Google is not selling out the Internet

Google is not selling out the Internet

Summary: The solution to this is more WiFi, to unlicense new wireless bands rather than selling them to the highest bidders, who can't build them out anyway and so try to sell bandwidth through an eye dropper.

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TOPICS: Browser, Google
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Despite the fever dreams of Josh Silver and other net neutrality activists Google is not selling them out.

(Evil Google logo from TechRepublic.)

The idea, which Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg explained in a Wall Street Journal piece back in January, is to allow for service level agreements (SLAs) on critical services that need low latency -- like large medical files being used in real-time -- and leave everything else alone by voluntary agreement.

Ever since a federal court denied the FCC the power to enforce net neutrality in the case of Comcast, the agency and large stakeholders have been seeking a way forward.

When the agency made its proposals for replacement rules a few months ago, the big telcos jumped on it, making clear through allies in Congress they would be overturned -- or at least delayed until they became meaningless.

Fact is Google has no financial incentive to sell out net neutrality, but every reason to come up with a fair agreement. Unlike the telcos, Google provides data services and not just pipes. It also has more core assets, managed with more efficiency, than either Verizon or AT&T.

The purpose of coming to an agreement is to allow the market to move forward, in Google's direction. Right now market conditions favor Google as the low-cost provider of storage, transit, and computing services.

The Heritage Foundation, which doesn't want the FCC involved at all, is insisting that any deal between Google and Verizon would be between Google and Verizon. It would not obligate AT&T, which wants to limit video traffic over its thin wireless pipes, and would have to be passed by Congress, which has become a telecom black hole.

What's most problematic to me is the idea that wireless services could throttle video and apps that aren't paying extra fees for transport. That may be why there are new reports saying the stakeholder talks have ended without a final agreement.

Here's the deal. Some customers and applications think they need service guarantees to work, but the consumer market does not. Verizon is keeping hands-off the consumer market, knowing that bandwidth market is not capacity constrained, but trying to maintain power over the wireless market, where bandwidth is constrained.

That's not Google doing evil. That's Google doing business so the rest of us can, too. The solution to this is more WiFi, to unlicense new wireless bands rather than selling them to the highest bidders, who can't build them out anyway and so try to sell bandwidth through an eye dropper.

Follow the money. The money is in liberating wireless so it can expand as wired has, to the point where the whole net neutrality debate becomes worthless and SLAs become like the extended warranties on new PCs.

Topics: Browser, Google

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30 comments
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  • Translation:

    Google wants net neutrality to guarantee google content and everyone else can just go to h*ll.
    frgough
    • Sounds about right

      @frgough
      Same old Google.
      iPad-awan
      • RE: Google is not selling out the Internet

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        musdahi
    • Maybe you can

      @frgough

      elaborate on the logic behind that statement, because on the surface it does not make any sense at all. If there is indeed net neutrality, how does that make everyone else go to h*ll?
      Economister
  • some pigs are more equal than others

    george orwell
    sparkle farkle
  • there wouldn't be bottlenecks if there was enough bandwidth

    AKA investment in infrastructure from the telcoms. They don't want to spend the money, and at this point the fcc is powerless to do anything. I'm sure glad it's the internet and not electricity.
    sparkle farkle
    • You have things slightly backwards...

      An infrastructure company such as Verizon or ATT or Comcast will be hesitant to invest in growing their networks/bandwidth if there is a threat by government (via the FCC) to regulate or control those networks and the kind of traffic and the amount of traffic they will allow on "their" networks.

      What is the point in investing or growing when the government can step in and issue regulations or controls over your investments?
      adornoe
      • since the government isn't controlling them now

        I have to assume your trolling for trouble. Monopolists love monopolies. You make a good argument for treating the internet like a utility. Let the telcoms take over the airwaves, and leave the land lines, nation's backbone, and hardwired infrastructure to companies that can provide neutral, reliable, and speedy connections to everyone.
        sparkle farkle
      • sparkle farkle: you're way too short-sighted in thinking about the moment..

