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In EU, Google Accused of YouTube "Free Ride"

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the so-you-want-them-to-make-you-even-more-obsolete dept.

Communications 449

An anonymous reader passes along a Financial Times piece that covers a push by EU telecoms to get Google to pay them directly — years after US ISPs began rattling that sword, to little effect thus far. "Some of Europe's leading telecoms groups are squaring up for a fight with Google over what they claim is the free ride enjoyed by the technology company's YouTube video-sharing service. Telefónica, France Telecom, and Deutsche Telekom all said Google should start paying them for carrying bandwidth-hungry content such as YouTube video over their networks.... Some European telecoms groups fear Google will reduce them to 'dumb pipes' because the internet search and advertising company pays the network operators little or nothing for carrying its content. Rick Whitt, a senior policy director at Google in Washington ... said Google was spending large amounts on its own data networks to carry its traffic to the point where it is handed over to telecoms companies round the world." Note that FT.com operates on a "first few per month free" paywall basis.

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Interesting (2, Insightful)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828726)

Google had to, sooner or later, start fighting such a fight. Interesting is that European, and not Asian or American, ISPs are engaging it. Who wins this fight ? It could have a big impact upon how the internet looks in a few years.

Re:Interesting (-1, Flamebait)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828788)

Why is it surprising? The EU has been jumping down the throats of successful American businesses for years. After they got through with Microsoft, it only makes sense that they would shake down Google as their next target.

It also shows a fundamental problem with "cloud" business plans. As long as you are piggybacking on someone else's technology, from web services like S3, AppEngine, and Azure, all the way down to the physical cables, you're at their mercy. I'm surprised it took these European companies this long to force Google to pay up.

Re:Interesting (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31828852)

The EU has been jumping down the throats of successful American businesses for years

Exactly. Just as it has been "jumping down the throats" of successful European businesses for years. You say successful, I say abusive and corrupt. Go figure.

What is the purpose of ISP? (4, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828900)

Providing bandwidth for their users to do what they want? Is that the purpose of ISP?

Or is there any other purpose? Like laying down ground rules, like the Ten Commandments:

1. Thou Shalt Not View Video Online

2. Thou Shalt Not Use Too Much Bandwidth

3. Thou Shalt Pay Through Thy Nose

4. Thou Shalt Obey Everything

5. Thou Shalt Hath No Right

6. Thou Shalt Be Grateful

7. Thou Shalt Giveth Us All Thy Money

8. Thou Shalt Sacrifice Thy First Child For Us

9. Thou Shalt Let Us Screw You

10. Thou Shalt Not Complaint

Re:Interesting (4, Insightful)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828920)

"Why is it surprising? The EU has been jumping down the throats of successful American businesses for years. After they got through with Microsoft, it only makes sense that they would shake down Google as their next target."

Firstly, EU != European Union government in this article, only the EU ISPs.

Secondly, you make it sound like the EU is picking American businesses on purpose.

I guess you're American and thus only hear about the US businesses fined by Neelie Kroes, but believe me, more European companies have been hit than American ones by the anti-monopoly and anti-kartel legislation.

Thirdly, the ISPs are greedy and wrong on this count. They have paying customers. Don't like it that they actually use all of the bandwidth you promised them? Tough luck, find another business model or don't promise something you can't deliver.

Re:Interesting (1)

Eraesr (1629799) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829030)

I think the reasoning of the ISP's is not that Google is causing their pipes to get clogged up, but that Google is succesful with their services because the ISP's are providing their customers with bandwidth. If they didn't provide the bandwidth, Google wouldn't even exist.

Personally I think this reasoning is flawed, as the entire Internet is one big network of individual parties that all live off of and because of each other, like a big symbiontic collection of entities.
If this were ruled against Google, then one could interpret that as any website would need to pay ISPs because they all depend on the existence and services of ISPs.

Re:Interesting (3, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829088)

Of course the argument is flawed. Google is not pushing data. Their clients want to access Google, and are paying for that.

I'd say, if Google and all the other online services didn't exist, the ISPs wouldn't exist either (why the hell would we pay them?). So I'm hoping they're told to fuck off.

Re:Interesting (-1, Troll)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829176)

more European companies have been hit than American ones by the anti-monopoly and anti-kartel legislation.

From the articles I've read about the EU fining companies, I think you meant to say "more European companies have been hit than American ones by the anti-profit legislation." The EU massively abuses their power to throw fines at profitable companies just to rake in some extra cash, and the companies are too focused on making profit to have principles, so they pay the extortion fees instead of just pulling out of the EU and letting the citizens demand the government to behave so that they can have access to the luxuries the rest of the world has.

