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Google Responds To Net Neutrality Reviews

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the debate-rages-on dept.

Google 265

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Google has written a defense of their joint Net Neutrality proposal with Verizon, responding to criticism like the EFF's recent review. Google presents its arguments as a list of myths and facts, but too many of them look like this one: 'MYTH: This proposal would eliminate network neutrality over wireless. FACT: It's true that Google previously has advocated for certain openness safeguards to be applied in a similar fashion to what would be applied to wireline services. However, in the spirit of compromise, we have agreed to a proposal that allows this market to remain free from regulation for now, while Congress keeps a watchful eye. Why? First, the wireless market is more competitive than the wireline market, given that consumers typically have more than just two providers to choose from. Second, because wireless networks employ airwaves, rather than wires, and share constrained capacity among many users, these carriers need to manage their networks more actively. Third, network and device openness is now beginning to take off as a significant business model in this space.'"

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Strange rebuttal (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33240360)

That FACT looks like a plain confirmation of the alleged MYTH.

Re:Strange rebuttal (0, Flamebait)

Abreu (173023) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240512)

Yup... time to face it guys, Google has gone Evil

in fact, let me make this my .sig

I see the meme but not the evidence (1)

fictionpuss (1136565) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240696)

Where is the evil?

Re:I see the meme but not the evidence (5, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240776)

MYTH: Google has gone evil. FACT: It's true that Google has previously advocated for less evil. However in the spirit of unbridled greed, we have agreed to a proposal that is, in fact, quite evil, while Congress gives us tips on how to do it. Why? First, being good is pretty darn expensive. Second, because we have found that most people simply didn't know or care that we were being good. And third, because being evil is beginning to take off as a business model in this space.

Re:I see the meme but not the evidence (3, Insightful)

fictionpuss (1136565) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240938)

You failed to answer the question.

Why is it evil to try a path to enshrine net neutrality into law for wireline traffic? The only argument I've seen - that they should also try (and fail) to get consensus for net neutrality for wireless networks _now_, seems naive to me.

I don't see anything in the proposal which would prevent future legislation for wireless networks.

Re:I see the meme but not the evidence (1, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241040)

I thought I was illustrating the answer: dishonesty is evil. A FACT that confirms your MYTH section, but confusingly, is dishonest. Advocating for wireline net neutrality is not evil, but Google is now advocating for NO net neutrality for wireless, reversing their previous position.

Re:I see the meme but not the evidence (4, Insightful)

fictionpuss (1136565) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241206)

Do you mean this?

MYTH: This proposal would eliminate network neutrality over wireless.

FACT: It’s true that Google previously has advocated for certain openness safeguards to be applied in a similar fashion to what would be applied to wireline services. However, in the spirit of compromise, we have agreed to a proposal that allows this market to remain free from regulation for now, while Congress keeps a watchful eye.

I don't see dishonesty. If there is no net neutrality for wireless now, how can it be eliminated?

Re:I see the meme but not the evidence (4, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241310)

Your response is exactly the kind of dishonesty I'm talking about. There is no net neutrality anywhere, yet. So nothing could 'eliminate' net neutrality. But Google apparently wants less careful readers to come away from that paragraph with the idea that Google still supports wireless net neutrality, which they do not.

Get it? Google used to support wireless net neutrality. Now they don't Their Myth/Fact section is designed to obscure this issue.

Basically, you are saying that this section actually parses to this: MYTH: this proposal would eliminate network neutrality over wireless. FACT: there is no network neutrality to eliminate, so stop whining already!

That is also dishonest and evil.

Re:I see the meme but not the evidence (1, Insightful)

boxwood (1742976) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241494)

If the only thing EVIL about google is the wording of some PR then I'd say they must be the most moral company around.

Seriously, get some perspective, dude.

Re:I see the meme but not the evidence (3, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241630)

Dishonesty is evil. Google is backtracking from it's previous support of wireless network neutrality and attempting to obfuscate that decision with weasel wording.

Re:I see the meme but not the evidence (1)

fictionpuss (1136565) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241506)

I think you're reading too much into it. They've been accused of "trying to eliminate net neutrality" over wireless, and they're responding to the rumour mill, using the same language. If that was a conspiracy to confuse, then yes - I agree that would be evil.

You seem to be saying that I can't logically support issue X if I also agree to a compromise that X only be applied to Y now and defer the decision on Z. I don't understand this all-or-nothing attitude, as it does not seem to hold any realistic chance of success.

Once net neutrality is enshrined into law for wireline networks, won't it be easier to apply that precedent to wireless?

Re:I see the meme but not the evidence (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241608)

The evil part is that the FACT does not negate the MYTH, it confirms it. Plain and simple: Google is backtracking on it's previous stance.

Re:I see the meme but not the evidence (1)

fictionpuss (1136565) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241768)

Ah, so it's an ideological purity issue -- compromise is evil!

Now I understand.

Re:I see the meme but not the evidence (5, Insightful)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241136)

We already saw what happened when they gave cable companies special exceptions to the law by classifying them as an Information Service [fcc.gov] . Look where it's gotten us. Now the FCC has to try to get them re-classified under the original rules just to enforce fairness.

