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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: You're all missing the point...
By masher2 (blog) on 7/5/2006 12:36:22 PM , Rating: 3
> "These tiered networks are not a speed vs. cost thing"

Of course it is. Today, you can pay more for a fatter pipe...but only between you and your ISP. Upon the Internet itself, you can't pay for better service.

> "The tiered networks they're talking about with net neutrality are about content "

You're closer to the truth here, but actually its about service type, which can correlate to content, but doesn't have to. And service type is the only feasible way to prioritize packets over the Internet as a whole. Remember that the majority of the lines upon which your packets travel don't belong to your ISP. Since your packets aren't marked as belonging to you personally, they have to be prioritized by service type. And the only way to keep each and every service from marking their own traffic high priority, is to limit it to those willing to pay that cost.


> "Telcos will jump at the first opportunity to implement these tiered networks. Really, all they need to do is push the bandwidth cost for voice communication up so high that companies will have to charge so much that it won't make sense to use VoIP "

I hate to demolish a good conspiracy theory, but the Telcos are all offering VoIP themselves. They have no wish to "dispense with it"; they wish to make a profit by selling the bandwidth that VoIP requires.

Fact facts...a tiered network can be the salvation of VoIP, Videoconferencing, and other services which require low latency. Those packets can be prioritized higher than other services...which mean they arrive in a timely manner. And so the service works well...even when you're downloading large files, or your ISP gets flooded with 170 million spam emails.

But when "high priority" packets are available free of charge to every user and every application...who would ever choose the low-priority route? No one of course. Certainly every spam emailer would mark their traffic "HIGHEST POSSIBLE PRIORITY -- DELIVER ASAP". Which, of course, they already do today.


RE: You're all missing the point...
By maevinj on 7/5/2006 1:52:26 PM , Rating: 2
which telecom company do you work for masher2?


RE: You're all missing the point...
By masher2 (blog) on 7/5/2006 1:55:38 PM , Rating: 2
If you can't attack the message, attack the messenger eh?
Why not break the habits of a lifetime, and respond to my points instead?


RE: You're all missing the point...
By maevinj on 7/5/2006 2:18:29 PM , Rating: 2
not attacking the messenger. just asking a question because you seem to have a very deep insight into the issue over most of the other readers on here.


RE: You're all missing the point...
By RMTimeKill on 7/5/2006 4:38:30 PM , Rating: 2
He just comes here to argue, because he has no one else to argue with... He has argued them all off... He spends all his time researching stuff, like that post about the person who coined the phrase " Surfing the Internet ". Seems like a very lonely person who has nothing else in the world to do but research arguements and post them on DT. He likes to hear (or in this case "see") himself being right all the time. I have not seen anyone post as often here as he does. While rather obnoxius and often narrow minded, he does make for a good read! I have both favored and soured against his arguements, and maybe even learned a little...


By masher2 (blog) on 7/5/2006 4:57:37 PM , Rating: 2
> "He spends all his time researching stuff..."

On this, you are mostly correct. I develop intellectual property for a living, a job which requires a great deal of research on a variety of topics.

You are, of course, welcome to your opinion....but rather than denigrating knowledge and learning, why not try embracing it yourself?


RE: You're all missing the point...
By saratoga on 7/5/2006 4:38:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
> "Telcos will jump at the first opportunity to implement these tiered networks. Really, all they need to do is push the bandwidth cost for voice communication up so high that companies will have to charge so much that it won't make sense to use VoIP "

I hate to demolish a good conspiracy theory, but the Telcos are all offering VoIP themselves. They have no wish to "dispense with it"; they wish to make a profit by selling the bandwidth that VoIP requires.


Wow. Did you even read what you quoted? Hes saying the Telcos want to quash competition from other companies selling VOIP, and you reply that they want to make money by selling VOIP.

Well no shit. You've just made his point for him. As you pointed out, if they jack up the cost of packets for a 3rd party, they get 100% of the business.


By masher2 (blog) on 7/5/2006 5:01:00 PM , Rating: 3
> "Wow. Did you even read what you quoted?"

I did; apparently you failed to, though. His quote was:

quote:
"telcos have been getting screwed for years by the IP network bypassing the analog network ...all they need to do is push the bandwidth cost for voice communication up so high that companies will have to charge so much that it won't make sense to use VoIP instead of a standard analog line ..."


His meaning is clear. Next time think before you post.



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