Re:Interesting (3, Insightful)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829186)

All I can say is Jackass!

http://www.nytimes.com/1992/03/07/business/canadian-lumber-penalized.html?pagewanted=1 [nytimes.com]

Canadian Lumber penalized

http://www.google.ch/search?hl=en&ei=J0PES87yPOiXOP3XjdkP&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&ved=0CAcQBSgA&q=American+steel+tariffs&spell=1 [google.ch]

"American steel tarriffs"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2004/apr/28/brazil.usnews [guardian.co.uk]

"American Cotton Subsidies illegal"

My point is that America is neither better nor worse with respect to breaking the trade rules games.

But because of jackass's like you, you think that it is poor poor America that always suffers! BS!

Again I am not saying America is good, nor bad. America is dealt bad cards at times, and deals bad cards as well. So if you are going to complain please keep the argument to Google and the ISP's and not "America" and "Europe"

Re:Interesting (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31828834)

Google wins the fight. All that Google has to do for any ISP that wants a payoff is to block YouTube for that ISP. The problem is fixed, and the customers will migrate as necessary.

Re:Interesting (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828958)

Where they can. Some countries - notably ones that point the finger at the UK for not playing nice - still have state owned monopolies.

Re:Interesting (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829018)

Google had to, sooner or later, start fighting such a fight. Interesting is that European, and not Asian or American, ISPs are engaging it.

What? Even the summary mentions that American ISPs have already tried this, though with no success to date. European ISPs are just following American ISPs' lead.

Re:Interesting (1, Insightful)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829144)

It's worth noting here that the FT is a Murdoch paper, and that Murdoch has a real hate-on for Google at the moment. A pinch of salt may useful for some of the opinions tossed around as fact in TFA.

Also, if Google end up having to pay ISPs in Europe, you can bet lobbyists will use that as a reason to reopen the debate stateside.

Re:Interesting (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31829226)

FT is owned by the Pearson Group. It is not a Murdoch paper.

Re:Interesting (1, Informative)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829248)

You're right. I'm getting it mixed up with WSJ. My bad :(

Re:Interesting (1)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829256)

"Also, if Google end up having to pay ISPs in Europe, you can bet lobbyists will use that as a reason to reopen the debate stateside."

Estimated chance of that happening: nil to none at all.

Estimated chance of ISPs being clobbered over promising bandwidth they can't reasonably supply to all their customers: better than average.

Re:Interesting (2, Insightful)

rwjyoung (674310) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829164)

What ever happened to Common carrier status ? If ISP's start charging like this, surely they should loose any common carrier status they claim to have now and become responsible for what they carry, opening them up to all the liabilities that come with that. If they are anything other than big dumb pipes they have to accept responsibility for all the child porn and copy write material flowing across there networks.

Seems like the bandwidth has already been paid for (5, Insightful)

grimsnaggle (1320777) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828732)

Google bought some bandwidth to be able to send site content to users. Those users bought some bandwidth to be able to receive it. What's the problem?

Re:Seems like the bandwidth has already been paid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31828814)

the taxi driver does not want ot be paid for the ride alone but also depending on the content of your baggage. Be prepared for a strip search.

broken analogies aside: the enduser alraedy paid for the bandwidth. Google does probably not pay for its bandwidth - more likely it has peering arrangements with most carriers. Being a major carrier itself this is the normal business.
I sniff greed and envy on the Telcos sides. "baaahh...this one makes more money than we do! Government, please help us to take a shar from its cake! Even though we do have a different business model we still feel entitled to a share on other companies income!"

its disgusting

Re:Seems like the bandwidth has already been paid (5, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828860)

Indeed. The bit that really got me was:

Some European telecoms groups fear Google will reduce them to 'dumb pipes'

That is really all that they are, or at least should be. They are not content providers, they are merely facilitators.

Re:Seems like the bandwidth has already been paid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31829066)

[dumb pipes] is really all that they are, or at least should be.

Actually, google itself is not making any content either. Its users are.

Re:Seems like the bandwidth has already been paid (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829106)

I didn't say they made it, I said they provided it. Services like YouTube are great for providing everyday users with a high availability, high bandwidth platform to reliably distribute their content to a large audience (regardless of the merits of said content).

Re:Seems like the bandwidth has already been paid (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829194)

Actually, google itself is not making any content either. Its users are.

Maybe not the content, but they're providing a very expensive service. The huge amount of storage space, the development that goes into the platform and the data centers operating all over the world are what makes youtube so usable.

Re:Seems like the bandwidth has already been paid (5, Insightful)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829246)

Some European telecoms groups fear Google will reduce them to 'dumb pipes'

That is really all that they are, or at least should be. They are not content providers, they are merely facilitators.

Maybe their concern is that it'll become obvious to everyone that they're dumb pipes, and that they're dumb pipes whose business model, pricing infrastructure can't cope with piping all that well.

