Entries in The Google Net (11)

Wednesday
Aug182010

Has Google Sold Out the Open Internet?

Over the past few weeks, and even years, there has been a great deal of chatter about net neutrality. The term is generally used to define the act of being neutral towards the type of traffic being sent over an Internet Service Providers (ISPs) wired or wireless networks to the Internet as a whole. In the past couple of weeks Google, Verizon, and AT&T have taken it upon themselves to draft a non binding and non regularity set of guidelines that define how Internet traffic can be shaped or quality of serviced by the ISPs. This may sound like the industry is taking an active roll in defining its own "best practices", in fact the industry is attempting to help steer government regulations to meet its own needs and not the needs of the public at large. This should be very disturbing to all users of the Internet, because in the past this style of self regulation has lead to higher prices and less competition in the market place. One might even think of this practice as boarding on collusion or anticompetitive. What's even more disturbing is Google, the company that has been known for its "do no evil" lip service is now working to secure what's in its best interest. Which in this case may not be in the best interest of the rest of of us.

The Terms of the Agreement

The ever changing the landscape of the Internet makes it hard anyone organization or government to regulate or control. Take China for instance they spend a great deal of effort to control the flow of information into and out of their Country and still fall short. So far the full terms of the discussion are not fully known, but it seems to boiled down to Google agreeing that the ISPs should be able to dictate what type of Internet traffic will be allowed over their portions of the Internet. While I'm not against allowing the ISPs to manage their networks, I am against them limiting the capabilities of the Internet in order to milk even more profit out the average consumer.

The Future Internet

In the future the Internet may look more and more like the walled garden's of the past. More akin to AOL, Prodigy, or CompuServe then the Internet which now know. This may be in the best interest of the ISPs, or country's who would love more censorship control over the information that can be viewed or exchanged by it citizens or users. But in the long run this would damage the world's ability to share information, grow stronger national relationships, freely communicate information, and will most likely stifle innovation. This new Internet would not longer allow for the start-up companies who have brought us so much of the existing ecosystem.

The End Game

In the end it will boil down to how loud the citizens of the Internet are, and how they voice their choices about the future of the Internet. I for one must say shame on Google for selling out for long term greed.

Links:

  • http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/ybenjamin/detail?entry_id=70305ppp
  • http://www.pcworld.com/article/202741/net_neutrality_are_google_and_verizon_waffling.html
  • http://www.scribd.com/doc/35599242/Verizon-Google-Legislative-Framework-Proposal
  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/josh-silver/google-verizon-deal-the-e_b_671617.html
Thursday
Feb112010

Google Announces Fiber Testbed Network

If you thought that the sparring over Internet Neutrality was dying down then you'd be wrong.  Google has announced that will be rolling out fiber to home networking in select area's of the United States.  I would guess that these rollouts will occur mainly in cities where Google has Data Center presence.  I would also guess that this is another attempt by Google to force the existing telecom's and cable providers to speed by their own rollouts across the nation.  Early reports are saying that Google will not be asking for any of the $7.2 billion in funding for broadband that was included in last year's economic stimulus bill.  They are also guest-a-mating that speeds on this Google-net will be 50 to 300 times faster than the DSL, cable and fiber-optic networks.  And the cost will be roughly that of cable or DSL.  On Google's on web page (see link below) for the announcement they are asking for "Requests For Information". These requests can come from local governments or residents and community groups.

Links: