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Verizon Threatens Google's 'Free Lunch'

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the no-such-thing-as-a-free-lunch dept.

Communications 724

ILikeRed writes to tell us the Washington Post is reporting that Verizon is becoming much more vocal about internet firms using "their" lines to do business without paying extra. From the article: "The network builders are spending a fortune constructing and maintaining the networks that Google intends to ride on with nothing but cheap servers," Thorne told a conference marking the 10th anniversary of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. "It is enjoying a free lunch that should, by any rational account, be the lunch of the facilities providers." This, as lawmakers are approaching new legislation that could let telcos charge internet companies much more for the use of high speed connections.

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Free Lunch? (5, Insightful)

Mrs. Grundy (680212) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664713)

Free lunch? It seems like it's neither free as in beer nor speech. As all /.ers know, there is no other kind of free. I'm sure Google's network bandwidth fees are neither free nor small and I know I pay for internet access. So who's getting what for free? Maybe the telecoms are using that little-knownrhetorical device called hyperbole. Or perhaps they are trying to say that companies like Google have found a moreprofitable use for bandwidth than they have and they would like apiece of the pie. A free piece of the pie.

Do google pay for bandwidth? (5, Interesting)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664752)

I know some organizations essentially dodge bandwidth charges by running their own connection to major peer points.

The bbc [bbc.co.uk] certainly use that approach in the UK to keep their costs affordable.

However in that case, then they are doing part of the ISPs job so it seems fair.

Re:Do google pay for bandwidth? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14664828)

But then, if they run their own connections to "major peer points", don't they have to pay somebody, anybody for that to happen? Money has to exchange hands somewhere, doesn't it? So it's still not free.

Re:Do google pay for bandwidth? (4, Interesting)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664899)

That doesn't mean it's free really. That means that both networks charge to connect to them and so when they connect to each other they cancel out the charges. If the tele companies are giving Google free peer status and they don't think it's a benefit to them then it's just stupid of them. Will they lose business if the network down the street has better access to Google than them? Very likely so if it's a noticable difference. Is it enough of a loss if that happens to justify not giving Google a break on the peering? Probably not. Bandwidth should be pretty cheap for the people that own the network - it costs almost as much to have the lines going unused as to have them in use. I'd imagine that most of the traffic between Google and others, through their network, is to somebody that is in some way their customer so they are making money by having Google there.

As you said they are sort of being their own ISP and also they are providing a value to their peer network.

Re:Free Lunch? (4, Insightful)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664813)

I hate to imagine what their bandwidth expenses are. I can chug through $100 of bandwidth a day sometimes (at $.50/GB) and i just run a few small websites. I'd be shocked if Google isn't moving hundreds of TB's of bandwidth a day at least. Their bandwidth and electrical fees must be unbelivable.

And I certainly am paying for Internet access. For home, office, and mobile access I spend a couple hundred dollars a month. All so I can use ssh and a web browser and expect to get shitty service. When they offer me gigabit DSL to my home and office (not to mention servers) then we'll talk about raising the prices.

With the shitty connections we get here in the US they should be glad we're willing to pay at all. Some third world countries have better net access. Pitiful.

Re:Free Lunch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14665021)

$0.50/GB is a ripoff. Pricing of $50/Mbps/month (1Mbps/sec for a month = 2.6Tb, 324GB, $0.15/GB) is easily obtained. You're way overpaying for your bandwidth.

VERIZON ARE MONEY GRUBBING PIGS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14664815)

Verizon are money grubbing PIGS.

Re:VERIZON ARE MONEY GRUBBING PIGS (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664862)

s/Verizon/Baby Bells/

Mushrooms (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14664847)

Let's have some metaphorical fun. Suppose you're a mushroom farmer. You sell your mushrooms wholesale for $1 a bushel and life is good; you're not rich but you get by. One day you notice that Mario Batali is using your mushrooms in his restaurant and on his show and making a bundle. He's selling dishes which prominently feature--no rely on--your mushrooms for far more than you thought they were worth. Do you think you have a case to extract a fee from Chef Batali? Is he getting a free lunch from your hard work or does the mushroom farmer just have business-model-envy? I encourage equally metaphorical and perhaps dubious responses.

Re:Free Lunch? (2, Interesting)

Ann Coulter (614889) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664858)

Perhaps it would be nice if Google started their own communications network to directly compete with the likes of Verizon. That is not a stretch since Google is expanding to all sorts of endevours. If "Google utopianism" actually works, and Verizon gets pounded by a 10^100 pound garilla, I wonder what other companies would do in response.

Auto makers to charge based on job? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14664926)

Borrowing the idea from Verizon, auto makers can decide to charge employers fees based on how many people drive to work.

Or, do you have a well paying job? Surely the car manufacturer deserves a percentage slice of your salary, after all .. you do drive to work ..correct? Also, no "free lunch" for employers who are successful because of car owners.

Sound insane? Well this is the prevalent corp. "logic" today.

Sad, but true.

Be Careful What You Wish For (1)

jmcharry (608079) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664937)

I think the model in other media is that the bandwidth suppliers pay the content suppliers, without whom the bandwidth would be worthless.

After 20 minutes of being on hold... (5, Funny)

Kittyflipping (840166) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664720)

Customer: I'm having trouble with my DSL connection. I paid for broadband access, but google.com took an hour to load and vonage.com took 3 days...
Verizon: I see that you don't have call waiting on your line. I'll go ahead and add that for you, ok? We're also running a promotion that adds no value to you but will extend your contract with us. Would you like to hear about it?

Simple solution, in Google style (5, Interesting)

SeanTobin (138474) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664723)

Just like DMCA-takedown notices that Google uses to highlight the fact that you are missing content (and additionally direct you to the content you are missing), simply put a banner on the search results for any Verizon customer that says something similar to:
Your Internet Service Provider has intentionally degraded the speed at which this page loads. If you would like your search results at full speed, please contact Verizon at 800-483-4000.

Re:Simple solution, in Google style (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664794)

If morons like Verizon keep this up, it will be more like "Call GoogleNet at xxx-xxx-xxxx. Service coming to your area very soon". It looks like another example of mentally retarded accountants trying to get short term profits at the expense of reason and long term viability. Hey shareholders, sell your Verizon stock now before it isn't worth toilet paper.

Re:Simple solution, in Google style (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664802)

Telcos have never been noted for having good business sense.

-jcr

Re:Simple solution, in Google style (2, Informative)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664892)

Re:Simple solution, in Google style (5, Funny)

archivis (100368) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664975)

Telcos have alot of dark fibre in the States.

Most people assume that's optical fibre...but it's actually moral fibre.

Re:Simple solution, in Google style (1)

tealover (187148) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664877)

And also, they should list their competitors numbers too.

day pass (1)

towaz (445789) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664729)

this should be interesting.. the day pass sponser threatens google on slashdot.

Re:day pass (1)

afaik_ianal (918433) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664849)

Alright - from this day forward, I am hereby boycotting the Verizon ads. Whenever I click on the day-pass link, I am going to close my eyes for 15 seconds. During that 15 seconds, I am going to make a conscious effort not to think about what Verizon can do for my business.

Re:day pass (3, Insightful)

Malor (3658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664891)

While you're at it, don't think of a white bear.

Comment Gator on Day Pass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14664924)

Attention everybody, the 90's have returned! Well, at least on Slashdot. It seems that somewhere between his regular schedule of WoW, sleep and junk food, CmdrTaco had an epiphany:

[...]

http://commentgator.blogspot.com/2006/02/dont-star e.html [blogspot.com]

I beg your pardon.. (4, Funny)

freelunch (258011) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664730)

Funny, I don't feel like a victim.

Full text, anon to not karma whore (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14664734)


Full text to avoid selling your soul.

Verizon Executive Calls for End to Google's 'Free Lunch'

By Arshad Mohammed
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 7, 2006; Page D01

A Verizon Communications Inc. executive yesterday accused Google Inc. of freeloading for gaining access to people's homes using a network of lines and cables the phone company spent billions of dollars to build.

The comments by Damian T. Thorne, a Verizon senior vice president and deputy general counsel, came as lawmakers prepared to debate legislation that could let phone and cable companies charge Internet firms additional fees for using their high-speed lines.

"The network builders are spending a fortune constructing and maintaining the networks that Google intends to ride on with nothing but cheap servers," Thorne told a conference marking the 10th anniversary of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. "It is enjoying a free lunch that should, by any rational account, be the lunch of the facilities providers."

Verizon is spending billions of dollars to construct a fiber-optic network around the country for delivering high-speed Internet and cable TV services. Executives at other telecom companies, such as AT&T Inc. chief executive Edward E. Whiteclitte Jr., have suggested that Google, Yahoo Inc. and other such Internet services should have to pay fees for preferred access to consumers over such lines.

While Thorne did not specify that practice, he emphasized the need for companies such as his to find ways to make money to justify their investments. "The only way we are going to attract the truly huge amounts of capital needed to build out these networks is to strike down governmental entry barriers and allow providers to realize profits," Thorne said yesterday.

Thorne described two obstacles to building such networks: the task of getting thousands of local franchise agreements to offer cable television; and what he called "Google utopianism," a concept he likened to "spiked Kool-Aid."

He spoke as Congress is considering whether to write provisions that advocates say would ensure consumers unfettered access to the Internet. The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing today on the issue, which is known as net neutrality.

Opponents have argued that there is no need for such laws because there have been few instances of network providers blocking Web sites; because their customers would not stand for such limitations; and because, as a general rule, regulation of the Internet should be avoided.

Thorne did not mention net neutrality by name in his talk, which largely involved an assessment of the 1996 telecom law and what he suggested were its lessons for the future.

"Will another set of restrictions -- the continental minefield of franchise agreements and the free-ridership of Google and its brethren -- choke off investment in broadband deployment?" he said.