Re:Seems like the bandwidth has already been paid (2, Informative)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829060)

Google bought some bandwidth to be able to send site content to users. Those users bought some bandwidth to be able to receive it. What's the problem?

Technically Google doesn't buy lots of bandwidth nowadays, the way people might imagine. They instead hook directly to many peers and at the backbones. That said, when the rest of us pay for "bandwidth", we pay exactly for building and maintaining the kind of infrastructure Google built themselves. But it explains why on the surface you can spin it like they did.

Desperate attempt... (1)

Andrioid (1755390) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828738)

If you look at the other pole, users in these areas are getting 'free content' instead of paying for it. What about those profiting directly from Internet users? Commercial streaming services, premium usenet providers. This is just a desperate attempt by telecommunication companies to remain relevant.

dumb pipe (5, Interesting)

slart42 (694765) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828740)

Some European telecoms groups fear Google will reduce them to 'dumb pipes'

And I 'dumb pipe' is all I ever expected from my ISP, and it is what I'm paying for! If they want Google to pay for delivering the content, I will get access for free, right? Bullshit.

Re:dumb pipe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31828844)

Yup.

Re:dumb pipe (1)

yerpo (1370359) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828862)

Exactly. Users pay their ISPs for data transfer. Isn't it actually illegal to charge twice for the same product or service? If they aren't happy about the costs of transfering large amount of data across their networks, they can raise the prices (and watch the customers go elsewhere).

Re:dumb pipe (1)

hutkey (709330) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829188)

Whom should my friends pay for all the gossip I get by talking over the telephone/mobile to them for hours...tabloids?!

ISPs are losing it..wait they are already dumb. duh.

Who pays? (5, Insightful)

aitan (948581) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828742)

Yes, those poor telecoms that gives their users free access to the internet must be paid back by Google. How does Google dares to provide content and expect the charity telecoms to be the only ones that pay for those bills. I'm outraged.

Wait a minute....

Then why my telecom is sending me a monthly fee?

Re:Who pays? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828968)

Then why my telecom is sending me a monthly fee?

Where do I sign up? Mine sends me a monthly bill.

European Telecoms (5, Insightful)

qbast (1265706) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828744)

Dear telecomns, in case you have not noticed: you are 'dumb pipes' and always were. Get over it, stop whining and start providing the bandwidth you advertise.

But the fact is - they are dumb pipes (5, Insightful)

supertjx (910400) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828748)

Google should just tell those telecom companies to block YouTube from their networks if they think it's taking up too much bandwidth. Let's see who suffers.

Re:But the fact is - they are dumb pipes (5, Insightful)

fearlezz (594718) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828808)

Google should charge those ISPs for making their dumb pipes interesting enough for users to buy.

Re:But the fact is - they are dumb pipes (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828994)

And users should charge Google for visiting YouTube so that get an income from advertising, and charge Google for uploading content to YouTube so that people will visit.

This starts to look like a circular dependency. We might as well not charge anybody and thereby save money on accounting.

Accounting (4, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829180)

"This starts to look like a circular dependency. We might as well not charge anybody and thereby save money on accounting."

Remminds me of the story about the rich man and the poor village....A rich man walks into a hotel in a poor village where all the bussinesses are in debt. He gives the hotelier $100 for a room on the condition that if he doesn't like it he will take the money back and leave. The hotelier gives him the keys, confident the rich man will like the room he takes the $100 and pays the grocer for the food he bought on credit. The grocer takes the $100 and pays back the farmer the money he owes him, the farmer uses it to pay back the blacksmith who then goes to the hotel to pay off his debt to the hooker who in turn gives it to the hotelier for past rent. The rich man comes back dissatisfied with the room, takes the $100 and leaves the village. Nothing has changed but the village is now debt free.

Re:But the fact is - they are dumb pipes (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829234)

Not really, all it depends on is bargaining power. Google definitely has the upper hand here, because of the popularity of YouTube.
And so do the customers by the way, who can instantly cancel their ISP if they start blocking traffic.

Ironic, isn't it? (4, Insightful)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829000)

On one hand we have content providers like Murdoch saying Google should pay them for the content Google is providing access to.

And on the other hand we have telcos saying Google should pay them because they're providing access to Google's content.

It's the fate of any success story; Google has money, they want it for themselves, and they think it's easier to get Google's than to earn their own.

Re:But the fact is - they are dumb pipes (2, Informative)

kodr (1777678) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828892)

I think it's already the case in France with the operator Free. I experience some massive throttling during evenings and week-ends, which doesn't happen if I go through a proxy.

Re:But the fact is - they are dumb pipes (1)

gmthor (1150907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828990)

You should investigate further since this kind of throttling is probably illegal in the European Union (read European Union \subset EU). In germany, the Chaos Computer Club [www.ccc.de] would be happy to investigate this. You probably have a similar association, too.

