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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: good stuff
By masher2 on 7/6/2006 11:20:15 AM , Rating: 3
> "Ah, so now it's "de facto" tiered internet because "ads take packets after all"..."

And Google will ensure those ad packets are sent to you first, ahead of other traffic. Or you can pay more, and get faster service. No different than the tiered model that Net Neutrality advocates against.

RE: good stuff
By jtesoro on 7/7/2006 4:05:38 AM , Rating: 2
You are still essentially saying that the tiered internet is being able to buy 1Mbps at a certain price, and 2Mbps and a higher price. Again, it's not.

RE: good stuff
By masher2 on 7/7/2006 9:29:51 AM , Rating: 2
I am saying-- correctly so-- that the complaints against the tiered internet are that a company with money will be able to deliver its packets to you faster than a company without. A situation that already exists today.

RE: good stuff
By jtesoro on 7/7/2006 10:35:14 AM , Rating: 2
MY complaint against a tiered internet is that operators can abuse their power and put their services in the fast lane while leaving competing services in the regular (slow) lane. And they will keep copying newly developed innovative services and reap the benefits because they will be in the fast lane while the originator will be in the slower lane.

And don't you pull a fast one on me. You're switching to the company / application developer side now. In this particular discussion thread, we're talking about an end-user getting better performance by paying more. You're calling that a tiered internet too, which it isn't.

RE: good stuff
By masher2 on 7/7/2006 11:32:41 AM , Rating: 2
> MY complaint against a tiered internet is that operators can abuse their power and put their services in the fast lane while leaving competing services in the regular (slow) lane"

Oops. By and large, telcos are *already* prevented from doing this in the long-haul market. And in last-mile service, the "net neutrality" bills still don't prevent telcos from offering their own proprietary services, which doesn't relegate competitors to the "slow lane", it forces them out entirely.

So half your complaint doesn't exist, and the other half isn't even addressed by proposed legislation. So why again are yo supporting this initiative?

> "In this particular discussion thread, we're talking about an end-user getting better performance by paying more. "

I'm talking about a situation in which COMPANIES who pay more (via ads) get their packets delivered to end-users ahead of all other packets. That's a tiered Internet, like it or not.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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