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Google & Verizon's Real Net Neutrality Proposal 254

Posted by Soulskill
from the ending-rumors dept.
langelgjm writes "Announced this afternoon in a joint conference call held by CEOs Eric Schmidt and Ivan Seidenberg, Google and Verizon have released a joint net neutrality proposal in the form of a 'suggested legislative framework for consideration by lawmakers.' This comes on the heels of last week's assertion (and subsequent denial) that Google and Verizon were close to concluding talks that would permit Verizon to prioritize certain content in exchange for pay. A look at the actual text of the framework shows some positive net neutrality principles, but there is also some more curious content: 'Wireless broadband' is singled out for exclusion from most of the agreement, and providers would be permitted to prioritize 'additional online services... distinguishable in scope and purpose.' Public Knowledge, a watchdog group based in Washington, has criticized the agreement for these provisions."
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Google & Verizon's Real Net Neutrality Proposal

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  • by lawnboy5-O (772026) on Monday August 09, 2010 @02:48PM (#33193002)
    We either get Big Corporate or Big Government deciding on what, when, how, and how fast... I am not sure I want either, and consider it the end of the Internet as we know it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Big Government is probably better since there's no profit involved, but BG has its own evils. Like the earlier idea I heard about "internet licenses" (you need to ask permission to publish a blog). Oh and eliminating porn from the net.

      If you don't have one control freak (Verizon) then you have another control freak (Congress).

      At least with Verizon I can say "fuck you" and cancel my service.
      I don't know how to do that with Congress.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by lawnboy5-O (772026)

        I don't know how to do that with Congress.

        Simple - Just vote! right?

      • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Monday August 09, 2010 @03:14PM (#33193460)

        At least with Verizon I can say "fuck you" and cancel my service.
        I don't know how to do that with Congress.

        But of course if you say FU to verizon, in most places that means you go with an equally bad alternative. Kind of like how in most places you can choose between one of two equally bad candidates for congress.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by gorzek (647352)

          Yeah, pretty much.

          In my area (urban NJ), I get to choose between Verizon DSL (no FiOS in my building--not worth Verizon's investment), Comcast, or one of the wireless broadband providers (all of which are capped at 5GB per month.)

          Verizon is the least of the evils, and I still don't like them very much.

        • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:12PM (#33194502) Journal

          >>>in most places that means you go with an equally bad alternative

          True. That's why I think State Governments need to eliminate these monopolies/duopolies and replace them with government-owned 50-fiber bundles under the city streets (and eventually suburban streets too). Then if a company like Comcast or Verizon or Google or Apple or Cox or Virgin or Time-warner wants to provide service, they can lease one of the fibers.

          Customers will at last have real choice (between multiple companies).

          • True. That's why I think State Governments need to eliminate these monopolies/duopolies and replace them with government-owned 50-fiber bundles under the city streets (and eventually suburban streets too).

            Wow. I'm impressed... a leopard CAN change his spots. I'm glad to see you've crossed over from "totally unregulated private telcom would be the best option".

            What made you change your mind?

      • If all businesses follow Verizon then you can say fuck you but you have no alternative. At least with the government you can vote people out. Shame more people don't take politics seriously and wisely exercise their rights.
      • by marxmarv (30295)

        Big government at least has to pretend to play by their own rules, and can't as easily change them because they felt like it at the time, even though it becomes easier every day there are four committed fascists on the SCOTUS.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797) *

      We should start our own network, [wikipedia.org] sort of like the old BBSes but using wifi.

      • by LostCluster (625375) * on Monday August 09, 2010 @03:09PM (#33193392)

        I see "mesh networking" as a misspelling of "mess networking" because it's so damn inefficient it's not even funny. Wireless networking is for point-to-point connections like my TV to my headphones. Broadcasting packets with the hope it'll get where you want it going requires too many repeats, and that's just not good networking. Forget it.

      • I think you meant like Packet Radio (ax.25 Amateur Radio) but using wifi. The old BBSes used FidoNet which was for forwarding mail during non-peak usage hours.

        I may be wrong and you're referring to another BBS network.

      • >>>We should start our own network,

        Good idea, but I'd rather run fiber. I'll start in my own town, and we'll see how long it takes until government arrests me. (Notice I said government, because they are ultimately to blame for the lack of competition, not comcast, verizon, or any other corporation.)

    • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Monday August 09, 2010 @03:20PM (#33193544)
      Funny the internet that I knew the longest was operated by big government.
    • "Special Network" for Corporations [youtube.com]

      On a conference call between Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg and the media, Mr. Seidenberg was pressed to explain how corporations might use what Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land termed it "alternative internet." This call was in response to last week's reports of a deal between the two companies which threatened net neutrality.

  • this tips their hat. something evil is up, you can be sure of it.

    mobile is going to be far more of a growth market (they both are betting, it seems). this is a distraction to be 'good' toward the wired folks but sneak in bad shit for wireless users. creating exception creates the impression (in lawmakers' eyes) that the media matters. it should not matter! we don't want locked-down wireless in any way shape or form!

    people, please oppose this!

    (and I'm sorry, I don't trust google anymore. if that even n

    • by phantomfive (622387) on Monday August 09, 2010 @03:01PM (#33193222) Journal

      this tips their hat. something evil is up, you can be sure of it.

      Why? If you're going to come to that conclusion based on the evidence given, you probably had already jumped to that conclusion. If you don't trust Google because of this, you probably didn't trust Google to begin with.

      There are dozens of potential reasons why there would be an exception for wireless. Most likely Verizon wasn't willing to allow any application run over wireless because they know their network couldn't handle it. Or possibly because Verizon wants to be able to dictate what devices can run on their wireless network (we know this is true). To choose one explanation without a reason is confirmation bias.

      Here is what Google said were their guiding priorities in suggesting the legislation:

      1. Users should choose what content, applications, or devices they use, since openness has been central to the explosive innovation that has made the Internet a transformative medium.

      2. America must continue to encourage both investment and innovation to support the underlying broadband infrastructure; it is imperative for our global competitiveness.

      Given that both these goals align naturally with Google's own self-centered interests, I see no reason to believe they are misrepresenting themselves.

      • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Monday August 09, 2010 @03:35PM (#33193762)

        There are dozens of potential reasons why there would be an exception for wireless.

        Yeah, but none that aren't monopolistic, totalitarian, asinine, or flat-out bullshit.

        Most likely Verizon wasn't willing to allow any application run over wireless because they know their network couldn't handle it.

        So? That just means Verizon needs to increase the damn network capacity!

        Or possibly because Verizon wants to be able to dictate what devices can run on their wireless network (we know this is true).

        So? Verizon shouldn't be allowed to do that!

        To choose one explanation without a reason is confirmation bias.

        No it's not; all possible explanations for wanting an exception for wireless networks are evil!

        All telecommunications providers should be Common Carriers, with all the restrictions implied therein. Period.

        • monopolistic

          Wrong. In wired Internets, there's frequently a government granted monopoly. In wireless *anyone* can get a license at put up a wimax tower. You can get towers as cheap as $26,000 and a license for just a couple thousand. You too can compete with verizon if you want to deliver some Internets to a couple small neighborhoods here and there.

          And with respect to national networks, there are actually quite a few choices. Stop using verizon.

          Sure there's problems with these carriers, but

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Shakrai (717556) *

          So? That just means Verizon needs to increase the damn network capacity!

          You do realize that's easier said than done with a wireless network, right? The only way to add capacity to a wireless network is to deploy more spectrum or base stations. Spectrum licenses cost billions of dollars and only become available every few years. Base stations cost millions each and you can only deploy so many of them before they start to interfere with each other. You also have to contend with local zoning laws and public opinion before you can deploy them.

          I hate Verizon's business practice

        • by sgt101 (120604)

          >Yeah, but none that aren't monopolistic, totalitarian, asinine, or flat-out bullshit.

          Bollocks.

          Wireless networks are constrained by the power law of signal propagation; because signals have to be broadcast (due to the moving about nature of wireless clients) the energy required to distribute the signal increases exponentially with distance. This matters very little when you are close to the antenna, but as you move away it matters alot, meaning that for feasible architectures - ie, no antenna in your bed

      • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Monday August 09, 2010 @03:35PM (#33193766)

        There are dozens of potential reasons why there would be an exception for wireless. Most likely Verizon wasn't willing to allow any application run over wireless because they know their network couldn't handle it. Or possibly because Verizon wants to be able to dictate what devices can run on their wireless network (we know this is true). To choose one explanation without a reason is confirmation bias.

