Google backs net neutrality on its own Google Fibre network

Google backs net neutrality on its own Google Fibre network

Summary: Google is putting its network where its mouth is by offering free Internet peering over its Google Fibre network to media providers and content delivery networks.

SHARE:
13

The last mile ISPs, such as Comcast and Verizon, may be dead set against net neutrality, but many other technology companies, such as Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft, favor net neutrality. Now, Google, which also supports net neutrality, is putting its network where its mouth is by offering free Internet peering over its Google Fibre network to media providers and content delivery networks (CDNs).

Google Fiber

In the almost two years since Google started bringing its 1 gigabit per second fibre networks to users in Kansas City, the company has expanded its last mile network to Austin, TX and Provo Utah. Google now plans to bring Google Fibre to Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, and San Jose. Google is still a long way from being a national ISP, but that seems to be one direction they're exploring.

Besides getting really fast Internet, users in those cities can also expect to get fast access to Netflix and other video content providers. Google Director of Network Engineering Jeffrey Burgan explained, "We also partner with content providers (like YouTube, Netflix, and Akamai) to make the rest of your video’s journey shorter and faster. (This doesn't involve any deals to prioritize their video ‘packets’ over others or otherwise discriminate among Internet traffic — we don't do that.)"

Burgan continued: "If the connections between the content provider and our network are slow or congested, that will slow down your access to content, no matter how fast your connection is. So that your video doesn’t get caught up in this possible congestion, we invite content providers to hook up their networks directly to ours. This is called ‘peering,’ and it gives you a more direct connection to the content that you want."

Google does more than just let Netflix and content delivery networks such as Akamai use their section of the Internet for free. These media businesses, Burgan explained, "can ‘collocate’ their equipment in our Fiber facilities. What does that mean for you? Usually, when you go to Netflix and click on the video that you want to watch, your request needs to travel to and from the closest Netflix data center, which might be a round-trip of hundreds or thousands of miles. Instead, Netflix has placed their own servers within our facilities (in the same place where we keep our own video-on-demand content). Because the servers are closer to where you live, your content will get to you faster and should be a higher quality."

This deal is even sweeter than it sounds. Burgan added, "We give companies like Netflix and Akamai free access to space and power in our facilities and they provide their own content servers. We don’t make money from peering or collocation; since people usually only stream one video at a time, video traffic doesn’t bog down or change the way we manage our network in any meaningful way—so why not help enable it?"

Exactly.

So why doesn't Google charge for these services? "We also don’t charge because it’s really a win-win-win situation. It’s good for content providers because they can deliver really high-quality streaming video to their customers. For example, because Netflix collocated their servers along our network, their customers can access full 1080p HD and, for those who own a 4K TV, Netflix in Ultra HD 4K. It’s good for us because it saves us money (it’s easier to transport video traffic from a local server than it is to transport it thousands of miles). But most importantly, we do this because it gives Fiber users the fastest, most direct route to their content," concluded Burgan.

Google's stance isn't new. Google has been supporting net neutrality since at least 2006. It's nice to seeing them backing their stance with action. Now, if we can only get everyone — including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) — on board, maybe net neutrality will have a chance of staying the law of the land.

Topics: Networking, Broadband, Google

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

13 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Wish Google fiber was in my neighborhood...

    Better speed and service.
    jessepollard
    • A lot cheaper too

      Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Coming soon...

    I have a co-worker who's getting it in his neighborhood. My own area is scheduled to have it sometime in 2015. I can wait... But sooner would be better than later...
    Den2010
  • i may have to consider moving

    I know its expensive for google to roll out fiber to each of these cities but it seems like i should consider my next move to be one of the potential towns they roll out to
    Cilvre
  • In email and social media, ANY user may be a content provider.

    The danger of a non-neutral net is not just the convenience factor of watching movies from Netflix or the next big Netflix wannabee. When we send emails, or post on social media, or even enter comments on a site such as this, we deserve the protection of the law from being throttled because of social or political views that may be offensive to the management of our last-mile ISP. Imagine liberal social causes being unable to run websites and collect donations online from supporters, or emails being delayed or dropped from certain subscribers based on progressive political or religious views, by ultra conservative ISP management, and being done in such a way that it APPEARS to be a technical problem. Or a liberal-owned ISP such as Credo blocking conservative views. Without Net Neutrality, there is no legal recourse to the victims of such censorship of legal content.