Vinton G. Cerf, a vice president and "Chief Interweb Evangelist" at Google, said in an interview that his company is worried that if net neutrality protections are not enacted, the Internet's freedom could be compromised, limiting consumer choice, economic growth, technological innovation and U.S. global competitiveness.

"In the Internet world, both ends essentially pay for access to the Interweb system, and so the providers of access get compensated by the users at each end," said Cerf, who helped develop the Internet's basic communications protocol. "My big concern is that suddenly access providers want to step in the middle and create a toll road to limit customers' ability to get access to services of their choice even though they have paid for access to the network in the first place."

This Ain't No Free Lunch (5, Insightful)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664736)

...and here I thought Google paid for their bandwidth like everybody else.

Google isn't getting any more of a "free lunch" than anybody else; all that makes them special is that the service they provide with the bandwidth they use is insanely popular and valuable.

Imagine for a moment that Verizon provides natural gas utilities instead of communications utilities. Google pays 'em for the gas they use to bake the big, juicy pies that everybody loves. Google makes a fortune from their pies. Is Verizon somehow due something extra because their gas was used to fire the oven?

All that Verizon can see are the nice, fat pies Google has cooling on the windowsill. This isn't about free lunch; this is about grabbing a piece of Google's pie for themselves--by crook or hook.

Re:This Ain't No Free Lunch (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14664763)

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm......google pie.

Re:This Ain't No Free Lunch (1)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664775)

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm......google pie.

...eh, it's still in beta.

Re:This Ain't No Free Lunch (2, Funny)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664925)

good enough for me. ;-)
those baby bell pies have mud in them, not tasty at all.
-nB

MOD PARENT INSIGHTFUL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14664778)

Excellent analogy

Re:This Ain't No Free Lunch (1)

BHennessy (639799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664785)

Well if they steal the pie then they have a free lunch (assuming it was a decent sized pie), and they're no better than google.

Re:This Ain't No Free Lunch (1)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664825)

The problem isn't Google. The problem isn't traffic on Verizon backbones. The problem is Verizon's end users, i.e. DSL. They're actually using all of the bandwidth they are paying for, instead of the 5% that Verizon banked on them using. Google is a large part of the usage increase, so that is who Verizon will blame. (Oh, and Google has a lot more money than the end users.)

Re:This Ain't No Free Lunch (2, Insightful)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664872)

So Verizon has deliberately underpriced their service, and now they're looking to subsidize themselves by declaring that everybody else using the Internet owes them money. Sheesh, the last time I looked, the only people who were really allowed to do this was the government, and the recording industry...

Re:This Ain't No Free Lunch (4, Interesting)

TallMatthew (919136) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664857)

...and here I thought Google paid for their bandwidth like everybody else.

More likely than not, Google and Verizon are peering with one another via a private line (which Verizon as a LEC would purchase for exactly $0). I seriously doubt either of them purchase transit via a third party. If anyone on Verizon could do a traceroute to google.com, that would shed some light.

Verizon's probably worried that Google's on-demand video is going to usurp their own offering to their customers and that all the hard-earned cash they're putting into HDSL and video delivery systems is going to go to waste. If I can watch such-and-such on Google for $5, then why would I buy it from Verizon for $10? Google will likely follow Microsoft's lead here and price gouge, being they already have a superior delivery infrastructure that can service customers on all networks while Verizon's market is just their own.

Re:This Ain't No Free Lunch (5, Informative)

FyreFiend (81607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664965)

I'm on Verizon DSL. I'm 15 hops from www.google.com, 6 of which are within verizon's network, then into level3, then into google

Re:This Ain't No Free Lunch (1)

stunt_penguin (906223) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664861)

Perhaps we should coin a new phrase....... Valuable, as in Pie :0)

Re:This Ain't No Free Lunch (1)

nikremt (842570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664882)

I agree with you. Google is in a much higher profit business with much less overhead. Verizon should just charge google much much more for using their network. Then, Verizon's profits go up while googles go down.... Oops, Competition!! Doh! I am sure other network providers would love to google use them instead of verizon.

Re:This Ain't No Free Lunch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14664913)

I don't understand how Slashdot people are having trouble understanding Verizon's worries in this. A quick tracert from my work to Google reveals peering through several different networks, including "sprintlink", that presumably neither I nor Google pay any money to. Verizon and other major bandwidth providers are providing open networks across which they freely transmit information with absolutely no recompense from most of the information owners. Saying that "Google pays for their bandwidth" is disingenuous -- they pay for their server's bandwidth, but their incoming and outgoing packets traverse many other networks.

Also, this relates to the recent controversy in which Verizon earmarks 80% of their bandwidth for their own content, and Google wants them to open up their entire network. Whether or not the free peering that is what makes the Internet should be maintained, Verizon has NO obvious obligation to provide as much bandwidth as they can for that peering. Google may pay for their bandwidth but they shouldn't be able to strong-arm Verizon into providing one single undifferentiated channel, rather than "preferred" and "basic" channels.