They're getting it wrong (5, Insightful)

Elementalor (551544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828750)

The European Telecom operators should know that we, Internet subscribers, pay for our connection top Euros to be able to access sites like Google, Gmail or Youtube. Google is offering most of their services for free to their users and we, as clients of the Telecom companies, are already paying.

At least, Spain's Telefonica CEO demonstates he's just a parasite that doesn't know about what he's talking except getting more money from Google and their clients. If you understand the Spanish talked by a almost drunk man, you'll get the point watching this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVADWAxOZtg [youtube.com]

Of course they are (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828880)

All this bitching, be it in the US or the EU, is just about the telecoms wanting to double-dip. All bandwidth is paid for, one way or another. In the case of extremely large connections, like connections between Tier-1 ISPs, the cost is shared between the two ISPs. When they peer, it is an agreement where they say "You pay the costs of your equipment and lines, we'll pay the costs of ours, and we don't charge each other anything to trade data." At every level down from there, it is paid by a smaller consumer. If you are a smaller ISP, you pay the bigger ones for access to their networks. Individuals, businesses, etc then pay those ISPs for access to their network. All the bandwidth is being paid for.

They just want to double charge. They want to tell Google that they should have to pay because Google's data goes over their network.

Of course, if push came to shove, I'd bank on Google winning. Dumbass ISP X says "Ok, we are throttling Google traffic and/or blocking Youtube." Google says "Ok, we are blacklisting all your IPs and showing your users a page that explains what dicks you are and what you need to change for us to restore access." My bet? Consumers get furious at their ISP and either force a change, or simply switch to a new one.

Re:Of course they are (1)

SakuraDreams (1427009) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829212)

Or the European Commission could tell Google to get out of the EU. If they disobey, their assets are seized. Google will lose a ton of advertising as customers in the EU are no longer able to view their ads. Granted other businesses in Europe will lose out too and governments will lose tax revenue too.

Where is the greed tag? (2, Informative)

cjeze (596987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828752)

If they complain about high traffic from google/youtube they should block them and let their users decide themselves if they want a ISP that will provide these services.

Why don't telecoms pay google? (4, Interesting)

astrashe (7452) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828756)

If we're not going to buy into net neutrality, why does it follow that google should pay the telecoms? Why shouldn't they pay google for enhancing their service?

If google stopped serving pages to people connecting through specific ISPs, those ISPs would go under. Who here wouldn't change their provider if they couldn't get google? You wouldn't really be on the net without google.

Re:Why don't telecoms pay google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31829098)

If we're not going to buy into net neutrality, why does it follow that google should pay the telecoms? Why shouldn't they pay google for enhancing their service?

If google stopped serving pages to people connecting through specific ISPs, those ISPs would go under. Who here wouldn't change their provider if they couldn't get google? You wouldn't really be on the net without google.

If we're not going to buy into net neutrality, why does it follow that google should pay the telecoms? Why shouldn't they pay google for enhancing their service?

If google stopped serving pages to people connecting through specific ISPs, those ISPs would go under. Who here wouldn't change their provider if they couldn't get google? You wouldn't really be on the net without google.

If we're not going to buy into net neutrality, why does it follow that google should pay the telecoms? Why shouldn't they pay google for enhancing their service?

If google stopped serving pages to people connecting through specific ISPs, those ISPs would go under. Who here wouldn't change their provider if they couldn't get google? You wouldn't really be on the net without google.

While it might sounds obvious when people say that ISPs should be dumb pipes and that customers are already paying for the bw, it is not.

I do believe that telcos are acting as greedy bastards that are spitting on their on plate, in some markets like EU having the big players playing along the same song and actually enforce it creates us a BIG problem, big enough for at least put some pressure over google. Actually enough pressure to have it building their own data network even venturing into finance trans-pacific cables.

This is also the same reason why these telcos are getting nervous, is not about google usig them to deliver the content, the last mile will always be their responsability and supplying connectivity comes with the responsability. It is instead because they are losing precious bucks by being side-tracked. Today google tomorrow Facebook and all the others that grow to the same size.

All big corporations do the same when the world where they live changes faster than they can adapt. Just look at media industry these days, it's a big mess.

Anyway life is not as simple as it could be because there's this thing called local loop / last mile that will "always" depend on these big telcos all over the world.

Consumers voice has an important role here because this discussion is hardly about google vs telcos, it is much more about content/information vs telcos.

Who likes to lose the rank of top of the chain food?

Isn't someone already paying for this traffic? (5, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828758)

Like, the customers? If I'm paying for 10GB of data at 10Mbps each month, and the ISP is oversubscribed to uselessness, that's not Google's vault, that's the ISP's false advertising at work.

Re:Isn't someone already paying for this traffic? (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828924)

10GB per month??? How do you manage it?? I shifted 150GB last month!