Although I would expect to see Joe Plumber bilked into rejecting Net Neutrality, I never expected to see such on Slashdot. If a Telecom provider must throttle traffic on their network in order to keep things running, then they should either throttle all traffic evenly, or they should stop overselling their capacity to try to wring every last penny out for their CEO's to the detriment of any customers foolish enough to use their service.

If the US was competitive in the broadband market rather then forced into sponsored monopolies, we would have far more options for providers, better pricing, 100+ Mb lines would be common, and these discussions about lack of available bandwidth would be far less worrisome.

Re:Strange rebuttal (0)

Aloisius (1294796) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240828)

What's weird is that Google appears to be more evil than Microsoft these days. Time to switch to Bing?

Re:Strange rebuttal (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240878)

Yeah. Good luck getting that meme going.

Re:Strange rebuttal (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240852)

Why is it evil to recognize the reality that wireless networks have different capacity constraints than wired ones?

Re:Strange rebuttal (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240948)

Why is it evil to recognize the reality that wireless networks have different capacity constraints than wired ones?

It isn't. It is evil to lie or dissimulate. When you present a MYTH that is the confirmed (but confusingly) in your FACT section, that is dishonest and dishonesty is evil

Re:Strange rebuttal (1)

Nzimmer911 (1553899) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241238)

Can you read? "Free from regulation" does not mean "elimination of net neutrality". Net neutrality regulation is useful in wired networks because consumers can't speak with their wallets by changing providers in many areas due to very limited competition. In the wireless space they can, making a regulation free market the best option to allow providers to tweak the most performance out of the limited bandwidth available in wireless spectrum.

Re:Strange rebuttal (5, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241426)

That is utter bullshit. Free from regulation does mean no network neutrality. Network neutrality is only enforceable through regulation. Without regulation, service providers can easily lie about whether they are actually providing a neutral network. You are not saying we will have neutral wireless networks, you are saying we don't need neutrality on wireless networks because we have competition. Although I disagree, that is still a clear cut position. Google is NOT presenting their walk-back from wireless net neutrality in the same clear fashion, they are obscuring it deliberately.

There is little or no competition in wireless, anyhow.

Re:Strange rebuttal (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241178)

No, it is evil to recognize that they have less capacity, yet continue to sell to new customers who will continue to use more capacity. The telecom's are not the victims here. They made this mess of their own choosing.

Re:Strange rebuttal (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241240)

Your argument only holds water if you believe that they should promise limitless access to the network to each individual user. If you read the terms of service that go with their broadband plans they've actually been quite upfront about the whole thing.

Re:Strange rebuttal (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241502)

+1 Insightful.

The company that a friend of mine joined is upfront. You get 5 gigabytes high speed, after which point the service is throttled. They telecoms are not misleading customers.

And for people who signed-up during the "unlimited" days, your contract states they can change to "limited" anytime they desire. When that happens you have the right to terminate the contract without penalty.

Re:Strange rebuttal (3, Insightful)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241508)

I don't have to 'believe' it. They DID promise 'unlimited' access. Even now, they continue to offer 'unlimited access' with restrictions in small print. You consider that transparent?

Your idea of 'quite upfront' and mine apparently differ somewhat.

The very idea of Net Neutrality would force competition into the telecom space because it would force more business to compete in that space. By allowing people like AT&T and Verizon to take an unlimited number of customers, while continuously lowering the bar, they stifle competition just as effectively as a monopoly.

Were they not allowed to take unlimited numbers of customers, sheer need would promote new entries into that space.

They abuse the digital medium simply because it's less noticeable. An airline can't overbook as it would be immediately obvious to it's customers if they did so. It is not so obvious for a telecom provider, and fighting net neutrality will just keep that as the status quo.

Re:Strange rebuttal (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241604)

Airlines overbook all the time. You really have no idea what you are talking about, do you?

Re:Strange rebuttal (3, Insightful)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241670)

Actually I do know what I'm talking about. Airlines can overbook, but only very small amounts to account for cancellations, late passengers, and typical overhead. If they exceed that, and bump too many customers, they get heavy fines.

http://www.startribune.com/business/99267109.html [startribune.com]

Re:Strange rebuttal (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241726)

>>>Even now, they continue to offer 'unlimited access' with restrictions in small print.

Which is perfectly legal. It is the citizen's responsibility to read every word prior to signing a contract. If you think small print should be outlawed then talk to your Congressman and ask for the law to be updated.
.

>>>Were they not allowed to take unlimited numbers of customers

This would be a Tyranny instead of Liberty. I should be free to run my internet service however I see fit - a few customers or as many as I can get. I am a free, liberated citizen. So long as I don't kill or physically abuse anyone, no harm and no foul.
.

>>>The very idea of Net Neutrality would force competition

With wireless I can pick Verizon, ATT, Sprint, Boost, Net 10, Cricket, Clear, or ..... That's a very competitive market, and there's no need for the government to impose net neutrality, because a monopoly does not exist. Instead let the People regulate the wireless companies through their buying choices. i.e. If ATT sucks then switch to one of the other many providers until you found one that's fully open to the internet.

Question: Who owns the celltowers? If this is a monopoly then the FCC will need to regulate that - which of course they already do.