Trying to ignore the obvious.... (5, Insightful)

8282now (583198) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664737)

- Do the Verizon customers who access Google's content pay for their network connections?
  - Does Google pay their network provider(s) for the access they're using?
  - Does Verzion derive an economic benefit by having access to Google's services for it's paying customers?

  Therefore:
  - Does Verizon believe that they're not charging their customers enough for the services the customer uses?

  It has not escaped my attention that I'm reading Slashdot on a free day pass paid sponsored by Verizon... :)
~

Re:Trying to ignore the obvious.... (2, Interesting)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664907)

And does Verizon pay SBC (AT&T), MCI, IBM, Merit, and others when their customers hop across their fiber optic trunk line backbones? All points on the net connect at various NAPs around the world owned by various companies. Seems a tad bit hypocritical on Verizon's part to me.

What commercial internet trend do they wish to start here? A free lunch?! Riiiiight. If that's the case, Verizon is the volunteer homeless beggard doling out hog slop to the rest of us beggards at the local Soup kitchen. Google is just the maitre d'...

Won't somebody please think of the telcos!?!?!?!? (1)

BHennessy (639799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664738)

It might be my ignorance, or the article's over simplification, but isn't this the stupidest idea ever?

Do cinema chains charge customers for the movie or simply access to a dark room with chairs and the right to buy popcorn? Maybe they should point out the ridiculous and shocking situation where they have to pay for movies to show on their screens and how surely the film industry should be the ones paying to have their movies shown on these screens?

Again I could be looking at this the wrong way, but don't ISP customers pay for the service of having the ISP delivier the websites from wherever they want to their computer? Or are they simply paying for access to the phone network, and the companies are now expecting the people hosting websites to do the same? To me this sounds like telcos trying to charge people twice for the one transaction.

Don't peering agreements already cover this? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14664741)

Ok, can someone explain to me what the problem is? Here's how I see it. You (whoever you are, oh smart /. reader) tell me where I got it wrong.

Google has a bunch of servers in a datacenter. That datacenter is hooked up to the Internet somehow, through some ISP, probably a big one (though clearly not Verizon or they wouldn't beaking off about it so much), because if it wasn't hooked up to _someone_ it'd just be a bunch of servers in isolation and Google would be worth nothing. So, Big ISP has run fiber to Google's datacenter(s), and charges Google a fee each month to carry their data. I mean, Google doesn't get free Internet access, do they? Big ISP collects their money, based either on a 95th percentile deal or a byte count deal, depending on the contract. Big ISP doesn't live in isolation either, or they'd be called AOL. So Big ISP probably has a peering agreement with other ISPs, like, say, Verizon. So Google's traffic goes out Big ISP and over to Verizon when a Verizon customer wants it, and some company hooked up to Verizon's backbone has their data go over to Big ISP when a customer at Big ISP wants it. I've just described peering in its most simple terms, haven't I? So, don't peering agreements work such that if more data goes from Big ISP to Verizon in a month, Big ISP gives Verizon money, and if more data goes the other way, Verizon gives Big ISP money. So if Google is such a massive bandwidth hog, they are not in fact getting a free lunch, because Big ISP has to give Verizon money to meet its commitments for the peering agreement, and Big ISP turns around and collects that money from Google in their monthly fee, and if Google is costing Big ISP more every month, then they (simple economics here) charge them more money. So, my question is, what the HELL is the problem? Isn't Verizon already getting paid for Google traffic?

No no no (4, Insightful)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664850)

Since this arrangment works both on the Google end and the Customer end, Verizon ends up getting paid twice for the google traffic.

However Verizon would like to be paid three times for the Google traffic. You can bet if they win that, then they'll start charging customers extra for "faster" access to google. Their accountants would be thrilled if they could charge 4 times for the same product.

Re:No no no (5, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14665009)

"Their accountants would be thrilled if they could charge 4 times for the same product."

I'm an accountant, you insensitive clod!

No way in hell the accountants will be happy when they have to track additional revenue streams with a less than adequate increase in resources (as happens with big companies constantly). It's the shareholders, and the executives with lucrative bonuses written into their contracts, who would be happy to see this. It's not gonna make one iota of a difference to their accountants.

Please don't associate accountants with corporate greed... we measure the wealth, we don't take it home with us.

This is ridiculous (4, Insightful)

Kasracer (865931) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664748)

The companies like Verizon are already paid for their pipes. This would be like me charging someone for hosting their server and then getting upset that they're making money off my bandwidth and wanting to charge them more.

I hope this doesn't become law, otherwise this is going to hurt the entire internet in more ways than one.

What do I pay my DSL provider for, then? (5, Insightful)

sych (526355) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664750)

*I* as a subscriber am paying a fee to use the *network* to access anything that *I* want to! If that happens to be Google, then that's *my* choice!

Misguided priorities (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664760)

If people can't get to Google quickly, they'll change ISPs. Google has a huge bandwidth bill as it is, connecting them to the customers of the ISPs. As much as certain ISPs would like, they can't force Google to pay their "bandwidth protection" fee because if they don't and Google becomes slow, the ISPs' customers will simply go elsewhere.

