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Google says it's ready to file antitrust complaints if telcos abuse their network control

Google spoke to reporters today and warned that if broadband service providers abuse a possible right given by the government, it will step up and file anti-trust complaints. The issue boils down to net neutrality, which has been large ongoing issue between broadband service providers, companies, schools and the government. Google says that it hopes that legislators will support net neutrality, which will prevent large telcos and cable companies from creating tiered networks, charging more for a certain type of use than another, even though the data travels on the same network.

Google said that it will not hesitate to file anti-trust complaints against any company that abuses their control over network bandwidth and prices. However, this control has not been handed over from the government just yet. Although the US Senate Commerce Committee approved a communications reform last week that allows telephone companies to offer subscription based television services to customers.

Vint Cerf, a Google vice president told reporters that "if the legislators insist on neutrality, we will be happy. If they do not put it in, we will be less happy but then we will have to wait and see whether or not there actually is any abuse." Google, like many other content-driven companies -- including Microsoft -- support net neutrality. "My company, along with many others believes that the Internet should stay open and accessible to everyone equally."

Several communications and network companies including Cisco, oppose net neutrality simply because their business is based on network control and bandwidth. Last week, DailyTech reported that the net neutrality debate received two new proposals from two groups. The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) and the New Yorkers for Fair Use both offered their own proposals on how net neutrality should be handled. Both of the groups offered similar views, saying that US legislators should distinguish the Internet from other types of networks. Tiered networks would be okay as long as the Internet itself remained neutral, said both groups.

Although several major telcos have said that the government and companies like Google are concerned over nothing, many companies supporting net neutrality say that given the chance, large telcos would create tiered networks in a heart beat. Without a neutrality bill protecting equal Internet access, Google fears that fair competition would be stifled and prices would soar.

"We are worried that some of the broadband service providers will interfere with that principle and will attempt to use their control over broadband transport facilities to interfere with services of competitors," said Cert.


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RE: What's wrong with Tiered Networks?
By InternetGeek on 7/5/2006 9:13:33 AM , Rating: 2
I believe most people confuse the issue of net neutrality with the access plan they are paying their ISP for.

Net neutrality is not about paying for bandwith but paying for having content delivered to you. ISPs would basically charge you for all content provided. For example you would be charged per mega torrented a certain fee, another for email, another for http browsing and a premium for http brosing of selected 'premier' sites.


RE: What's wrong with Tiered Networks?
By masher2 (blog) on 7/5/2006 9:37:45 AM , Rating: 2
> "Net neutrality is not about paying for bandwith but paying for having content delivered to you. ISPs would basically charge you for all content provided"

Sorry, your answer was incorrect. Net neutrality is about differential treatment (and potentially billing) of data.

For instance, if telcos began offering an ultra-low latency connection, for use in say, videoconferencing, remote control, or even online gaming, net neutrality would forbid it. It doesn't allow some packets to have priority over others...even though your email doesn't really care if it arrives in 200ms rather than 2ms.

Net neutrality is intended to frustrate the deployment of new, advanced services...unless those services are provided to every single packet over the Internet, and at the exact same price. Which, of course, means most of these services just aren't feasible. Case in point, the curent IP encoding, which allows packets to have a priority set.

Since "high priority" packets are available to all applications at the exact same price, why would anyone choose to mark their traffic as "low priority"? Why no, one of course. So the priority setting is meaningless-- and spam email packets arrive at the same priority as anything else on the Internet.


RE: What's wrong with Tiered Networks?
By jtesoro on 7/5/2006 7:49:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Net neutrality is intended to frustrate the deployment of new, advanced services...unless those services are provided to every single packet over the Internet, and at the exact same price.

Intended to frustrate deployment? Come on. A better definition is that it intends to help ensure that operators do not abuse their power and put services like Skype on the slow lane when the operator comes up with their own version. Frustrating deployment of new advanced services based on the tiered internet is the Effect. Whether the Net Neutrality bill will achieve it's intent, whether the Effect is a major or minor, and is it all worth it in the end, that's what the debate is about.


RE: What's wrong with Tiered Networks?
By masher2 (blog) on 7/6/2006 11:24:04 AM , Rating: 2
> "A better definition is that it intends to help ensure that operators do not abuse their power and put services like Skype on the slow lane "

Incorrect. If that was all 'Net Neutrality' wanted to prevent, it could easily be accomplished by a much simpler and less intrusive legislation-- "make all services available to all customers at the same rates". Instead of the pathetically inane commandment, "thou shalt treat all each packet the same as all others".

Honestly, do we WANT a packet of spam email treated the same as our high-priority VoIP traffic?

> "Frustrating deployment of new advanced services based on the tiered internet is the Effect. "

Glad to see we agree. The effect of this law will be to frustrate deployment of advanced Internet services.


RE: What's wrong with Tiered Networks?
By jtesoro on 7/7/2006 5:55:21 AM , Rating: 2
By saying that the INTENT is to frustrate development, your version of the commandment is "thou shall not have innovation", which isn't the case. Separate the Intent from the Effect. As I was saying, it is a matter of weighing the benefit of the Intent vs the price of the Effects. And everyone has their own opinon on this.


RE: What's wrong with Tiered Networks?
By masher2 (blog) on 7/7/2006 9:32:51 AM , Rating: 2
> "By saying that the INTENT is to frustrate development..."

Look, reading comprehension really isn't a difficult task. I did not say the intent of net neutrality was to frustrate development. I said it was intended to frustate deployment of advanced services *unless* those services are offered to all at the same cost as existing service.

My statement is correct. When you leave off a dependent clause, however, the meaning changes totally.


RE: What's wrong with Tiered Networks?
By jtesoro on 7/7/2006 10:15:32 AM , Rating: 2
My reading comprehension is OK. Your sentence construction needs improvement.


RE: What's wrong with Tiered Networks?
By masher2 (blog) on 7/7/2006 10:20:51 AM , Rating: 2
Lol, why not change the habits of a lifetime and simply admit your error? Misreading a sentence isn't a crime, you know.


RE: What's wrong with Tiered Networks?
By jtesoro on 7/7/2006 10:41:33 AM , Rating: 2
What's this about "habits of a lifetime" now? In another discussion you had with someone, you harped about not attacking the poster and similar talk. And yet you do the same. A few times if I might add.

You think your post is clear. I don't. Let's disagree and leave it at that.


By masher2 (blog) on 7/7/2006 11:39:44 AM , Rating: 2
> "You think your post is clear. I don't. Let's disagree and leave it at that"

Instead of leaving the discussion with a pointless argument over my phrasing, why not address the point itself? My statement was:

quote:
"Net neutrality is intended to frustrate the deployment of new, advanced services...unless those services are provided to every single packet over the Internet, and at the exact same price...


Now, instead of quibbling over extraneous ellipses, why not focus on the meat of the matter. Net Neutrality has a very clear intent, to bar introduction of any new Internet service, unless they are offered as a "base service" without additional cost.

That is going to frustrate and delay some advances for decades to come. If you have concerns with telco monopoly power-- address those concerns. But Net Neutrality is focused entirely on a different matter.

> "In another discussion you had with someone, you harped about not attacking the poster and similar talk. And yet you do the same"

Fair enough; I retract the statement.


"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook

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