    Political and social advocacy groups on all sides of the spectrum are using social media, email bulletins, web sites, Youtube accounts, etc. The rights of all of them must be protected, or we will end up like China, with some ISP (imagine the Koch brothers buying Comcast or AT&T) being the de facto equivalent of the Chinese Communist Party, stopping anyone from mentioning certain facts (such as global warming) online, with their PRIVATE Great Firewall of America.

    I sense that Google gets this, and today at least, wants to protect the First Amendment.
    jallan32
  • Pretty sure Netflix is hosted on Amazon AWS

    So, I'm thinking they're not likely to co-locate servers in Google's data centers.
    dh1760
    • Did you even read the article?

      When Google-hating impairs your ability to read, you really need to get a new religion.

      "Instead, Netflix has placed their own servers within our facilities (in the same place where we keep our own video-on-demand content)."
      Heenan73
    • Netflix provides free servers

      Netflix give free content distribution servers to every ISP that will take them. They reduce Netflix transit to the ISP by over 90%, so the link between the customer's ISP and Netflix's can support any number of customers, and the customers can get the best quality video and the most responsive service. By doing things the right way, everybody wins.
      symbolset
  • Walk Score

    http://www.walkscore.com/

    Portland, OR
    Walk Score: 63
    Transit Score: 50
    Bike Score: 70

    Salt Lake City, UT
    Walk Score: 55
    Transit Score: 43
    Bike Score: 68

    San Jose, CA
    Walk Score: 48
    Transit Score: 41
    Bike Score: 56

    Atlanta, GA
    Walk Score: 46
    Transit Score: 43
    Bike Score: 43

    Phoenix, AZ
    Walk Score: 38
    Transit Score: --
    Bike Score: 52

    San Antonio, TX
    Walk Score: 34
    Transit Score: 35
    Bike Score: 40

    Raleigh, NC
    Walk Score: 29
    Transit Score: 23
    Bike Score: 39

    Durham, NC: Walk Score: 28

    Nashville-Davidson, TN
    Walk Score: 26
    Transit Score: --
    Bike Score: 32

    Charlotte, NC
    Walk Score: 24
    Transit Score: --
    Bike Score: 35

    So the highest walk and bike score you can get if you want Google Fiber is Portland, OR. That is, if you want to get around places by walking or biking. Salt Lake City is second for walk and close second for bike score and is cheaper to live compared to Portland.

    As for Walk Score, anything less than 50 is car-dependent. 50 to 70 is somewhat walkable, 70 to 89 is considered very walkable, and 90 to 100 is walker's paradise. But look at neighborhoods within cities, too. A neighborhood of Central City in Salt Lake City has a walk score of 84. A neighborhood of Downtown in San Jose, CA has a walk score of 71, so it should be very walkable. But keep in mind that not all "neighborhoods" have houses and apartments, so it pays to do your research before you move into your desired city. You might want to look for grocery stores that are less than a mile away. Look for restaurants that you can walk to. Even shopping centers. But do look out for convenient stores that fall into the grocery store category. I don't want to live near convenient stores if I were you. Last, but not least, you may not care for parks and schools (if you don't have kids) so don't factor in those if you are not interested.

    For those who want Google Fiber and are planning to move, I hope I can be of help and good luck in switching over to Google Fiber!
    Grayson Peddie
    • You are one strange person ..

      ... But very helpful too!

      Thanks!
      Heenan73
      • RE: You are one strange person ..

        Curious. What is strange about me?

        And you are welcome. I'm glad I can be of help.
        Grayson Peddie
  • 100 times faster

    Google fiber data transfer is most latest. United States agency NASA brings remarkable internet connections to American homes that have 10 gigabits per second and it’s about 100 times faster than today’s internet networks.

    1000ftcables
    thomasdave200@...
  • 1000 times faster

    Communication fibre data transfer is most latest. USA agency NASA brings remarkable internet connections to American homes that have 10 gigabits per second and it’s about 100 times faster than today’s internet networks.
    Using high speed network according networking cables.

    skylite cables
    devid88