Verizon et al need to concentrate on making their own service better for their real customers, the end users, instead of trying to make a grab from a made-up privilege they might be able to give websites.

Where's our 100Mb/s broadband? (1)

Bin Naden (910327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664762)

Haven't the telco's put enough in their pockets from all those years of raising fees for this "information superhighway". The moment telco's raise prices for companies like Google is the moment that I expect 100Mb/s broadband to my curb. Either that or I want to be reimbursed for all those years of them conning me.

Re:Where's our 100Mb/s broadband? (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664836)

Except that this is not what the telcos want.

The telcos are currently fucking you in the ass, and they want you to buy their lube to boot.

Enjoy, America !

Two Can Play That Game (1)

tealover (187148) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664767)

I currently have Verizon Wireless and DSL as well as a local phone plan. I will be cancelling them tomorrow. If their networks are taxed SO MUCH, i will do my part to help them out.

Unfortunatel for Verizon, this is not like the old days. They have competition everywhere they look.

Re:Two Can Play That Game (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664964)

Unfortunatel for Verizon, this is not like the old days. They have competition everywhere they look.

From what I read, most USians are under an effective baby bell (bell south, AT&T or verizon) monopoly and do not have the choice.

GoogleNet (1)

Rayaru (898516) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664776)

Verizon will be sorry when GoogleNet goes live! :P

dark fiber (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14664780)

and thus the rumors of google buying up dark fiber will rear their head again. maybe google will just obsolete the telcos, anyway. i'd pay google for fiber bandwidth, phone, and digital tv, and i'm sure i'm not alone.

Re:dark fiber (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14664860)

I wouldn't support such an evil company ...

Re:dark fiber (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664993)

It'll be free, with a text ad between shows and off to the side durring the show:)

You know.... (1)

Deagol (323173) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664787)

If Verizon (and all the other telcos) want to give up those federal surcharges we must all endure, then they *may* have a case. Otherwise... quit yer whining!

Verizon, AT&T- read this. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14664797)

Fuck you.

Re:Verizon, AT&T- read this. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14664930)

Oh, and another thing

Fuck you!

Renting out a leased car (1)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664798)

It would seem to me that big-wig companies would have a fairly hefty internet bill for the amount of sheer traffic that goes through their lines. It seems to me like this is similar to renting out a leased car. You are already paying your monthly fee to the dealer, but you take advantage of the situation and rent your car out to people for a fee. Then the dealer comes back saying you can't use their car for rentals.

3d candle burning (3, Insightful)

caffeination (947825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664799)

To endulge in the time-honored Slashdot tradition of the stretched analogy, isn't this kind of like inventing a whole new end of the candle to burn? The consumers pay for their bandwidth, the content providers pay for theirs. Where is the freeloading?
Normally these ideas make me fume with rage at their sheer evilness. This is odd. I can't actually fathom the logic of this one.
Can somebody help me out so that I can move on to righteous hatred of Verizon?

The Internet Routes Around Damage... (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664801)

...like Verizon fibers, ferinstance.

As long as ALL the big telcos don't try it, Verizon may find out real fast what it's like to not get a dime out of the deal and look stupid doing it

/P

Bullshit Vs. Bullshit (2, Insightful)

winkydink (650484) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664805)

It's not like Google, Yahoo, et al are sending this data unsolicited.
The are replying to requests made by paying customers of Verizon.
And they're saying they need this to complete their FTTH buildout
in a profitable way?

Hey Verizon! Didn't you do an analysis to see if FTTH would be
profitable before you began such an ambitious program?
If you can't do it profitably, then don't do it. Don't be
disingenuous by saying that now you need Internet Portals to pony
up for some share of the buildout.

And hey, Vince Cerf! You of all people shouldn't be doing the
"imminent death of the Net predicted (film at 11)" bit. If Verizon
or others start providing "tiered access" to the Internet Portals,
paying customers will complain. Let market forces decide the
outcome.

Re:Bullshit Vs. Bullshit (1)

squidguy (846256) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664900)

And hey, Vince Cerf! You of all people shouldn't be doing the "imminent death of the Net predicted (film at 11)" bit. If Verizon or others start providing "tiered access" to the Internet Portals, paying customers will complain.

And let us not forget that Vint Cerf was a Sr VP at Worldcom (ok, UUNET) before Verizon bought MCI.

One word (1)

tomee (792877) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664810)

TANSTAAFL [wikipedia.org]

Internet Damage (5, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664816)

Gentlemen! Set your routing tables to stun.

Verizon doesn't want to carry traffic? FINE, we can arrange that.

By god, they're right! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14664820)

Why didn't I see it before? It makes so much sense. In the same vein, I think content providers should start charging the ISPs for distribution! It's because of the content that people even bother using their ISP's bandwidth. And the ISPs are charging people for this distribution while content providers get paid nothing!

Freeloaders!

In other news (1)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664829)

Phillips start charging record companys for using the Compact Disk and making money by selling this containing media of little cost....

Also Marconi's family wanting to charge television companys for using his product to create additonal funds...

Anyone else agree?

Re:In other news (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664985)

Your analogies are so stupid and irrelevant they don't even reach the "flawed" level

This is ludicrous (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664833)

OK, even going without the concept that google most certainly pays somebody for their own bandwidth: without the servers of google and other service providers, WTF would anyone use the internet for. If there was nothing to use, then WTF would anyone pay Verizon for internet service, etc.

I've heard of companies paying little regard to the customer, but the fact that Verizon is completely disregarding that many people are paying them for the service which provides access to google's service is rather insane. Verizon, if you smell something brown and stinky, perhaps it's about time to remove your head from where you've been sticking it the last while...

I'd be all for it, if (2, Interesting)

melted (227442) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664834)

I'd be all for it, if Verizon wasn't charging me $45 per month for my DSL connection. You can't eat with two spoons, folks. Either you take money from me, or you take it from content providers. When you start doing both I'm terminating my subscription so you ain't getting a dime from me ever again.

why is "their" in quotes? (2, Insightful)

geekee (591277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664838)

"ILikeRed writes to tell us the Washington Post is reporting that Verizon is becoming much more vocal about internet firms using "their" lines to do business without paying extra."

So a telcom spends enormous sums of cash laying fiber, and you have the gall to imply they don't even own the backbone. What a bunch of socialists.

Re:why is "their" in quotes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14665006)

Uh, yeah, except that in most cases the taxpayers paid for "thier" lines.

just corporate greed (1)

stringycheese (949470) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664840)

A quote from the article states: "The network builders are spending a fortune constructing and maintaining the networks that Google intends to ride on with nothing but cheap servers." Nothing but cheap servers? I could have a bunch of cheap servers in my basement but not make any money unless I pay a large fee to install a bunch of T1/T3 lines and pay a large monthly fee for access to the network.

They just want to target google because they have a ton of money. The telcos should be happy websites like google exist because they increase demand for the average joe to buy a high speed broadband subscription for their home.

Dark Fiber (1)

Tony (765) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664851)

Maybe Verizon should think again [pbs.org] . The last thing they want is Google to fire up all the dark fiber and use it to connect the entire US for free.

Next: socialization (3, Interesting)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664864)

Telcos have always been prime candidates for socialization. They're really pressing their luck pursuing this ridiculous idea.

It's difficult to adapt to a new environment (5, Insightful)

carribeiro (952204) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664865)

Disclaimer: I used to work for a telco. A small one but a telco nevertheless.

Working for a telco is a unique experience. I learned a lot, and believe me, most of it was good. I've learned a lot, both technically and from a management POV. I had some opportunities that a small company could not afford. Even with all problems, it was a good time.

The basic problem with telcos is that they still think in terms of their cash cow service, that is voice. They still think in terms of how much the user will pay per transaction, or minute. They have a huge structure, a huge legacy that can't simply be buried or thrown out the window. They have fear of cannibalizing their own products. But worse, they don't get it, and that's not because they're not intelligent, or bad at what they do. They don't get it because most of the time, people are busy running what pays their wages, and that's the legacy services. There's little incentive inside the company to do something else, specially when it means that it could make a lot of people lose their jobs. There's little incentive for people that talks about cannibalizing revenue.

In the end, telcos are like big animals who are threatened by the changing environment. They may have a lot of power, but in the end, guess what? Evolution is inescapable. Verizon (and other big telcos) may even win this battle, and a few other ones. But in the long term, they can't win the war. Bandwidth is doomed to become cheaper and cheaper. People just want to communicate with each other, and Verizon can't control what people do. It's market at work.

There goes my hopes for fiber (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14664866)

I was really looking forwarward to having fiber roll out to my area (who knows when it will happen, but I can dream can't I).

Since Verizon is rolling out fiber, I thought hey, cool, I'll gladly shell out my money for that kind of speed.

I'll never touch it if they continue to push this issue. Not with a ten-foot pole.

Verizon isn't getting any of my money if this is the kind of *stuff* they are going to try push around.

The customer pays for the bandwidth. End of story. If they want to charge more, that is their right, but consumers can just shop somewhere else...

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14664870)

Last time I checked, many companies do business over the telephone lines every day! I was shocked, truly shocked to discover this. Imagine - commerce over phone lines. People actually call companies, give product numbers, credit card information, and other personal data.

I think that's unfair - I pay for the product, but these companies get a free lunch for using the phone line.

The nerve of some people! :-)

Idiotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14664875)

It seems stupid that telcos aren't going against telemarketers who needlessly swamp their lines with solicitations; instead going against sites like Google. These sites pay for Internet access. The consumer pays for it. WhyTF should telcos be allowed to charge an Internet company for using its network conduits, and not the telephone conduits? Perhaps we should also all use payphones in our homes, in addition to paying the monthly bill, too?