        <i>since the government isn't controlling them now</i><br><br>Right...<br><br>and a couple of years ago, when the government wasn't controlling people's decisions about their healthcare, you would've been the first to say "since the government isn't controlling them now, there is nothing to worry about". Shortsightedness is not a good way to go about your life, especially when there are so many bumps on the road ahead.<br><br><i>I have to assume your trolling for trouble.</i><br><br>That's pretty silly.<br><br>What is it with people like you? Just because somebody has a different point of view, it has to be because I'm "trolling"? People should stop the use of the word "trolling" on the internet. It's so stupid and overused and abused to the point that it has no real meaning anymore. So, grow up and accept that there will be people with differing opinions, including opinions that you won't like. Besides, I have much better things to do with my time than to go "trolling" for trouble. By the same token, wouldn't I be more correct in stating that it is you that is "trolling" for trouble with your unthinking response to my post? <br><br>I'll stick with the points I made in my last post, and which you haven't retorted to effectively.<br><br><i>Monopolists love monopolies.</i><br><br>That's a pretty meaningless statement in regards to the points I made.<br><br><i>You make a good argument for treating the internet like a utility.</i><br><br>The internet IS like a utility. In fact, ATT and Verizon and Comcast, as examples, are companies serving up a "utility" type services. Telephone service was and is regarded as a utility operation, so, expanding the way people communicate to include the internet and wireless doesn't really change the functions of those companies.<br><br>Though some companies on the internet may have close to "monopolistic" control in their areas, I don't fault them alone for having achieved that status. A lot of what happens in the private sector is allowed or caused by what government does. In fact, there are many local monopolies that have been set up by government regulations. It is government intervention in the private sector that has created a lot of the problems we have now, and not just when it comes to the internet or wireless or cable television. <br><br><i>Let the telcoms take over the airwaves, and leave the land lines, nation's backbone, and hardwired infrastructure to companies that can provide neutral, reliable, and speedy connections to everyone.</i><br><br>It that's your argument against what I said, then you don't really have an argument with me. <br><br>But, I'll re-iterate the main point that I made and for which you didn't have to retort:<br><br><b>What is the point in investing or growing when the government can step in and issue regulations or controls over your investments?</b><br><br>Aside from regulations to prevent monopolies and to protect customers and to protect investors from misuse of funding, the government should stay out of the way of the free-market, including the internet and TV and radio and wireless industries.
        adornoe
      • To answer your question

        It's called market share retention.
        fpac
      • fpac: market share retention mostly requires maintenance

        of what a company already has.

        Investing for growth is totally different.

        You didn't really answer my question, so here it goes again:

        <b>What is the point in investing or growing when the government can step in and issue regulations or controls over your investments? </b>
        adornoe
  • What?? Google has every financial incentive to sell out net neutrality

    faster content delivery = preferred = more ad rev.
    its that simple.
    Btw NONE of googles "services" would qualify as critical.
    And dont forget that it was google who decided not to license wireless spectrum and build it out but instead decided to artificially drive the licensing price up, which was eventually paid by..... thats right Verizon, which btw is building it out
    Johnny Vegas
    • RE: Google is not selling out the Internet

      @Johnny Vegas Actually, yes some of Google's services are critial. More hospitals, govt agencies etc are shifting to the Google cloud. Now that the govt has rated it secure enough to access outside of the internal govt networks more and more is going to be critical services. Wouldn't you agree if you get shot because you are a smart ass and pissed off the wrong person, and go to a hospital that is in the Google cloud that you're records not be delayed when a doc has to make a life or death choice? Well in that case, hope it is :P
      topgun966
      • Hospitals shifting to Google

        @topgun966

        Name one.
        x I'm tc
  • Actually...

    Google does not have every financial incentive. Their ad-driven revenue for example is backboned off general use. Whether they dip into, or from net neutrality is of little to no consequence to that (and as a matter of fact, it could be argued that by compromising net neutrality, their revenue would suffer. ie: Content delivery based on prefered services vs content preference according to consumer and equal bits on the network).

    The matter is a whole lot more convoluted than most people would think. I'm in Canada currently, and the Telecomm situation here looks to be rather grim at times. The CRTC passed a law, under pressure from Bell and the other fiendish Telcos. What does it concern?

    Bell: "WAH! We won't invest into our networks, backbones, infrastructure nor cores if everyone can offer bulk ISP bundles for the same price/speeds as ours, because financially it's not worth it to us. It doesn't matter that we have a 3% GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT monopoly running for about 100 years now, and several cash-cows we're running into the ground, we just won't do it. NEE NER NEE NER /raspberry."

    CRTC: "Well, we like to think we're competent and we're getting a little pressure from the big guys, so hell, yeah, let the incumbents have their enormous cake that could feed a continent twice over, AND eat it. We'll let all the competition suffer so they don't whine so much."

    From a purely business standpoint, this does make sense, sure. From a human being's standpoint with a half a bloody brain, this is absolutely disgusting and revolting. You're telling me, that despite their cellphone services (which is the majority of their current income)- WHICH CANNOT BE IMMEDIATELY OR ANY TIME SOON REPLACED BY COMPETITION AS THEY WOULD STILL REQUIRE TO RUN ON THE INCUMBENTS NETWORKS (Much like anything else), they're crying that they won't upgrade infrastructure because it will put a little dent into their 3% GDP? (Do you know how much money that is? Look up how much money Canada makes in a year. Multiply that by 0.03. This is one company making that, forget Telus and the rest that also have a chunk of that pie)

    Yeah. Our technology is behind, our infrastructure is behind. I wonder why? Yay money-mongering! It are teh best.