        No, there really is only one reason wireless gets special treatment - it's because the wireless carriers in the USA have a much greater stranglehold on that segment than they do on the rest of the internet and they aren't about to give that up without the mother of all fights. You see it in everything they do from carrier-locked phones with deliberately crippled firmware to lawsuits against any town that wants to deploy their own public utility wireless network.

        The only way I could get behind a proposal that throws wireless to the dogs like this is if competition in the wireless provider market were opened up far beyond the current FCC bidding system which has produced the current defacto oligopoly.

        • by Goeland86 (741690) <goeland_86&yahoo,fr> on Monday August 09, 2010 @03:56PM (#33194150)
          Umm, here's my take on this:

          The reason they're doing this is because like you said, wireless is a huge growth sector. But the majority of Verizon's wired infrastructure (i.e. FiOS) can handle a HUGE amount of data - they've already invested in it. Wireless on the other hand, is a restricted data flow pipeline.

          The bandwidth available for wireless transmission is determined by the range of frequencies available, divided by the number of users on that band. It's a FIXED amount. The FCC's not going to widen it just because, there are too many considerations for it.

          You can only achieve a given data speed over wifi. We've improved it over time. But there is a physical limit for reliability of the signal, and that's why wireless is a different story. With wired (or land-based into wifi hotspots) you can just lay more lines in parallel, add a separate color laser to your fiber, etc. which makes it feasible to upgrade and widen the bandwidth. When you have an easily maintainable infrastructure, you don't mind letting it be used freely without priority restrictions.

          Now pictures this: if wireless providers went all net neutral as per your calls, then a phone call would have the same priority as an app downloading updates in the background. Do you know you're going to always have good enough reception to guarantee call quality? Or are OS/firmware updates not more important than that stupid youtube of a dog who can't get up?

          The point is that for wireless, there is a need to prioritize bandwidth, and because it's a fixed bandwidth, if you want priority over something else, you can't just claim it like you do on a landline network. The whole point here is that they're making an argument that you pay to use a cellphone, and instead of having a monthly data cap like you would with european providers (they have rates of $0.5 per Mbit after you exceed your allowance of 125, 250 or 500 MB), they're making it such that certain traffic will always work. Like maybe accessing your bank website. Or your Verizon account website to pay bills. If they'd adhered to net neutrality on wireless, it would end up in a huge problem because of LIMITED BANDWIDTH.

          I'm a net neutrality supporter, big time. But there's no way to make it work on a wireless device practically to begin with. What other restrictions they impose on it afterwards remain to be seen. But I couldn't care less for browsing the web on a screen so small my fingers cover a third of what I'm trying to read/work on.
          • Now pictures this: if wireless providers went all net neutral as per your calls, then a phone call would have the same priority as an app downloading updates in the background. Do you know you're going to always have good enough reception to guarantee call quality? Or are OS/firmware updates not more important than that stupid youtube of a dog who can't get up?
            ...

            The point is that for wireless, there is a need to prioritize bandwidth, and because it's a fixed bandwidth, if you want priority over something else, you can't just claim it like you do on a landline network.

            That's ridiculous for at least two reasons:

            1) All bandwidth is fixed, wired or wireless. Your usage of "just claim it" is nonsensical.
            2) Net neutrality is about paying for a generic pipe and getting egalitarian access. Paying for just telephone service is not buying a generic pipe. But paying for internet access is.
            (And as for that youtube vs firmware update - if anythinh the youtube video is more important since firmware updates are rarely, if ever, so urgent that they can't be a background task, all th

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Bob9113 (14996)

            If the problem is bandwidth limitation, then limit the bandwidth.

            The network provider cannot know whether my data is higher or lower priority than someone else's data.