Re:Strange rebuttal (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241838)

Which is perfectly legal. It is the citizen's responsibility to read every word prior to signing a contract. If you think small print should be outlawed then talk to your Congressman and ask for the law to be updated.

You mean the same contract that one party can modify the terms of at any time?

I agree they are not a monopoly, BUT, getting into this business is not a simple as you seem to believe. If these companies can continue to take in an unlimited number of customers, and then modify the terms of the contracts at any time to reduce their service offerings due to being over capacity, they essentially stifle any new competition. If all of the major wireless providers do the same (and they do due to lack of regulation), there is no room for competition.

What kind of 'contract' allows one of the parties to modify the terms at any time?

Add to that, the steep processes in place to even get the rights to put up a tower, the licensing, the legal costs from the EM wacko's, and it all becomes pointless to try to enter into competition. You would have no customers, no brand recognition, stiff legal costs and challenges.

You named 6 competitors, of which I've heard of 3. I don't consider that a health market. The barrier for entry is too high as it is.

Re:Strange rebuttal (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241000)

Evil? Who isn't evil these days? But in this case, I also agree with Google (in part).

The wireless spectrum IS a limited fixed quantity, and eventually it will run out of room. (Some like ATT and Verizon say it already has and are looking for new space like TV channels.) If the companies do not impose limits, then Mother Nature will do it for us - the EM spectrum will become overloaded and internet access will slow to a crawl. Like what happens when large crowds of people gather in a small space (example: Washington Mall) and all try to use their cellphones at the same time.

Re:Strange rebuttal (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241570)

So is this finally the last straw? After Google's CEO told everyone that if they care about privacy, they have something to hide...after Google "accidentally" scanned and archived people's WiFi networks...after Android phones were bundled with closed source software from the carrier that renders the phone nonfunctional if removed...after Google sent a cease and desist to CyanogenMod for using Google's "open" Android software...is Google's reversal on "net neutrality" going to finally turn Slashdot against Google?

I've wondered for years when people were finally going to wake up and realize that Google is not some friendly open source company--that their search engine and advertising platforms are as closed source and proprietary as Windows, and that Google uses free services like Gmail to get everyone's data indexed for advertising purposes.

Re:Strange rebuttal (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240624)

Exactly my impression. They Say MYTH:....FACT......, but nowhere i saw any prove that the fact or the myth is right or wrong. Just some bunch of words, and imprinted impression that they are right, for whatever reason you could manage. Maybe because they don't do EVIL?

competitive? (1)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240368)

Um... what? Wireless is MORE competitive? Do they live in the US? Where did they get this false info?

Re:competitive? (1)

alteran (70039) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240410)

Amen. Even this Google fanboy is having a hard time seeing this as anything but evil.

The bottom line (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241722)

The bottom line is this: Google was only in favor of net neutrality when they thought it would help them compete with the iPhone. Now that they don't think they need it anymore, they're reversing position. People who cheered Google for their initial stance got suckered.

Re:competitive? (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240448)

Um... what? Wireless is MORE competitive? Do they live in the US?

Well, my wired choices are, um, Comcast. With wireless I can pick Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, Boost, Net 10, or about a dozen more. Comcast has no competetion, Verizon does. How many wired internet choices do YOU have?

Re:competitive? (4, Insightful)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240684)

You can pick amongst half a dozen wireless providers who all somehow have the exact same pricing scheme and collude with each other (SMS pricing, etc.). A choice between a turd sandwich, and crap on a panini isn't really a choice.

Re:competitive? (2, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240950)

You can pick amongst half a dozen wireless providers who all somehow have the exact same pricing scheme

You are lying or misinformed. Verizon offers you "friends and family". AT&T offers rollover. Sprint offers 7pm nights and weekends. T-Mobile offers the cheapest plans in town. Those are just the big four carriers and the unique features that I can remember off the top of my head. The regional carriers all have different price plans, depending on what kind of service you need.

Re:competitive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33241638)

Sprint also has any mobile, any time. You can call any mobile number on any carrier without using in-plan minutes. It isn't just limited to calling other Sprint subscribers.

Re:competitive? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241186)

>>>You can pick amongst half a dozen wireless providers who all somehow have the exact same pricing scheme

(cues up Penn & Teller tape) - "That's bullshit!" (puts tape away). They are not all the "exact same" price. They are similar in cost because the price has been pushed as low as it can go..... this is no different than how a frozen Healthy Choice meal costs about $2 whether I shop at Wal-Mart or 7-11 or Greens or Acme. That doesn't mean the grocery stores are colluding; it means the price has been driven as low as it can go, without the store losing money.

Ditto the cellular price.

Also there are a WIDE variety of tiers for wireless. You can pay $100 a month if you want, or you can go with Cricket at just $40 (5 GB), or Verizon's budget plan at $20 (you get "only" 300 megabytes but that's enough for plain text emailing). Same with cellphones. Mine costs me just $5/month because I only make a few calls. It's all a matter of what you choose.

Re:competitive? (1)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241664)

I'm sorry, but it does NOT cost them 20 cents per SMS message. Yet somehow ALL of the major players have settled on that for text messages?

I'm not saying it's a giant conspiracy, but don't delude yourself. They have NOT reached the floor on their prices.

