone elseGÇÖs back for ever?
2.Can someone enlighten me on this / these "proprietary protocol(s)"?
pjbrockmann
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pjbrockmann,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:01:51 AM
re: Google Grouses on Net Neutrality
Carriers are trial balooning a 'bit tax' that imbeds their greedy little fingers into the Internet conversations that subscribers want, and that content providers are bullied into providing. Today, the bit pipe companies get paid for their bit pipes, but like the child in Oliver, they want more.

This is a threat to innovation, and a threat to the economic leadership of America. Phone companies have never been good at innovation. They were the ones who took 20 years to figure out that long distance service was a commodity. They forced the LD companies to pay exhorbitant taxes to the RBOCs (for use of their access networks) for years. Let's not repeat this mistake, or content will be free... oh, it is.

The sinister plan is to find a technical 'hook' to scare Google and Yahoo into paying for performance. Lord knows users won't. Being a bit pipe isn't really such a bad thing - if only the phone companies would realize that.
optiplayer
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optiplayer,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:01:50 AM
re: Google Grouses on Net Neutrality
The juvenile remarks of Google's general counsel only add to the growing perception, much of it stemming from the multiple miscues of the company's CFO in the last few weeks, that Google's senior management is not up to running a multi-billion dollar business.
Pete Baldwin
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Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:01:49 AM
re: Google Grouses on Net Neutrality
The juvenile remarks of Google's general counsel only add to the growing perception, much of it stemming from the multiple miscues of the company's CFO in the last few weeks, that Google's senior management is not up to running a multi-billion dollar business.

I'll take that a step further: From the outside, Google appears to be just a bunch of snotty kids with too much money.

But so was/is Apple, and they still managed to succeed. (And screwed it up each time, so maybe there's a lesson there for Google.)

Great ideas, lots of hubris. Maybe that's the best way to bring game-changing technology to the masses, but it sure can be annoying.
DPD
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DPD,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:01:49 AM
re: Google Grouses on Net Neutrality
Google Copies Your Hard Drive - Government Smiles in Anticipation

http://www.eff.org/news/archiv...
optiplayer
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optiplayer,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:01:48 AM
re: Google Grouses on Net Neutrality
"But so was/is Apple, and they still managed to succeed."

Apple was extremely successfull in its ealry years and again for the past 18-20 months but the intervening period of about 15 years was pretty bleak....

Being hip, cool, irreverent (pick your adjective) is fine and can work to ones advantage in the consumer market but it usually won't get you very far with regulators. As GOOG treads into areas subject to federal regulation they are likely to learn some hard lessons about dealing with the FCC and the like. It may not be fair but the RBOCs have been doing this forever and must be licking their proverbial chops when they hear the GOOG GC talk about the FCC.

Stevery
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Stevery,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:01:48 AM
re: Google Grouses on Net Neutrality
... Google appears to be just a bunch of snotty kids with too much money.

And whoever has the gold makes the rules, so prepare for more exposure to the snotty kids.

Actually, I find it refreshing. Perhaps it is because I'm still a snotty kid at heart.
paolo.franzoi
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paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:01:47 AM
re: Google Grouses on Net Neutrality

fg,

I disagree with your entire premise. Verizon is paying its content providers to provide content on its FiOS TV network. I am assuming SBC will pay its content providers to provide video over Lightspeed.

Google is not a content provider, but more of a content aggregator. A way of finding actual content. The Google Business model is to be paid by content providers to be found through Google.

Example, you can "google" Light Reading and find this site. But Light Reading is the content and not Google.

From that standpoint, the RBOC argument over QoS and making people pay for access to their customers is really a way to charge their customers more money. As at the end of the day businesses would pay Google more for ads and in turn charge their customers more. If a click-fraud application comes around in that time, then Google will be out of the pay-per-click business.

ISPs are also not content providers but common carriers.

seven
fgoldstein
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fgoldstein,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 4:01:47 AM
re: Google Grouses on Net Neutrality
Mclaughlin's comment sounds very amateurish. But I have it on good authority that he was basically misquoted; he was quoting what others, people with an anti-FCC view, were saying. That makes more sense given his experience in Washington.

I do note, however, that the sentiments expressed by the ILECs and their sympathizerse on this board are scary in their own way. They are assuming that somehow it is not enough for companies to pay their ISP fees to their own ISP. Instead, Google, for some reason, is also expected to pay the ISP of their own customers. This is not the way the Internet works.

It is, however, the way Long Distance works. It's a collapsing, decrepit old system of subsidies and arbitrary classifications, but it goes back to the 1920s. In the US telephone rules, a local customer pays part of his own costs but then there are "access charges" paid by other carriers which, in many cases, cover part of the retail users' fixed costs. This depends upon classifying every call, to see who should pay what. So a call across a LEC network is paid for differently depending on whether it's classified as local, ISP-bound, intrastate toll, interstate toll, untranslated 800, translated 800, VoIP, or wireless. What a mess!

So now we have the ILECs making noises about charging "content" providers, such as Google, along the lines of the LD providers of yore (where "yore" is fading fast but still in effect). So if they determine that you're exchanging packets with one of their subscribers or walled garden content servers, then your "retail" rate covers it. But if you're exchanging packets with an external "content" provider or maybe another ISP, then that ISP doesn't just get to peer; instead, the "content provider" (they think like old-time cable guys) is expected to kick in some of the cost! Yep, it's a mix of Internet Message Units (retail) and Internet Switched Access Charges. What's old is new again. Don't fix what's broken; apply it more widely!

Billing for raw byte count or QoS doesn't require Deep Packet Inspection. Getting the "value" out does. That's why this whole QoS business is a red herring; it's there to distract from much less palatable plans. And of course some Wall Street "analysts" -- better described as ILEC cheerleaders -- are pushing this crapola. They've made bets and are trying to tilt the field in their favor.
OpticOm
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OpticOm,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:01:46 AM
re: Google Grouses on Net Neutrality
Well, Google is a company almost 100% democrat.
I am not surprised to see such immature reaction and am trying to use another search engines, as I disagree with them.
I found that "China thing" quite disturbing.


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