            I may be watching a YouTube video on CPR as I perform it on my mother, or talking about American Idol on the telephone. Or visa-versa. I may be pulling data logs from a mesh-network of emergency services offices using bittorrent, trying to figure out why the 911 routers all fell over, or I may be using VoIP to make kissey noises at my girlfrie

    • by Culture20 (968837)
      But but but... "The air doesn't discriminate"
      Verizon said so! [We]"Rule the Air"
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by kaiser423 (828989)
      Well, do you or do you not want to prioritize VOIP, and 911 calls? Or would you like to have bad-quality calls due to a torrenter on the same tower? If so, then you need a deal like this one that was cut. I'm hoping that as specifics leak out, it's essentially Net Neutrality + Provisions to ensure cell network still operates well for calls.

      Anything else is worth getting worked up over.
  • by MasterOfUniverse (812371) on Monday August 09, 2010 @02:52PM (#33193078)
    forget about whether its evil/not evil, why in the world these two mega corps about public policy? Who the fuck gave them the right to provide a "legislative framework for consideration by lawmakers."?
    • by pezpunk (205653) on Monday August 09, 2010 @02:54PM (#33193098) Homepage

      i could simply answer your question with an image link to a dollar bill, but i assume your query was rhetorical.

    • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Monday August 09, 2010 @02:55PM (#33193128)

      This is equivalent to writing your representative and saying "This is how I think this issue should be handled". I'd rather see companies doing this and trying to put forward workable compromises than throwing hundreds of millions of dollars into lobbyists.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Beelzebud (1361137)
        Except most citizens can't also offer the politician they're lobbying a free vacation on a private jet, or funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars to their campaign fund. And thanks to the recent SC decision, they can now throw money at political campaigns with no restrictions.

        You make the mistake of assuming they aren't lobbying for this.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by stimpleton (732392)
        I'd rather see companies doing this and trying to put forward workable compromises

        Certainly works for landmine manufacturers in the US.

        The Ottawa Treaty [wikipedia.org](hint: the US has not agreed to the treaty)
      • by DragonWriter (970822) on Monday August 09, 2010 @03:57PM (#33194178)

        This is equivalent to writing your representative and saying "This is how I think this issue should be handled". I'd rather see companies doing this and trying to put forward workable compromises than throwing hundreds of millions of dollars into lobbyists.

        Um, whether or not they are selling things you would find to be "workable compromises", the people employed by companies like Google and Verizon to sell their public policy ideas to policymakers are, in fact, lobbyists.

        If you had the money to hire people to do that for you instead of just writing a letter to your representative on your own, that person would be lobbying on your behalf, too.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by steelfood (895457)

        What do you think lobbyists do when they wine and dine your representative?

        This is the same thing without the wining and dining--that we know of. For all we know, they could put forth this document, and then the lobbyists would only have to point back to it while they wine and dine.

        My point is that the two things are orthogonal. This proposal is about what Verizon and Google wants to do. The role of the lobbyist is to convince elected representatives to support this proposal.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Woah, calm down there mister. It's simply a suggested legislative framework that would still have to go through the rigmarole of getting voted in (one would assume). The reason these two companies get to do so is because they took the effort to writeup a solution to an existing problem. Similarly, other groups can do the same. Though, admittedly they have less clout to actually get it considered. However, I don't see the problem in actually proposing something to be voted on. That's kinda how democracy shou

    • by elrous0 (869638) * on Monday August 09, 2010 @03:01PM (#33193216)
      This is America. We have a long tradition of corporations writing public policy. Dick Cheney even gave them their own task force [wikipedia.org], so they could write the U.S. energy policy directly, with no need to even bother bribing a Congressman.
    • by selven (1556643) on Monday August 09, 2010 @03:04PM (#33193300)

      The first amendment gave them the right to provide a 'legislative framework for consideration by lawmakers'. Seriously, this is just plain old lobbying, and is on the more legitimate side of lobbying since they're not bribing anyone. Google still has the same rights as anyone else and they're doing absolutely nothing wrong here.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Any entity can propose a "legislative framework for consideration by lawmakers", corporation or otherwise.
      You can do it by mailing a letter to your congressperson. Of course, your letter probably won't be given as much consideration, but it will at least be read by someone in their office.