Re:Isn't someone already paying for this traffic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31829032)

This may come as a shock to you, but in some places the monopoly problem is worse than in your location.

For instance, here in South Africa I only get 1GB per month (both directions). After that, Telkom will only allow me to communicate within this country. (Which has nothing, for this very reason. I've yet to locate so much as a search engine. At least there are Debian mirrors.)

It is possible to get more, but uncapped connections are completely unaffordable. I can't remember the numbers now, but I think it started somewhere around R1000/month for fairly low-speed ADSL, line rental not included.

Utter stupidity. (1)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828766)

This is like suing a car manufacturer because somebody got run over by a car they created.

Re:Utter stupidity. (3, Funny)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828846)

This is like suing a car manufacturer because somebody got run over by a car they created.

A better car analogy might be highway operators trying to charge manufacturers of SUVs as they take up more space when driven by motorists on the toll-road.

Re:Utter stupidity. (0)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829064)

A better car analogy might be highway operators trying to charge manufacturers of SUVs as they take up more space when driven by motorists on the toll-road.

I understand the funny mod, but that's one of the few car analogies in /. that actually works.

If I ever have to explain this situation to a non geek that's exactly the analogy I'll use.

Re:Utter stupidity. (3, Insightful)

raynet (51803) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829126)

Before using that analogy remember that some toll roads already charge you more if you have a bigger vehicle and people seem to think that is ok.

Re:Utter stupidity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31829264)

Yes, but it't the user who uses the car who gets charged on the road, not car manufacter.

Re:Utter stupidity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31829298)

He probably should remember that a non-geek wouldn't catch the subtle point of the analogy. He wrote "highway operators trying to charge manufacturers".

Customers pay extra via taxes/tolls, just like customers pay for the bandwith they use to their ISPs. Everybody is ok with that.

Now, the ISPs want extra money for a service that has already been paid for. Exactly as if toll-road operators would ask extra money from manufacturers of big cars, after already asking extra money from the driver.

Re:Utter stupidity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31829210)

Governments around the world are what can be called "highway operators" and they are indeed charging the manufacturers and motorists by using motor taxes and taxes in general.

Re:Utter stupidity. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31828980)

It's more like fast food chains suing car manufacturers because drive-throughs attract a lot of customers.

Telefonica and others... WATCH OUT (1)

viraltus (1102365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828774)

If you push it companies might start doing exclusive deals with other ISP to use their web services and if, for example, they take YouTube to others ISP banning telefonica out of it well... you can shove your hyperexpensive Internet fees up your sore asses.

Better a dumb pipe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31828778)

Than an asshole pipe.

Note to telecoms (4, Insightful)

diablovision (83618) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828782)

Note to telecoms: You were, are, and always will be, dumb pipes. Stop complaining, it used to be that you guys made respectable money selling dumb pipes to people who needed them. Of course, that was back before you became a bunch of bloated gasbags intent on squeezing every last packet out of the internet.

Re:Note to telecoms (1)

SQL Error (16383) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828908)

Shorter Note to Telecoms:

Shut up, dumb pipe.

When you're right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31828794)

Gotta agree with you guys, those guys don't understand that they are and always have been 'dumb pipes' and it was never free, they charge their freaking users already.
Get off the f'in greed wagon and stop trying to screw everyone.

applies to all content! (3, Insightful)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828812)

Dear Mr. NuttyProf,

we have noticed you've been having a personal web site since 1993. With the statistics you graciously provide publicly we gather, that your site gets accessed several dozen times per month. Since we provide the channels bringing your content to our customers, we'd like to request you to review the attached contract and initiate a monthly fee of $14.95 in order for us to continue to serve your needs in the high quality you have come to expect of us....

Sincerely,

AnyOfTheLargeISPs

Seems perfectly reasonable to me... (5, Insightful)

jafo (11982) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828826)

It's not like these telecoms customers are paying them for access to the Internet, so they need to get their revenue from somewhere. Oh, wait...

This is not cable TV, you can't "unbundle premium channels", stop clinging to your ancient business models and come up with a good one.

What I don't think they've fully thought out is the end-game. Possible options:

1) Google pays them. Google then starts getting invoices from every ISP around, from the little mom-and-pops to the tier-1s demanding a cut of the pie.

2) Google cuts them off so that the above doesn't happen. These ISPs customers start screaming "Why am I paying you for access to the Internet, when you aren't providing it?" and they start switching to other providers that aren't pulling this.

Come on, telcoms! You're already charging users for access to the Internet, and the businesses they visit for access to the Internet. How many more times do you need to get paid?

They seem to think they're in a position of power because they control the "eyeballs", but those eyeballs will go to another provider if you don't provide access to the services they want.