Re:competitive? (4, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241582)

ALL of the US carriers charge for SMS on reception. they all colluded to do this.

in europe, you only pay for messages you SEND.

duh.

clear proof that the carriers can't be trusted. they DO collude and its never to the consumers' benefit.

add to the insult that SMS is basically FREE to the carriers since its just extra overhead on all wireless data packet exchanges. no extra cost to them but they ALL collude to charge us for sending AND receiving.

there is no free market for data in the US. this olig. needs to be totally broken up and redone.

wireless is one thing that has this chance: there is no infrastructure or right of way to have to deal with (other than a few towers here and there). the fact that wireless is a new frontier and can be a 'game changer' is what scares the incumbents!

Choices (1)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240734)

Comcast is clearly the best and fastest in my area, but there are others. I had Qwest DSL for a long while, through a local ISP. There's a wireless ISP that requires carrying around a good-sized radio receiver. Dial-up still exists.

Like you say, though, there's just Comcast for me. With Verizon moving out of the wired business, I doubt I'll get FIOS anytime soon.

Re:competitive? (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240954)

My wired choices are the incumbent telephone company at $55/mo for 4M/512K or the cable company at $55/mo for 4M/512K.

My wireless choice if I actually want to get a connection is limited to good old 1-penny-equals-one-dollar, customer-service?-what-is-customer-service? Verizon.

Re:competitive? (1)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240984)

Well lets see. I have 4 wireless options (ATT, TMobile, Verizon, Sprint). With Wired I have DSL, Satellite, Cable, and DialUp, with at least 1 provider in each. I'm not saying I have alot of options in wired providers, or even alot more, but I do have more.

Re:competitive? (1)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241014)

Not to mention the fact that if I want to use a specific cellphone, I really only have ONE of those wireless options, since they all use different frequencies and not all phones will work on all providers.

Re:competitive? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241268)

>>>I have 4 wireless options (ATT, TMobile, Verizon, Sprint). With Wired I have DSL, Satellite, Cable, and DialUp

The Satellite and Phoneline dialup aren't real options. The first one is ridiculously expensive (~$50/month for speeds no faster than $15 DSL), and the second is dirt cheap but too slow to watch streaming videos. So that only leaves 2 wired options, and in some places just 1 wired option (either cable or dsl).

In my area the wireless providers include ATT, Verizon, Sprint, Cingular, Cricket, VirginMobile, Clear, and probably 1 or 2 others I'm not aware of. That's a competitive market and there's no need for the government to regulate wireless. I agree with Google.

Re:competitive? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241394)

>>>my wired choices are, um, Comcast. With wireless I can pick Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, Boost, Net 10, or about a dozen more.

Precisely.

That's a competitive market and there's no need for the government to impose net neutrality. I agree with Google. Let the People regulate the wireless companies through their buying choices. i.e. If ATT sucks then switch to one of the other many providers until you found one that's fully open to the internet.

Question: Who owns the celltowers? If this is a monopoly then the FCC will need to regulate that - which of course they already do.

Re:competitive? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33241440)

Wired internet offerings in the US are a bit rubbish when compared to most other countries. We have countless ISPs in the UK which has helped to keep the cost of household internet access competitive. It's a shame that the industry is dominated by just a couple of providers in the US. That should really be opened up. When Google says that wireless internet is much more competitive and therefore should be exempt from the same net neutrality rules, they should really be saying that wired internet services should be opened up to further competition.

Re:competitive? (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240468)

Um... what? Wireless is MORE competitive? Do they live in the US? Where did they get this false info?

While international in scope, Google is a US-based company. Slashdot is the same way, so yes this probably does focus on the USA. Further, I don't think Verizon operates outside of the USA at all, at least not under that name. Still, I had a similar response to a different portion of the summary text:

Third, network and device openness is now beginning to take off as a significant business model in this space.

In other words, the tremendous and completely artificial efforts to prevent network and device openness are finally beginning to fail.

Re:competitive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33240590)

Maybe they should have watched the Verizon commercial where they tout the fact that they have better coverage than AT&T. I can't even consider using anyone other than Verizon due to the limited number of carriers that are useful in my particular area. I actually have more choice with wired than I do with wireless. I use Cable, but I could use DSL. There's another cable internet provider, but they don't serve my neighborhood. In the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, there's Verizon FIOS,/DSL, a couple of other DSL providers, and COX cable. There's may be 3 or 4 cell data providers Sprint Verizon AT&T and I don't know about T-Mobile.

Re:competitive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33240640)

Sadly wireless IS more competitive than wired right now. With wired you have a fios line or cable, given you you by verizon or comcast for a large portion of the country.

Re:competitive? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240762)

fios is only available to what? 10%? of the population in the US.

Most places have a choice between the local cable monopoly, the local telephone/DSL monopoly and dial-up.

Re:competitive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33240886)

fios is only available to what? 10%? of the population in the US. Most places have a choice between the local cable monopoly, the local telephone/DSL monopoly and dial-up.

This.

Re:competitive? (1)

Urban Garlic (447282) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241048)

> Wireless is MORE competitive?