      It's hard to argue that Verizon and Google aren't more qualified to pen such a proposal then your average member of congress.
      I agree that anything they write is going to be biased towards their own interests, but that's th

      • by cgenman (325138)

        You can pay the postal service extra to have your packages arrive quicker. And while we seem to be afraid of Google paying Verizon to delay playback on Vimeo files, online providers seem to want a cut of Google's profits on Youtube videos in exchange for a high speed lane for their content. And you do have to start building up exceptions for pure net neutrality: torrents and suspected illegal downloads should be lower in the priority queue than raw HTTP, VOIP should get special access, streaming video can

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by LostCluster (625375) *
      People form corporations, corporations can't vote but can suggest that government do things in a way that benefit them. All these three-letter regulatory agencies basically tell corporations what to do, but accept input from those that they regulate so they're better informed. If you want to interfere as a person, just send something in during a comment period you're interested in.
    • Who the fuck gave them the right to provide a "legislative framework for consideration by lawmakers."?

      The free speech bit, just as many slashdotters offer their own legislative framework for consideration by lawmakers who happen to be browsing slashdot. If it gets passed, I'd ask who gave the legislators the idea to accept what corporations recommend.

    • by wiredog (43288)

      The Constitution of the United States of America.

    • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Monday August 09, 2010 @03:31PM (#33193712)

      Easy! The Supreme Court.

      Look up "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission"

      It happened in January 2010 and gave corporations first amendment rights.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tumbleweed (3706) *

      Who the fuck gave them the right to provide a "legislative framework for consideration by lawmakers."?

      Noone gave them the right, and they don't need the right to provide soemthing to lawmakers, just as private citizens don't, either. They're not making law; they're showing lawmakers, "Here's how it could be done." This is not the outrage you're looking for.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cgenman (325138)

      Who the fuck gave them the right to provide a "legislative framework for consideration by lawmakers."?

      Everyone has the right to provide legislative frameworks for consideration by lawmakers. It's an open democracy with reasonably free speech. The consideration given by lawmakers is frequently just "no" or possibly "No!"

      Google and Verizon are big, and as such lawmakers might pay more attention than, say, some random plumber in Mississippi. But they're not deciding anything, just putting their opinion out

    • forget about whether its evil/not evil, why in the world these two mega corps about public policy?

      As corporations are creatures of law that are products of public policy, whose behavior is constrained by public policy, and whose relationships to other entities (shareholders, employees, customers), etc., are all bound up in public policy, I can't imagine anything a corporation would be more concerned about.

      Who the fuck gave them the right to provide a "legislative framework for consideration by lawmakers."?

      E

  • by macwhizkid (864124) on Monday August 09, 2010 @02:54PM (#33193094)

    Putting aside the lack of clarity about how this proposal would actually work in practice (especially since it seems to require the cooperation of the FCC, who are understandably pissed at both Verizon and Google at the moment), what's up with the wholesale exclusion of wireless networks?

    In the age of 4G providers like Clear that are readying themselves to feast upon the marketshare of the DSL and cable broadband providers, does anyone really think the future of the internet lies in burying more landline cable in more rural areas? While it's true that backbone fiber isn't exactly going out of style, a cell tower is certainly a much more elegant solution for the "last mile" problem that's plagued wired broadband providers for years. Now that the price of wireless chipsets has dropped substantially, the only real obstacle is building more towers.

    To put it another way, Verizon Wireless is a $50 billion company, while it's (55%) parent Verizon Communications is a $100 billion company. So the proposal is excluding anywhere from a quarter to nearly half (depending on how you count) of "Verizon", before you even account for future growth.

    • by lgw (121541)

      Putting aside the lack of clarity about how this proposal would actually work in practice

      How it would actually work in practice is called "regulatory capture". No matter how well motivated the regulaion, it's a generation away from doing little except protecting the entrenched players.

  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Monday August 09, 2010 @02:57PM (#33193154)

    from the text:

    (1) sending and receiving lawful content of their choice;

    (2) running lawful applications and using lawful services of their choice; and

    (3) connecting their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network or
    service, facilitate theft of service, or harm other users of the service

    LAWFUL? what the fuck is that all about? now, we have to have layer8, the LAWFUL INSPECTION layer, before we can send the PDU?

    this is stoopid. lawful this, legal that. lets just insert a truly literal (cough) policing layer in the IP stuck. sure, why not. its now 'in the spec' (so to speak).

    and point 3 is a nice gotcha: if you are using up 'too much' b/w you can be classified as 'doing harm'. if you ping to discover, you could be seen as 'doing harm'.

    nice. or, should I say, nice try, assholes.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Culture20 (968837)

      (2) running lawful applications and using lawful services of their choice; and

      LAWFUL? what the fuck is that all about? now, we have to have layer8, the LAWFUL INSPECTION layer, before we can send the PDU?