Re:Seems perfectly reasonable to me... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31828962)

The second option you give may sound nice, but we've seen this happen too many times in the US:

User 1: My Internet connection sux and I'm paying top money for it!
ISP: Well, we advertised "up to," so that really means that you can't get more than that.
User 2: Just change your provider, idiot!
User 1: I wish I could...
User 3: Yeah, just change your provider!
User 1: There are no other providers.
User 4: Change the provider already!
User 1: ...

There are many regions in Europe where the same applies, and you fail to account for the fact that multiple telecoms have requested this from Google, which means that if Google gets blocked by two or three, there will be a lot of people ending up with a connection to a "broken" Internet. If this was a fair market and we had real competition and _each_ user had the possibility to choose from at least 5 providers, shit like this would never happen.

Re:Seems perfectly reasonable to me... (1)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829006)

2) Google cuts them off so that the above doesn't happen. These ISPs customers start screaming "Why am I paying you for access to the Internet, when you aren't providing it?" and they start switching to other providers that aren't pulling this.

There may be areas where you can't pick another ISP, that said, something else may happen.

In China, when you cannot reach a site, you can't opt out of China's firewall, but you use proxies. Many, many, small, widely geographically, randomly distributed proxies.

Might be a pain to use for videos, but I never underestimate a user hellbent on getting his funny cat video.

Good luck to the ISPs sending thousands of little invoices to every one of those proxies.

If YouTube Must pay then every tiny site must pay (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31828830)

This is just stupid
If a content provider has to pay a network owner for anything else but peering agreements then every tiny site out there should be forced to pay these providers.

Where do you draw the line? Do you force only Google to pay?

What about the file upload sites?
What about P2P bills from Spain to USA Internet users....
What about the person that has their own website and puts up a video of their cat?

THIS IS BS and if they try to do it to Google they will have to do it to each and every one of us...

The USA backbone Companies should cut these idiots off.

and us content providers should cut them off too.

AFTER ALL you do not see a lot of European or Latin American content making it to the top of YouTube or being popular at all...

Everyone in Europe watches American TV Shows ...

Sure they have their own but they watch US TV... US Movies

Who wants to watch a movie from spain ... no one YOU SUCK where are your Academy Awards and Grammys ? THEY ARE NOT TO BE FOUND BECAUSE YOUR CULTURE SUCKS!

Re:If YouTube Must pay then every tiny site must p (2)

TheCowSaysMooNotBoo (997535) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828914)

Yes, pulling out of Europe is a valid option. No customers there.

Re:If YouTube Must pay then every tiny site must p (1)

gmthor (1150907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829080)

Did you even read the article? Three telcos where saying that Google should start paying. You know that there are a lot more out there, who would be happy to service their customers.
The actual bad thing is that they want to use other businesses to join them, but that have a complete different problem with Google.

To increase the pressure on Google, the telecoms groups are interested in finding common cause with content owners such as media companies, which get little or no money from the technology company when it aggregates their content on Google News.

Re:If YouTube Must pay then every tiny site must p (1)

TheCowSaysMooNotBoo (997535) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829134)

I was replying to an AC who was going on a "USA USA USA" rant - sorry for the confusion. Should have quoted him.

Grrr.... evil moves (4, Funny)

Tei (520358) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828840)

Telefónica is like neandertal people, really. I have read some declarations from the director, and I was forced to check the date.. I was like a talk from the dictator Franco. And France Telecom is everything that is wrong with corportations plus everything that is wrong by govern owned industry.

Can these two companys die, please?

Net Neutrality Conference video stream (2, Informative)

guerby (49204) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828876)

There's a net neutrality conference organised by french regulators with people from google and FTC, video stream is available RIGHT NOW with real time english translation here: http://video.arcep.fr/arcep_13042010_en.html [arcep.fr]

Dumb pipes, and the media lobby all over (1, Redundant)

djkitsch (576853) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828894)

  1. As other commenters have said, they are dumb pipes - that's how they pitched themselves (when they were getting established) and that's how consumers see them. Now they're trying to renegotiate the tacit contract on which the "Internet age" was established. I call bullshit.
  2. 2) This is the media lobby, with its broken business model all over again. Whilst it's understandable that execs are panicking over their capacity problems, that's the point: it's their capacity problem. Short-sightedness on the part of the network planners - one supposes - left them vastly underestimating the amount of data they'd need to carry, and they're trying to get the content providers to cover the costs of their mistakes. It's something akin to power companies demanding a cut of TV ad revenue, since if it wasn't for them, there'd be no TV at all!

It's the combination of these two points which makes it so noxious. We (as consumers) have been encouraged to treat broadband providers as another passive utility company, as fundamental to modern life as electricity and gas. Now they're trying to have it both ways, and suggest that at the same time, they're an active participant in content consumption and should be compensated at both ends.