    Japan? 1GBPS for the price of dsl? wtfak? srsly guys? srsly? It makes me cry that we're so far behind in so manny areas, and the reasons are ridiculously trivial.

    /endrant

    Anyways, all this aside, Google had a reason to drive the licensing price up. The wireless spectrum may become more irrelevant as SDR (software defined radio) becomes incredibly efficient. I mean, hell, they're able to differentiate bands within incredibly thin slices nowadays. The licensing hike is not for the sake of pure profit, but to invest into infrastructure. What they propose on top of it, is not to 'shrink' or somehow inflict damage upon the internet, but to provide a frame of context for generic QoS.

    I may not agree with it, as I'd rather see all bits get treated equally, but it's still a far better compromise than 'Bell: Hurr. Derp. We am smarts. Hollywood pay us money? MAI GAD. WE MUST HAXOR TEH BITTORENTZ UNDER GUISE OF NORMAL PRACTICE AS ISP. You haz cable tv online? OKAI- Free sites get shafted in teh bandwidth, lawl.'

    What a damned convoluted topic.
    Telecomm engineer, 3rd year, Sheridan.
    CommonOddity
    • Where have you been?

      @CommonOddity

      Bell lost tons of money from switchovers to Rogers, due to Bell's lack of decent customer service. Have you been totally on the moon the whole time that Bell and Telus teamed up to upgrade their network to HSPA+ (soon to be 42Mbps HSPA+) when Rogers was sitting on their hands just scooping customers from Bell's internet and TV divisions? Canada has a far better per-populous network than in the US. Prices are higher, and I won't argue that, but the high-speed 3G network is far better than AT&T's lackluster 3G coverage, and Verizon's shoddy CDMA network. Canada is more in-line with the rest of the world by having a nationwide GSM-based network, and the spectrum sell-off isn't doing anything for competition, because the number one complaint with the new incumbants is that the phones don't work on multiple networks. At least having the big-3 providers all offering compatible networks allows for customers to switch providers when they want - if they're on a monthly service. Companies like Wind Mobile and Mobilicity will continue to be a niche market unless they can persuade handset radio vendors to make ultra-compatible sets that work with the big-3's networks. That'll likely never happen though, and the small co's just aren't big enough to offer customer retention discounts.
      Joe_Raby
      • RE: Google is not selling out the Internet

        @Joe_Raby <br><br>Nope. I've been here this whole time. I'm not saying Bell has been completely idle, but at the same time they could be doing much more. What you're talking about is one incident versus their monolithic reach and range (dare I say spectrum? lol) in the Telecomm industry as a company.<br><br>And when I was comparing our Telecomm advances, I was doing so on a more global scale, not just with the US. Edge? Ring any bells? 'nuff said.<br><br>HSPA is starting to get implemented more broadly, but it's still a niche motion in certain areas. Take a look at the big picture in this and you'll find where some of the blackspots land (remember what happened in Ottawa with DSL/Cable? Ask the people that have lived there for about 10 years. This will be no different).

        Edit: Oh! And I forgot to mention... The main reason that Bell went ahead and implemented so many changes as of late is because of the CRTC ruling in favor of the incumbents.
        CommonOddity
  • Google IS selling out the internet

    The recent Google Apps ads on ZDNet that use Flash are pulling a move that malware ad-space buyers do - use Flash to auto-refresh the page and load popup windows, and you can't filter out popup windows that are generated by a plugin. Flash needs to die.
    Joe_Raby
    • RE: Google is not selling out the Internet

      @Joe_Raby Flash is a product of the people at Adobe Systems, not Google.
      DanaBlankenhorn
  • Google IS selling - You're Worse

    Hey, Mr. Blankenhorn -
    I wonder how dismissive you'll be when the other corrupt ISPs like AT&T and Comcast finish bribing the politicians (oh, how id you put it, "jumped on it, making clear through allies in Congress) and are awarded favorable rules changes allowing both the slimy multi-tiered pricing scheme you so naively equate with "SLAs" and the further corrupting right to own content providers (like the NBC deal) - and - AT&T then legally charges Ziff Davis a big premium charge after acquiring & greasing the wheels for IDC (or another competitor). Gee, when forced, I wonder if ZD, will opt to keep staffers with weak opinion pieces or pay the higher rates to keep competitive with the ISP-owned content providers?

    This opinion is wrong-minded.

    Get a clue!
    tyelmene