      No, you're just not allowed to use Chaotic or Neutral programs. /dev/urandom / %RANDOM% are to be replaced with predictable pseudo random generators, all seeded with the same number. You can use them for good or evil, but they have to be predictable.

      if you ping to discover, you could be seen as 'doing harm'.

      My ISP disabled ICMP in and out; I can't ping or traceroute anything from home. They did this immediately after I used traceroute to diagnose a network problem that took them a month to fix. And no, I can't switch.

    • I don't think you are entirely correct in your interpertation. They have to use the word 'lawful' in the document, or else the first comment against will be: "What?!? CNN and childporn.com both get equal access? I vote against Net Neutrality!". By adding the word 'lawful' they assure the legistators that child porn and other illegal content will be blocked, while CNN, Playboy and Disney all get the same terms.
      I don't think they meant that they will implement a 'policing layer', just that if the service prov

    • by jdgeorge (18767)

      Given some of the issues Google has experienced related to illegally posted content, I'm not surprised at these qualifiers.

      Point 3 is also unsurprising from the service provider perspective. They need to preserve quality of service and enable handling of botnets, etc.

      If I were a botnet operator, I might find these provisions upsetting, but as it is, it actually sounds pretty reasonable for these two major players.

    • by cgenman (325138)

      The biggest thing you can do for the health of your network is de-prioritizing torrent traffic. And while bittorrent is an amazing protocol that is capable of being a very efficient distribution platform for legal content, nearly all of the actual traffic out there is illegal. This would also let you filter spammers and other problem users.

  • by carp3_noct3m (1185697) <slashdot&warriors-shade,net> on Monday August 09, 2010 @02:58PM (#33193166)

    From TFA, I am seeing a strange trend. They are making some outright statements that fit in with what the /. crowd has been discussing, often enforcing the view that the net should be neutral. Their words however, seem to hide subversive tactics. for example: "This means that for the first time, wireline broadband providers would not be able to discriminate against or prioritize lawful Internet content, applications or services in a way that causes harm to users or competition. Meaning that centralized agencies can shut down - or degrade access - to "unlawful" (defined by US government) content such as wikileaks, etc. (taken from comment section from TFA) So, while this looks good on the surface, even surprisingly so, my gut is to not trust either of these entities. Cautious skepticism is the name of the game here.

    • by pnutjam (523990)
      Holding out for a provision to protect unlawful data is like shitting in the Grand Canyon.

      I'm troubled by the wireless exception, the other one seems less troubling although not ideal. It sounds to me like it would allow them to set aside an area for their own traffic, like cable television. Not ideal, but not necessarily a deal breaker.

      Ideally, I think that infrastructure and content should be separated by legislation and regulation.
      • by Goeland86 (741690)
        I think by "lawful" they're really aiming to comply with anti child pornography and other "think of the children" type of legislation currently in the US which ISPs are already blocking when they find out about it.

        Also, net neutrality doesn't mean you can't set bandwidth quotas for a service. If your service is to watch the web, you pay for a certain bandwidth. If they decide to provide you with more bandwidth to pass through your TV service, and set your data quota to what you pay for, where's the probl
    • This means that for the first time, wireline broadband providers would not be able to discriminate against or prioritize lawful Internet content, applications or services in a way that causes harm to users or competition. Meaning that centralized agencies can shut down - or degrade access - to "unlawful" (defined by US government) content such as wikileaks, etc.

      Um, but the "bad" side of this isn't new. ISPs, government agencies, and all kinds of players can already shut down, degrade access to, disconnect

  • Extra Extra.. Google Now Evil (tm)... So much for that ;)

  • Here's the full proposal [scribd.com] of the deal. Cringley called it correctly; Google has found a cake-and-eat-it-too compromise: a parallel internet. One internet layer will run more or less openly, with data type prioritization allowed, but no sender prioritization. The other layer can be sender prioritized.