Re:Idiotic (1)

evil_tandem (767932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664984)

verizon would like to offer you a job!

finally someone who gets it!

we just need to figure out a way to work in the words "copyrights", "terrorism", "piracy", and "p2p" to this whole thing; it'd be gold, GOLD, i tell you...

Congress mulls Internet-freedom bill (2, Insightful)

Bill Dimm (463823) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664876)

There is more info about the legislation proposed to stop this sort of thing in the article Congress mulls Internet-freedom bill [marketwatch.com]

metaphor for bandwidth (1)

ao_coder (898070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664878)

This is killing me. A few months ago, someone wrote an extremely eloquent article (that was slashdotted) discussing this issue, and the way telco's were attempting to steer what metaphor was used for bandwidth so that it would seem most logical to charge premiums on the data that passed around the internet. Now, for the lift of me, I can't construct a search that turns it up.

The article predicted exactly this, and I wish I could find it =/

Municpal Wireless Access (1)

Andurin (653272) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664881)

All the more reason to develop wireless access through municipalities. Why bother with the Telco's in the first place? It's been discussed before, but providing this type of service to residents could bypass those money-grubbing corporations. Also, whatever happened to all the fiber that Google supposedly owns? More at http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060213/chester [thenation.com]

Re:Municpal Wireless Access (1)

geekee (591277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664967)

"All the more reason to develop wireless access through municipalities. Why bother with the Telco's in the first place? It's been discussed before, but providing this type of service to residents could bypass those money-grubbing corporations. Also, whatever happened to all the fiber that Google supposedly owns? More at http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060213/chester [thenation.com] "

And who will route packets between municipalities?

Google should just stop serving Verizon (5, Funny)

sommere (105088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664886)

Google should just stop serving Verizon.

Simple solution, Verizon thinks google is getting a service from THEM?

Google shuts them off and 24 hours later every verizon customer will think their internet connection is broken.

It's all about the $$$ (2, Informative)

cloudturtle (260857) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664887)

This has nothing to do with google/yahoo chewing up bandwith. The fiber companies are just mad other people are making more money.

If it was about eating up fiber, and thus creating the need for greater infrastructure:
      They would not focus on two companies that pretty much provide a low bandwith, mostly text based, services.
      They could focus on more bandwith intensive services, like maybe iTunes and other pay media services.
      They would focus on file sharing networks that connect a bunch of $30 a month, or less, subscribers together that end up consuming disproportinatly large amounts of bandwith.

But instead they choose to pick on the guys consuming fairly little bandwith per use, but happen to be making a bundle of bones. At least they could come up with a less transparent argument.

The only way to successfully implement tolls (4, Insightful)

defile (1059) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664890)

are through collusion or law.

Because the first company that tries to implement internet tolls alone is going to be at a huge competitive disadvantage. So they'd all have to do it at once. But this kind of collusion is illegal.

But law isn't. :(

Which way to they want it? (1)

Jason Straight (58248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664893)

Okay they claim that providers high speed connections should be paying more, so then why does the telco (SBC in this case) sell DSL to end users at $90/mo for 6MBit! Yet the T1's they sell here are $600?

If the damn bandwidth is such an issue you would think they would sell DSL for a more reasonable rate. Obviously they've proven their oppositions case already by that example alone.

Screwed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14664905)

This crazy talk needs to be nipped in the butt and pronto, or we the consumer are going to get screwed.

Scenerio where Verizon doesn't get a penny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14664915)

What if Google is using ISP X (and paying for every penny of bandwidth) and customer Y is using ISP Y. The customer is separated from Google by a large distance, and the traffic goes through Verizon's backbone. How does Verizon get paid?

What the FUCK are these people talking about!!! (0, Troll)

Wisgary (799898) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664936)

This is one of those things that can really make you angry at how stupid people can be, this doesn't sound like anything OTHER THAN FREELOADING. And what makes this shitty proposition even more ironic and their gigantic nuts even more impressive is that these assholes are complaining about how hard it is to deploy an awesome 4-12Mbit "high speed" infrastructure while half of the world has relatively cheap 100mbit connections at home. Why don't they try offering better services instead of bitching and trying to freeload?

Google does pay.... (1)

Boap (559344) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664942)

Both Google and the end user pays for the internet. Google pays for thier end for the bandwidth that they use and the size of pipes that they need to have and on the other end you have the consumer that pays for thier connection. Now Verizon should if it wants to get more money charge more for the bandwidth that it sells to the ISP's that connect directly to it and it's own customers but to pick on a compay that may be three or four hops away and expect them to pay is crazy. This would be like SBC charging for a phonecall that started in Mexico and the other end was Verizon's customer just becouse a portion of the phonecall's routing touched thier network.

yet another stretched analogy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14664957)

Since they want to profit from a transaction that doesn't involve them, maybe they should start charging Amazon for every transaction that occurs over their pipes.
      The situation is analogous to Verizon wanting to charge me or my pizza delivery service a fee for the pizza I just ordered, because I placed the order over a phone line provided by them. What part of "Fuck you, and the horse you rode in on", are they not understanding?