Pardon my evil, but where I live (Washington, DC) there appears to be a bit of an actual competition heating up for 4G wireless internet services to the home. There's the new "Clear" service, which uses the Sprint network, and Sprint itself, and Verizon is rumored to be gearing up for this as well.

This is in a high-density residential area, mostly 1920s-era apartment buildings, and this is good for us, because (as Verizon has made clear) we are never ever going to get fiber. 4G Wireless, WiMax, whatever it ends up being called, is going to be our realistic high-speed option in the near term.

Of course, I have never actually bought the "competition means you don't need neutrality" argument -- aside from "activation fees" and other barriers to switching, there's the probable inconvenience of having to reconnect to another provider when I want to surf to a different web site -- obviously the inconvenience of reconnecting is better than being unable to, but it's worse than the status quo where I don't have to worry about my provider.

Also, it seems to me that the pay-for-passage model (i.e. non-neutrality) is always going to screw over small content providers and reward the big guys, again. Even if the provider competition heats up, everybody will offer Google, Yahoo, Bing, Hulu, Netflix, and Facebook, and all of these guys (telecoms all) will punish Skype, and watching videos or downloading ISOs from independent websites who haven't ponied up for their traffic will be a nightmare.

In other words (4, Informative)

toppavak (943659) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240384)

It looks like their position on enforcing NN over wireless networks is a "wait-and-see" approach since they suspect that we'll see competition growing between networks and platforms that could have the same effect as regulation. While one may disagree with the degree of competition that exists, it's not an entirely unreasonable position.

Pretty unreasonable. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241296)

With wired connections, people can and have argued that we should wait till there's actual abuse. The wireless networks have been far more tightly controlled than the wired networks, with actual tiered pricing schemes, and as Google says, with that limited spectrum, there's that much more incentive to control them -- so it seems like there's already abuse (so forget wait-and-see) and potential for more abuse.

Myth: We sold somethings out to get compromise (2, Funny)

FrozenTousen (1874546) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240390)

Fact: Yes we sold out, but we didn't sell that much...

Re:Myth: We sold somethings out to get compromise (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240524)

Fact: Yes we sold out, but we didn't sell that much...

Hah. Yeah, the first MYTH about principles is that they can be compromised and retain their status as principles. The (polite) term for this is situational ethics.

Re:Myth: We sold somethings out to get compromise (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241126)

Fact: Yes we sold out, but we didn't sell that much...

...and you should see what we got -- we're first down the pipe on every single Verizon device!

What Google is really saying.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33240434)

In so many words is "We're doing it, and there's nothing you can do about it... piss off."

Credit Google for Being Open (3, Insightful)

steve_thatguy (690298) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240466)

I'll give credit to Google for at least responding directly to their detractors and explaining their position in what seems like an honest and open way (you'd think if they were trying to sell us on swampland that they wouldn't use the word "compromise"). In spite of everyone's criticisms I still think Google adheres to the "don't be evil" mantra as well as they possibly can.

That said they should've stuck to their guns. Their new Net Neutrality position sucks.

Re:Credit Google for Being Open (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240818)

you'd think if they were trying to sell us on swampland that they wouldn't use the word "compromise"

Actually when dealing with businessmen and politicians the word "compromise" is one of the key warning signs. When they use it, it's designed to dispel opposition without actually removing the causes of opposition. It sounds so good and reasonable.... until ...

That said they should've stuck to their guns. Their new Net Neutrality position sucks.

Until it's no longer so good and reasonable.

Re:Credit Google for Being Open (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240824)

Sorry, but with the way mobile internet access is growing, any compromise that allows non-neutral mobile internet is very bad. If Google wanted to "not be evil," they would have gotten up and left the room if Verizon refused to budge on that issue.

Re:Credit Google for Being Open (4, Insightful)

Quaz and Wally (1015357) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241442)

You realize that non-neutral mobile is allowed right now, yes? Most carriers won't let you do any peer to peer sharing. This is right from AT&T's terms of service.

This means, by way of example only, that checking email, surfing the Internet, downloading legally acquired songs, and/or visiting corporate intranets is permitted, but downloading movies using P2P file sharing services, redirecting television signals for viewing on Personal Computers, web broadcasting, and/or for the operation of servers, telemetry devices and/or Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition devices is prohibited.

You guys act like Google is opening the flood gates to ISP abuse, when they are really just not touching the wireless ones. And they have decent reason for it too considering wireless infrastructure limitations.

Re:Credit Google for Being Open (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241076)

what seems like an honest and open way

TFS includes a "MYTH" which is directly confirmed by the quoted "FACT", which is misleading at best. It certainly doesn't seem honest -- honest would've been to come out and say, "Yes, this proposal would eliminate net neutrality over wireless."

Re:Credit Google for Being Open (2, Informative)

Quaz and Wally (1015357) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241602)

Do you have a single example of a MYTH that is confirmed by the FACT? The closest one is "MYTH: This proposal would eliminate network neutrality over wireless." Where they explain that they aren't eliminating anything. They just aren't proposing any changes other than transparency.

we have agreed to a proposal that allows this market to remain free from regulation for now

Who is responsible for limiting my cable choices? (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240482)

As a related question, who is responsible for limiting my cable choices? Right now, if I want decent broadband at a relatively fair price, I have just two choices. I can choose the phone company's DSL, or the single cable company's service. Why is there only one cable company allowed in my area, when I had at least two in my previous area (different state, too). Is this the township's fault? The county's fault? The state's fault? How do I find out who to harass, lobby, spam, or beg to be allowed more choices?