    Actually, it's not a bad compromise. The immediate problem I see is how does one keep the Commercial Channel from taking bandwidth away from the Open Channel, so consumers are forced to buy the Commercial Channel just to get decent throughput? If it works like public television does now, with no diminution of the channel capacity or quality, then that would work just fine, I think.
    • Actually, it's not a bad compromise.

      I disagree. I'll have to take the approach (similar to the NRA's method of lobbying) which is to consider any partitioning off network traffic as a slippery slope that will eventually lead to no net neutrality.

      Seriously the cable companies will not be happy until we go back to the days of Compuserve, Prodigy, and AOL where you stayed within their network and only had limited access to the Internet.

      • I hear your point, it is a slippery slope, but I think we are headed down that slope regardless. There are too many powerful content providers that want to control the pipes.

        At least this method preserves a free internet, even if it is diminished (which seems likely). In fact there are plenty of applications where I would see this second internet to be a good thing. Cable TV can easily be replaced by Internet TV. Content control over that internet makes sense, I don't want to have to futz around with an

    • by 0xABADC0DA (867955) on Monday August 09, 2010 @05:51PM (#33196668)

      Actually, it's not a bad compromise for Google.

      FTFY. Customers will get their internet wirelessly, because they move around and want the internet. Phones, iPad, laptop... these all make people want wireless internet.

      Business use wired internet, because they have a fixed location and don't need to roam.

      So what Google is saying is "don't extort us, but do extort users". This is a perfect world for Google, because with their deep pockets they can bribe wireless carriers to muscle Bing and Apple and whoever else out of the market. But with guaranteed fair wired access, worst case they could start their own wireless service... they would only have to set up the wireless instead of having to potentially own everything in between their servers and the user; if their wireless network had to hook up to Verizon for instance, then without wired neutrality Verizon could make it prohibitively expensive.

      In the end, if any part of the network is not neutral, then to users none of it is. Which makes this initiative from Google a case of "do less evil", or worse.

  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Monday August 09, 2010 @03:04PM (#33193294)

    Really, with all the Net Neutrality FUD aside, Google's getting fed up with all of the ISPs, so they're threatening to start their own. Google clearly wants to fiber-up some lucky community with dreams of proving it's profitable and allowing them to fiber the whole nation.

    Why pay a backbone provider to serve Google/YouTube content when Google has the dark fiber and up/down traffic to be considered a peer by the other ISPs. This isn't a tiered Internet situation, it's simply Google saying they'd rather provide their own line into the major networks rather than paying somebody else to do it for them. Yes, this does mean Google's going to get faster delivery at their own expense, but it's unclogging the backbone exchanges so everything else will go faster too.

    Why is anybody opposed to this?

    • by Renraku (518261)

      Google wants the Internet to be free as in speech.

      They don't want to be required to set up their own ISP type service unless they absolutely have to, because it would cost them a great deal of money. Also, if everyone started censoring and blocking things out, it would make it really easy for the government to cherry pick what they want people to see and not see. This puts a huge strain on search engines like Google.

      "If an ISP can block CP, why can't you just not list them in your search results? Also de

      • You must be new here. Google is spending massive amounts of money on bandwidth as it sits now, and is always looking for a better way to get content out. Connecting to a backbone provider to get to Verizon costs money, connecting to Verizon as a peer costs less.

    • it's simply Google saying they'd rather provide their own line into the major networks rather than paying somebody else to do it for them.

      They've already been doing that for quite a while now. They have peering agreements with the other major ISPs.

    • Verizon's Market Cap is 84B. Google's got $30B in cash, and $48B in "assets", not to mention plenty of profits. Issue stock for the rest and they could BUY verizon if that's the business they wanted to be in.
  • by DCheesi (150068) on Monday August 09, 2010 @03:12PM (#33193430) Homepage

    The Register has an interesting piece on Net Neutrality and Google's co-location deals. El Reg posits that Google is trying to eat its cake and have it too: appearing to be the good-guy by supporting Net Neutrality, while knowing that its own private backbone network and ISP server co-location will give it a de-facto advantage regardless:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/08/09/neutrality_new_net_hypergiants/ [theregister.co.uk]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LostCluster (625375) *
      This is one of the unsolved flaws in the Net-Neutral network design... whomever has the best connection to a "fair" network will win the race every time. To give everyone an equal connection requires regulation....
      • by Xtifr (1323)

        I wouldn't call that a flaw--I'd call that irrelevant and silly. The idea of Net Neutrality is that everyone should receive the bandwidth they paid for, not that everyone should have the same bandwidth, no matter what they pay!