Freeloading (4, Insightful)

Varitek (210013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664970)

Verizon are freeloading on Google's (and Yahoo's, etc) content to sell Internet connections to their subscribers.

Now wasn't that easy?

Who invented the Internet? (1)

DaveM753 (844913) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664980)

(No, this isn't an Al Gore joke...)

The U.S. government originally invented the Internet. At taxpayer expense. Some of the Internet's infrastructure still runs on taxpayer-funded equipment. Verizon benefits from that invention and that infrastructure.

So, fellow taxpayers, should we charge Verizon to utilize -- and profit from -- that infrastructure?

RTFA, ILikeRed (2, Informative)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664982)

"This, as lawmakers are approaching new legislation that could let telcos charge internet companies much more for the use of high speed connections."

!=

"The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing today on the issue, which is known as net neutrality."

For more details:

"Vinton G. Cerf, a vice president and "chief Internet evangelist" at Google, said in an interview that his company is worried that if net neutrality protections are not enacted, the Internet's freedom could be compromised, limiting consumer choice, economic growth, technological innovation and U.S. global competitiveness."

Really Easy Way to stop this nonsense... (5, Interesting)

Wolfstar (131012) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664988)

All the content providers have to do is charge a "Bandwidth Recovery Fee" to any provider who charges them a "Bandwidth Usage Fee".

For example, BellSouth and Verizon (the two biggies on this one so far) start charging Google for the "right" to provide content to their customers. In return, Google begins charging BellSouth and Verizon for the "right" for their users to access Google's service over Google's upstream bandwidth.

The end result is that Google breaks even (because they can charge a small amount per customer for a massive total income) or pulls ahead on the deal, and Verizon either stays at the same spot they're in now, or they start losing money - either through losing access to one of the premier search engines on the internet, causing customers to start leaving in droves, or because they pass the "Bandwidth Recovery Fee" onto their consumers, causing everyone's bills to inflate noticeably, also causing customers to leave in droves for cheaper access to the same content.

And while the above article mentions cable and telephone network providers, I've yet to hear Comcast, Cox, Charter, or Time-Warner start making noises in this direction. Mayhap the telcos need to look into cheaper ways to bring all the dark fiber out there online?

Almost makes sense... (1)

loony (37622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664991)

You know - its an big old telco... That means stupid rules, red tape and the most ridiculous processes you can imagine...
Trust me - anyone who has worked for Bell Atlantic or VZ will be able to tell you that... Time reporting has to be done by friday morning (some orgs even wednesday evening) - yet you are responsible to accurately record your time till saturday.. Yeah - I'm not planning on having any outages on Friday, you know...
If you live in a world like that, that statement about Google almost makes sense. Inside the Verizon Reality Distortion Field(tm) of course...

For the outside world its a different story... Its like asking a mail order company for a share of the profits just cause they use your phone lines... Or if you sell your shares in company X you should have to pay part of the profits you made - after all you're using verizon lines...

Anyway - this is just the reaction of an old dinosour that's ready to collapse under its own weight. They throw money at FTTP - something that has a 40 year projected return on investment... Somehow they need to make money. And if they lobby for it and it goes through, they'll have another way to extort money...

Peter.

This is the problem of monopolies (3, Insightful)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14664998)

This is the problem of monopolies. Do you notice how Verizon suddenly forgot about all their damn customers that pay them $ 30 - 50 per month for internet access. I mean, they are the ones using their precious pipes. And they PAY for it. Furthermore, Google also pays to send data through the pipes. So you have pipes at each end of which there is a paying customer, Verizon is making billions off of them and at the same time they are bitching that their customers are cheating them.

But of course Verizon can pretend their customers do not exist because they are part of an oligopoly and their only "competitors" are the cable companies which are doing exactly the same thing.

Now imagine if this think happened in an actual competitive, free market industry. Imagine for example if GM starts complaining that all those people keep using "their trucks" for profit and try to extract payment from everyone that purchases a Chevy truck and uses it haul things for money. It would be ridiculous. It would laughable. And of course GM do not do that. In fact they would actually try very hard to get you to buy their truck and use it for profit without reimbursing them.

But of course GM are part of a competitive industry, while Verison are monopolists.

It is obvious now that a company that obtains a secure monopoly will use it to screw over their customers and everyone else. The big orgy of telecom mergers of the 90's should have never been allowed. But now that it has been allowed, the government or the courts should step in or bar monopolistic behaviour.

PS I hope Verizon do not succeed in making internet access more expensive (either in temrs of fees or adds) because then I will have to stop using their cell phone and they do have a pretty decent network.

Google sure is lucky! (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14665004)

If Google is having no bandwidth fees to use their network and just need "to ride on with nothing but cheap servers", Google sure is a lucky bunch.

I'd really like Verizon to explain to me how this abuse with not paying to the network providers can go on?
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