Re:Who is responsible for limiting my cable choice (2, Interesting)

TheDawgLives (546565) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240636)

Usually the cable companies make a deal with the city wherein the cable company lays the wire in exchange for an exclusivity contract (state sponsored monopoly) for a specified time period which the city can extend. Complaining to the city counsel or is your best bet as they usually make these determinations, but don't be surprised when these complaints fall on deaf ears as these contracts usually come with nice amenities for the people who negotiate them (read "free unlimited everything packages for the city counsel.")

Re:Who is responsible for limiting my cable choice (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241198)

...these contracts usually come with nice amenities for the people who negotiate them (read "free unlimited everything packages for the city counsel.")

Would this be something that can be fought? Would it be considered corruption, bribery, or some similar offense? If the benefits were for the city as a whole, like free services for the fire/police depts. (not the fire/police personnel), then that would obviously not be a crime.

Re:Who is responsible for limiting my cable choice (1)

gatzby3jr (809590) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241312)

I can't speak for the entire country (in fact I can't even really speak for the area I lived in), but where I lived previously while attending college, Verizon FIOS was making a big push. I went to one of the stupid little kiosk stands in the mall, and asked if my house was available. The Verizon rep told me 'nope', and upon further questioning he told me that Time Warner was basically engaging Verizon in long term law suits in an attempt to prolong any sort of real competition as long as they could.

Now, granted, that was a Verizon rep, so I'm sure he was biased, but it seems to make sense.

Re:Who is responsible for limiting my cable choice (3, Informative)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240714)

Most places have a cable franchise agreement. Depending on where you live, this could be done at the town, region, city, or even state level. There's likely a "cable advisory board" or something similar... I served on one when living in Connecticut. If you're a cable customer your bill should include information about that group. If not, maybe just browse your local government website looking for that sort of information.

Be aware, though, that even when you contact them there's probably nothing they can do. Franchise agreements only come up for renewal every so often. If you're still in that area when it's up for renewal you'll have more luck, but that might just mean you'll be dealing with a new provider, not an additional one.

Why not restrict the entire connection? (1)

CAlworth1 (518119) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240494)

If bandwidth is the problem, then why throttle or ban specific types of traffic instead of just throttling the entire connection?

Still has the important part (2, Insightful)

KarrdeSW (996917) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240500)

The Google/Verizon proposal still keeps the transparency and disclosure requirements in place for wireless services. This is really the only part that's necessary to make sure I'm buying what I think I'm buying. If no company ever wants to offer a neutral wireless network to play on, then I'll just content myself with my wired connection and just use my phone to make calls.

Re:Still has the important part (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240710)

If no company ever wants to offer a neutral wireless network to play on

I would call such a situation a massive policy failure, especially considering how many people now use wireless broadband and how the market is expected to grow over the next few years. Right now is the time to act on wireless network neutrality, not 5 years from now when the wireless carriers have established non-neutral networks.

question (0, Offtopic)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240514)

Is the infrastructure for the wireless services created without any government subsidy, government tax break, government money?

If there is no government money involved in creating the infrastructure for these services, then government cannot force their own vision of contract between the service provider and a customer. So as long as the customer is given a clear description of the service, and the description is real, there is nothing for net neutrality to do there.

What I mean is that most land lines were/are somehow subsidized by government money/regulations/power/tax benefits, whatever, and thus it is possible for government to exert power over the contracts that are sold to customers. But for the sake of an argument if there is a company that laid its own cables, paid all the taxes, didn't get any subsidies, then what is an argument against that company selling a service, that can discriminate against certain web sites, against certain protocols, whatever, as long as it's in the contract?

This is similar to somebody renting an apartment with Internet connection included, but with certain sites/protocols being filtered out.

Re:question (2, Insightful)

UncleFluffy (164860) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240702)

I'm fairly pro the "a deal is a deal" view of things, but it's likely that a land line company would be running cables through public land, and the wireless companies route signal through public airspace.

They can, of course, be charged market rate for use of said airspace or land, but part of the price they pay can always be additional legal obligations.

Re:question (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240788)

Obviously cable is laid over land, etc., but you can't deny that for the right price it is always possible to just run your cable or to use the airwaves without any extra legal obligations. Of-course if the country decided that no, such thing is unacceptable for everybody and the votes came that way, and the laws were changed that you can't own a cable and buy the right to lay that cable unless that cable somehow carries a signal in a certain way, then yeah, it would be basically impossible to have that ability.

However I don't think that's the way things are right now, you can lay your cable if you have the money for everything.

If you own a cell phone company today, you already can charge differently based on location, so that's also sort of 'discrimination' (for example long distance calls or roaming charges,) so I don't think this is even a requirement for the way airways are used for wireless communications.

So if it is possible to buy a license to run your own cell network and then you buy your own pieces of land and install your own equipment, then what is the deal with government trying to enforce a particular kind of a contract between you, as a provider and your customer?