        If Xtifr Consulting pays a certain amount to ISP X for the bandwidth to their website, that should be the end of it. Xtifr shouldn't have to worry about ISP Y coming along and saying, "nice website you've got there. Be a shame if our customers had their access to it throttled. Tel

  • Blogger, WordPress.com and TypePad make up the majority of small media hosting. If you have something to say online, typically you sign up for an account with one of those. All three of them are owned by private companies who have far more incentive, on paper, to regulate what you say than Verizon does. Verizon doesn't give a shit if you are birther, truther, armed opponent of the Zionist Occupation Government, hate the Blue-Eyed Devil or worship the love child of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and Puff the M

  • Lets look at the mobile broadband agreement differently, shall we? Verizon is a mobile phone carrier, correct? As of right now, their main focus is mobile communications. Bandwidth for data that isn't a phone call is very high, correct? They need to keep their quality as a communications company up, and to do that, they would have to make sure that phone calls are prioritized. How is this so bad? If I sign up for something like Comcast or AT&T for my house's internet connection, they would still be requ

  • Values Clarification (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SomePoorSchmuck (183775) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:01PM (#33194252) Homepage

    *Who owns the network infrastructure and the right to regulate the traffic on that owned infrastructure?

    *What is (or what should be) the difference between public space/resources which are finite and tangible, such as City Hall, national parks, street rights-of-way, public roads, rivers, the air, etc., and resources which are practically intangible and theoretically infinite such as Network Access and Storage and Bandwidth?

    *Which is the most important principle, private property ownership rights or the Public Good?

    *It would appear that the USA is moving towards a belief that people have an individual right to healthcare, to access to healthcare. Do/should people in the USA have an individual right to Internet access?

    *What would be the effect of formally declaring the Internet to be a public, communal resource? Would that essentially make the government everyone's single-payer ISP?

    *If access/bandwidth are not public resources, what is the reason companies which own backbone infrastructure shouldn't be able to operate that infrastructure in whatever way they see fit?

  • by wagadog (545179) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:23PM (#33194716) Journal

    Really the Google-Verizon statement in favor of net neutrality "in principle" (but clearly not in practice!) is right up there with "Ignorance is Strength."

    Utterly.

    Hilarious.

  • Wasn't this already sort of being addressed by Internet2 [wikipedia.org]? Well, other than the paying for premium services part?
  • by Tom (822) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:58PM (#33195562) Homepage Journal

    As I said back then: There is no such thing as "premium service" in things like networking, no matter what you call it. On an airplane you can offer additional things above and beyond the transport itself (say, a nice menu, or naked stewardesses, whatever). But on a network, if you provide "better" quality for some services, it really translates to degraded quality of the rest. You can't serve bytes a Martini as a special comfort.

    That is exactly why net neutrality is so important, and it's important to get it done and over with finally and irrevocably before the lawyers, marketing people and lobbyists get their teeth into it. These are all people who are experts at spinning a simple matter, say, you can't make information move faster than the speed of light (plus switching), pump it up with nonsense terms, complicate the matter needlessly, twist and turn it around and then publish a convulted explanation of whatever their profit-hungry masters want.

    Once upon a time, entire nations were founded on simple, straightforward principles. You do not need lawyer-weasling to find out what's right and wrong. On the contrary, far on the contrary, he who can't state his purpose in simple, straight up words is hiding his real purpose. Life may be complicated, but human desires and goals and dreams aren't. If your corporate mission statement is more than ten words, you can very probably replace it by one word: Greed. The rest is just lies and bullshit and attempts to find a nicely sounding description for the ugly truth.

    Net neutrality is simple, like equal rights or emancipation.
    Those against have again and again failed to make a simple, straightforward, convincing argument. They are talking around the matter in the same language all crooks use to hide their true intentions.

    Maybe it is time to find a different search engine. Or found one, since MS isn't exactly an alternative.

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