So, which is it? Passive utility, to be taken for granted and paid monthly without a thought, or active content platform due recognition but with responsibility for quality of service? Something tells me that either way, consumers will not be the winners here.

Errm.... (1)

Demena (966987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828904)

I don't want the telcos to be anything more than dumb pipes. That is what I am paying them for. I am not paying them for Google's contents.

In the year twooo thousaannnnd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31828910)

Excelent strategy telecoms... lets try to predict this:

1- You block Google related pages
2- People screaming
3- Google says with a coolface "PROBLEM ISP CUSTOMERS?"
4- Google creates Google ISP "We now provide internets also... and TV... and Phone? Google Telecom here?"
5- ????
6- Bankrupt Telecoms regret step 1 but prefer saying that google monopolized everything.

we pay (1)

Valpis (6866) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828918)

“These guys [Google] are using the networks and they don’t pay anybody,” he[César Alierta, chairman of Telefónica] said.

No, we, the users, are using the google services and we already pays you for this access.

There is not a single Google service that is not reliant on network service,” he [René Obermann, Deutsche Telekom’s chief executive] said. “We cannot offer our networks for free.”

And you don't, we still pays you for this service.

STFU and deliver what we want and pays you for.

Dear Telecoms (5, Insightful)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828922)

A dumb pipe is precisely what you are, and should continue being.

They are NOT "dumb pipes". (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829278)

Not picking on you personally but will you people stop calling them "pipes", anyone with half a clue about the interwebs knows they are called "tubes".

If ISPs need to do this, their prices are wrong (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828928)

If the total amount of money paid by customers to the ISP is not enough to cover the bandwidth costs in the YouTube age, instead of going after Google, they should increase their prices so what the customer pays is enough to cover the outgoing bandwidth costs.

But they dont want to do that because they will loose customers.

The Internet is a "pull" network (2, Insightful)

AlecC (512609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828936)

Those YouTube megabytes are being requested by end users. It is they who are getting the "ride" - and it is usually not free. Google/YouTube is just making content available on demand - as is just about every other data supplier on the net except spammers. The only people getting a free ride are spammers, because they are using a "push" mode. Before they stop or slow my YouTube, which I want, let them do something about spam.

Re:The Internet is a "pull" network (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829290)

I would agree with that ... if it was the case for all content provider. Why would google have this for free, when we (web hosting companies) all pay for hosting content and bandwidth? Is it that because it's Google and you like Youtube, it should be free? I highly do not agree.
Let's say I want to make a youtube-like. Will all ISP in the world give me bandwidth for free? I don't think so. That makes it very hard, if not totally impossible, for anyone to build a site comparable to youtube. This is really unfair business, and should not continue. I would go up to say that both FT and Google could be sued for this kind of agreement if others can't have the same one.

Telecoms = Water company (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828946)

To make a comparison, I think the Telecoms companies should be just like the water company. At the end of the day, they provide a pipeline, of sorts, which provides a medium. You turn the tap on, you get water. It is not the water company's prerogative to come to your house and boil your kettle. They give water, you pay for it and use it how you like. If only the telecoms/ISP would realise this, and accept their place, everything would be a lot easier.

Re:Telecoms = Water company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31828988)

No, because you're paying the companies for the use of the pipes (telco infrastructure in our case) and the water (internet content). So it is not the same. It would be as if you paid 1 company for handling the pipes to your house and then you get water for free. In any case, this is the typical example of blaming others for your lack of imagination (or will) to innovate, invest and transform your business model.

Nothing stops said telcos to create their own (paying or not) youtube like service, or whatever they might find suit to create more revenue (for example IPTV).

everyone wants money from google (1)

kangsterizer (1698322) | more than 4 years ago | (#31828948)

in france they want to tax google (obviously paying for traffic wont work, taxing might)
this brings money to the gvt, which is controlled by the companies anyways.

The crazy thing is, they might get away with it (3, Insightful)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829008)

Yeah, yeah, you're all saying "this is crazy, I've already paid for my bandwidth"...and you're all correct, but:
As we've seen here recently, common sense or 'fairness' seems to have little to do with ISP regulation and/or behaviour.
(See /. passim : FCC in USA, filtering in Australia...)

Here in Europe, many countries tax blank media and playback devices [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_copying_levy] in order to 'compensate' artists for 'lost' revenue.
How long before Europe's telcos, (most of whom have strong lobbying power), actually get something like this either legislated, or get Google to cough up some money just by threatening to get it legislated?

They're already trying to grab some of Google's ad revenue:
"French President Nicolas Sarkozy is mulling a recommendation to impose a tax on Internet ad revenues in France. The proposal is aimed at helping the French culture industries survive the new digital age. But critics say it is absurd, unworkable and will do little more than prop up failing business models."
[http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,670837,00.html]

Re:The crazy thing is, they might get away with it (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829240)

Here in Europe, many countries tax blank media and playback devices [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_copying_levy] in order to 'compensate' artists for 'lost' revenue. How long before Europe's telcos, (most of whom have strong lobbying power), actually get something like this either legislated, or get Google to cough up some money just by threatening to get it legislated?