Re:question (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240920)

If there is no government money involved in creating the infrastructure for these services, then government cannot force their own vision of contract between the service provider and a customer.

More importantly, if that's true, then it's probably because the barrier to entry in the market is a hell of a lot lower (unlike, say, laying cable, which requires easements, and tons of dough to lay the line). As such, the market is less of a natural monopoly, and so competition is more likely to thrive. Thus regulation may not be necessary.

Which is, of course, Google's entire point.

Re:question (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240990)

But isn't that true today, that there is much more competition in wireless services than in wired ones exactly because it is so much simpler to enter that market? You still have to buy/rent a tens or hundreds of properties to install your equipment (antennas) and you have to connect your equipment to your servers, but once that is done, you can immediately provide service. Seems that it is a much cheaper way to provide service than by laying cable, so that's why there is more competition. So again, how many wireless carriers get government money?

Compromise (4, Insightful)

esocid (946821) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240570)

Why does Google find it necessary to compromise? They carry pretty heavy clout on their own without having to cave.

Re:Compromise (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240708)

See how well that worked out for them in China?

they picked ONE partner (2, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240572)

this says it all:

With that in mind, we decided to partner with a major broadband provider on the best policy solution we could devise together.

if they wanted to do this right, they'd partner with MORE than just 1 carrier.

that would, at least, give the appearance of impartiality.

bzzzt. sorry google, but you lost the PR war on this one. we can see thru your agenda, here. had you put together ALL the carriers, that would have been different; but you chose ONE of them.

sorry, but you don't deserve any 'credit' for being, well, just a business with busniness level self-interests and sweetheart deals with 'our select partners'.

Re:they picked ONE partner (2, Interesting)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240778)

Actually I would view this proposal much worse if it did involve more than 1 carrier. It would signal that Google was openly and blatantly moving toward a monopoly position as a internet media producer, where Google would have negotiated a bandwidth advantage over any of its competitors. This is a huge red flag that signals that Google sees it acquired enough market and influence covertly that it now can make bolder moves to strengthen its market position.

What is meant by "Reasonable Network management" and is it coincidental that wireless networks were exempted and Google is striving to be the largest presence on the wireless networks with its Android based handsets.

Programmers Humour (3, Interesting)

Klync (152475) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240602)

I have to wonder if the founders of google have spent most of the last decade having laughing fits over their motto, which makes a promise through negation of a subjective term.

Do no evil.

What does that even mean? Oh, they're going to thump their chests toward China? (admittedly, that's more than most western governments are willing to do these days, but I digress...)

What about the company's mission statement:

To organize the world's information.

Well, it would be difficult to argue the case that this is, in and of itself, evil, but when you consider what "the world's information [23andme.com] " encompases, and what controlling that means, it's hard to think otherwise.

Now, a little more on topic, it's clear that google's amassed an army of lawyers and PR Flacks to rival their army of programmers. Makes me wonder whether their business model / management style is just to ensure they are the employer for all the world's language masters - be it natural or artificial. But, hey - free webmail!

It comes down to two things. (1)

staryc (852301) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240668)

The main topic of concern is priority access. And in the end it comes down to two things.

1) There will be an incentive to keep bandwidth as it is and offer a premium service to websites willing to pay for more. Not only is blocking content illegal, but it would actually hurt internet providers to offer a lower quality service to their customers.

2) The only reason why websites would pay for a premium service for their content is if there was a noticeable improvement. Which means a noticeable lower quality of service for other websites.

And when it comes to the internet, no one can truly predict the future.

Re:It comes down to two things. (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240928)

Not only is blocking content illegal

I am not so sure about that one. Considering that T-mobile blocks faxes unless you pay an extra fee, why wouldn't they block all but a handful of websites unless you pay up? Why not then charge those websites that are not blocked as well -- I wouldn't put anything past cell carriers in the USA.

Re:It comes down to two things. (1)

staryc (852301) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241386)

For one thing, it is illegal for an ISP to arbitrarily block content. Also, it is not in the interest of an ISP because more content increases demand for their service. The more demand, the more they can charge for it.

Oh no (2, Insightful)

Quaz and Wally (1015357) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240720)

Google has proposed net neutrality legislation that gives the FCC authority to enforce net neutrality, and doesn't change anything with wireless internet other than require transparency. This will certainly be much worse than the existing net neutrality laws, which don't exist. Except for maybe the Comcast court decision.

They must be evil now.

Methinks... (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240724)

The Google doth protest too much!

DoubleClick (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240738)

Fact: Google bought DoubleClick. Another Fact: Since i got this fact, i installed "Open TACO 3.0 with Abine" and with BLOCK ALL TRACKING SITES option. You could not imagine how many sites are using tracking scripts, in some cases i saw about 10 of them. TEN. WTF? So, for me the fact is that Google went EVIL. I don't trust them anymore, and from now on i will question every note, or article, or "fact" that they try to enforce me to take for granted. Or with other words, unless they say that they will respect my privacy, with clear and simple sentence, i will not make myself to believe that they are intending to do it.

Not too evil (2, Insightful)

mrybczyn (515205) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240808)

First the Communist Party search "compromise", now the carrier traffic shaping "compromise". The road to hell is paved with compromises... Good luck cashing in while you can, Googlies, hustle while you can, get out while the getting is good. You had a good run, about the same as the average young and principled politician, I imagine.