Yeah, and what are they going to do, tax users for accessing Youtube? Or better yet they can block Youtube until Google pays.

Followed by millions of angry users switching to another ISP.

start charging the Europeans for everything (2, Funny)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829010)

Given that it was a European (well, Briton, but it is on "that" side of the Atlantic), working at a European facility, that mucked up a perfectly good Internet with this "web" thingie, all of the non-maintenance traffic other than mail, telnet, and ftp should be billed to the EU, plus a royalty for Al Gore, since he invented the entire thing.

Trick? (1)

0ld_d0g (923931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829016)

Isn't this just a trick so that they can later collude and increase the service charges across the board? Get publicity of their faux-plight and then go - "See, we tried to give you guys cheap internet but.."

Or maybe they're just testing the waters to see what they can get away with w.r.t. setting precedents. On a related note, this a systemic problem with overzealous capitalism. Every quarter the profits and revenues must go up - more, more, more. After a while, when you can't really drive them up any more, what do you do? (DRM?) Please note that I'm not arguing to abolish capitalism. I quite like it and have benefited greatly by it. As with all things, capitalism too has its flaws.

Googles owes ME money too then! (1)

jbb999 (758019) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829026)

I've noticed that whenever I watch a video on youtube that google use some my MY bandwidth too to send it to me! They seem to think they can just do this without paying me a penny for it! How dare they! :)

The customer already paid for it. (5, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829028)

The ISPs have it all backwards, presumably with full knowledge of the real problem. The customer pays for a connection to the internet. The customer then uses it to access popular services, like Youtube or Facebook or any other of this months fad.

Many ISP has vastly oversold their capacity to their customers and engaged in price fights that has made internet access well below what they should cost. They know its going to be a cold day in hell before the customers agree on a big price hike this late in the game so they try to wring money out of the popular services the customers use their bandwidth on.

Since the ISPs sell access to the internet they have nothing, absolutely nothing they can demand from services on the internet. They made this mess by charging to little for all to much bandwidth, well, sucks to be wrong dont it?

Microsoft moving the Google fight to Europe ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31829036)

TurboHercules, a French company in a fight with IBM, is puppeteered by M$.

Now M$ might just give a push to the European telecoms to try the same thing as in the US. C'mon, the attacks almost have matching checksums.

Due to higher market regulation in the EU and due to the fight taking place between European telecoms and en evil US corporation (Google), there might be more of a chance for the telecoms to win something.

Easily solved.... (3, Insightful)

mubes (115026) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829078)

....any ISP that thinks Google isn't playing fair should just not allow connections to the Google Empire for their customers.

Then we'll see how long it takes for the free-market to self correct. I give it about 30 days, most of that time being required for the ISP to staff up their disconnections department.

i work for a european isp (1)

mvar (1386987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829104)

and this is just plain fucking stupid..If those ISPs think Youtube hammers their precious network bandwidth, perhaps they should block Youtube for a change. And see what happens then..dumb pipes..

Telecoms are stupid. Google is "internet" (1)

kornerson (660172) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829136)

Do telecoms know how many people belive that internet is "google.com"? I've seen hundreds of people entering urls at the search box of google.com. And if you ask them to write the url at the proper place they look at you with puzzled faces... What google should do is pull the plug. Customers will not understand why they are not getting internet on their connection.

Google should.. (1)

jerryluc (1536513) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829158)

just say: "If that's to much bandwith for you, then just block youtube". I know i wouldn't buy an ISP for internet without youtube.

Re:Google should.. (0, Offtopic)

lattyware (934246) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829250)

While I agree with the sentiment, 'I know i wouldn't buy an ISP for internet without youtube' is not a valid sentence. Try 'I know I wouldn't pay for an internet connection from an ISP that didn't give me access to youtube.' - You don't own the internet, the ISP or youtube, you use them.

'dumb pipes' (2, Insightful)

affenhund (1371117) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829232)

That's what they should be, they are ISPs...

The funny thing is... (1)

lattyware (934246) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829260)

Youtube can live longer without these ISPs than the ISPs can live without youtube. If users can't access youtube, they'll happily switch ISP to get at it.

Telecoms Providers Are The Free Riders (1)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 4 years ago | (#31829296)

They're right that someone's getting a free ride - only it isn't google.

My telecoms provider sold me my contract for a connection to the internet on the basis of the ability to:

-Download Music
-Download Films
-Watch TV & Videos online
-Play Games online
-Email, chat and web

How much are they paying Google et al for that?

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