Re:Not too evil (1)

floodo1 (246910) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241112)

its not just the road to hell that is paved with compromises

Competitive markets (1)

Dwonis (52652) | more than 4 years ago | (#33240940)

I don't care whether "consumers typically have more than just two providers to choose from". A competitive market means that no single provider can arbitrary manipulate the equilibrium price for a good or service. Wireless service doesn't work that way.

They lost me at this part (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33240956)

"At the same time, the FCC would be prohibited from imposing regulations on the Internet itself."

That is just corporate double-speak making it sound like the FCC would be doing something onerous if it did that. It's like blaming the teacher on the school grounds who is trying to stop the bully from pummeling the nerd. It's just like Microsoft's double-speak where crap like OOXML is promoted because it gives "choice." It's just like anti-GPL language criticizing the GPL for restricting freedom (because the GPL forces sharing to be permitted).

Google, this year you not only jumped the shark, you ate the whole shark. Between Buzz privacy missteps, your awful privacy-eating revision of Google News, and now this evil proposal, here, have an EVIL mirror, and look in it.

I don't know what the hell has suddenly gone wrong with your company, but you should do some serious soul-searching and now fix it. Mr. Brin, where the hell are you? Google had it all in your hands and now you're losing it. Step in and stop this crap.

I like how it's being taken for granted (1)

asdfington (1877976) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241116)

that these decisions are being made by google and verizon, and not congress. They don't even pretend this is something that congress is going to have a say in. "...while congress keeps a watchful eye...." Yeah the best watchdog money can buy. "Politico notes that AT&T, Comcast and Verizon outspent nearly every other major tech giant in lobbying during the second quarter, spending a combined 11.3 million" http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/The-Very-Best-Telecom-Laws-Money-Can-Buy-109538

Competition (2, Interesting)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241144)

First, the wireless market is more competitive than the wireline market, given that consumers typically have more than just two providers to choose from.

This assumes or implies that there's no collusion between providers, which seems to be wishful thinking at best. The fact that mobile rates in the US are substantially more than in many countries around the world, that subscribers are locked into contracts, that text messaging is *still* not a free or virtually free feature. AT&T effectively more than doubled its data plan prices -- from $30/5GB to $62.50/5GB ($25/4GB) -- and competitors are now "examining their pricing structures" as well. None of these appear to be indicators of a market with healthy competition.

Choices (1)

thoi412 (1604933) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241214)

the wireless market is more competitive than the wireline market, given that consumers typically have more than just two providers to choose from.

Not so where I live. Here in Montana we technically have two choices in wireless but the 'choice' comes down to where you want to have service. Verizon has better service in some rural areas and Altel has better service in other rural areas. For an equal quality connection across the state, you pretty much need to have Verizon. I'm not trying to promote Verizon, just relating my experience with both carriers.

As for competition for wired connections, there is next to none in most of the state. Between 5 and 10 towns will have more than one broadband service provider.

Not everyone in the United States, let alone the world, live in urban areas.

Dizzy from all the PR spin (1)

macwhizkid (864124) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241314)

The answer to the wireless question fascinates me in the way that only marketing/PR doublespeak can. The first part boils down to "wireless is such limited capacity and high competition that imposing regulations would stall the market", while the second part states that high capacity wireless networks are going to be open anyway, so they don't need regulation. So which is it? And how many sectors of our economy have to collapse/implode before we accept that a combination of oversight/transparency is necessary in all industries?

As any intro Psych student can tell you, competition also increases the stakes of cheating. If Comcast is my only local broadband provider, what incentive do they have to cut a deal with Google? None, they've already got exclusivity. But what prevents Google from teaming with Verizon to offer some "Google Apps by V-CAST" premium service on the wireless side? And of course, Google will throttle back Apps for all other wireless providers, with their limited capacity and all. So thoughtful of them.

Re:Dizzy from all the PR spin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33241684)

Did Chyeld read your post at all....or is he a troll ?
I'm so tired of hype and marketting replacing information and stats...
Time to pack up and find a spot in the Wild away from this tainted wannabee
version of "1984", or is it "They Live" but replace the Aliens with Corporate Lobbyists...

Ok, so Google is evil for using the word: MYTH? (0)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 4 years ago | (#33241464)

For fucks sake, this "Hate shit because it's popular" crap is old.

Yeah, they used a meme (the MYTH vs FACT rebuttal method) that doesn't 100% line up with the way they are presenting their arguments. So the fuck what? Their arguments, whether you agree or disagree with them, are valid presentation of their points.

They aren't pulling shit like BP claiming that reporters weren't being barred from talking to the cleanup workers in the Gulf as said reporters were shooting film of that exact thing happening.

They aren't using political rhetoric to attempt to push their view through without letting anyone bring up objections based on critical thinking.

They are simply presenting the complaints they see as not entirely on target and explaining why they don't see them as valid. HOW THE FUCK IS THAT EVIL?

Did I wake up this morning in Bizzaro land where GWBush has managed to run for a third term and win and we've reduced all discourse down to the equivalent of a sports fan brawl

The Cards are babies!

No! The Reds are assholes!

?

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