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It helps to have a company as big as Google on your side, as we learned in the SOPA/PIPA fight when we beat back the draconian Stop Online Piracy Act. Now Google is teaming up with Netflix against other broadband providers.

Google fired a shot across the bow of big ISPs like Comcast and Verizon yesterday, stating in a blog post from its Fiber division that it would never charge a content company like Netflix fees for a direct interconnection with its network. This positions Google squarely behind Reed Hastings, who has argued that such interconnect fees are an unfair toll being charged by internet gatekeepers and that the FCC should ban them as part of an expanded definition of net neutrality. The public display of allegiance from Google, siding with Netflix against the ISPs, is part of the larger battle heating up as the FCC debates the future of its open internet rules.

In the post, Google focuses on the positive impact this kind of direct interconnection can have on consumers. "So that your video doesn’t get caught up in this possible congestion, we invite content providers to hook up their networks directly to ours. This is called ‘peering,’ and it gives you a more direct connection to the content that you want." Google isn’t alone in offering this kind of peering to Netflix for free. Many ISPs across Europe have joined the Netflix Open Connect program, putting Netflix hardware in their facilities and hooking it up directly with their network. Smaller ISPs in the United States, like Cablevision, have done the same thing.

The big internet service providers in the U.S., however, have steadfastly refused to enter these peering partnerships with Netflix. In fact, there's reason to believe that Comcast actually, deliberately created a bottleneck to slow down delivery of Netflix content to force Netflix into a paid peering agreement. Google isn't being entirely altruistic in this fight, because it has paid interconnect agreements with the big ISPs for its content, and could save some money if these agreements were illegal under net neutrality.

At the same time however, Google is defending the principle that allowed it to become the behemoth it is—a free and open internet where technological innovation is rewarded. The more power a handful of huge ISPs have, the worse it would be for innovation. That's why the FCC needs to keep a tight rein on them, and reclassifying them as communications services would give them the legal authority to do just that.

Please sign our petition to the FCC to keep a free and open internet.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Goodgle? I reserve judgement. (7+ / 0-)

    Good for this moment in exchange 4  Advertising forever.  Ah, I may be able to live with that.

    Do less evil.

    (And presumably, unless you are wearing a hoodie and they think you look suspicious, you probably won’t get shot dead by mistake.) -- Heather Digby Parton, in an aside.

    by Rikon Snow on Thu May 22, 2014 at 05:35:55 PM PDT

  •  Not Altruistic, But Still Right (9+ / 0-)
    Google isn't being entirely altruistic in this fight, because it has paid interconnect agreements with the big ISPs for its content, and could save some money if these agreements were illegal under net neutrality.
    True, just as merchants who lobbied governments to send the navy and suppress piracy on the high seas weren't acting out of altruistic concern for law and order.

    On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

    by stevemb on Thu May 22, 2014 at 05:36:41 PM PDT

    •  Google isn't just search (0+ / 0-)

      Google owns the blogger ( platform, youtube, gmail, google+, and offers a very, very large cloud computing system for businesses of all sizes.

      They know who will get the blame when all their customers and users on all those platforms start getting crappy response times: not the big ISPs lurking in the background, causing the slowdowns, but Google.

      It is by far in their best interest to prevent it from happening.

      Can you help me make Green Planet Heroes happen?

      by radical simplicity on Fri May 23, 2014 at 07:53:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Do No Evil? (7+ / 0-)

    Off topic, but if Google wants to align with the good guys they first need to quite as a member of ALEC.

    That is all.

  •  Big corp versus big corp interests (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rikon Snow, palantir, Jaimas, koNko

    Now here is a battle that both sides will be equally heavily armed with their own politicians and lobbyists!

    Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

    by Mannie on Thu May 22, 2014 at 05:41:33 PM PDT

  •  Thank the gods. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rikon Snow, Mannie, JeffW, palantir, Jaimas

    Google decides to be not as evil as it might be.
    Now we just need a few others among the big guys.

    There is no way for a citizen of a Republic to abdicate his responsibilities. ---Edward R. Murrow

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu May 22, 2014 at 05:44:34 PM PDT

    •  Or protect their interests. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Let's not forget their business model depends on the masses running searches and sending email so they can sell the eyes & data to advertisers.

      Slow the internet too much and that gets hurt.

      In fact, Google had a decline this year with people spending less time online or at least online with Google.

      No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

      by koNko on Fri May 23, 2014 at 04:17:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Meh! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    palantir, Mannie

    As long as they are part of ALEC, it's a load of spacom!

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Thu May 22, 2014 at 05:53:48 PM PDT

  •  Comcast Is Our Provider (5+ / 0-)

    We do have lots of buffering/stuttering/performance issues when streaming from Netflix. However, given that Comcast's "service" is riddled with lots of mysterious performance drops, loss of connections and strange, unexplained outages, it's hard to establish a direct connection there.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Thu May 22, 2014 at 05:55:13 PM PDT

  •  Is Google supporting reclassification as telecom? (5+ / 0-)

    That would surprise me, and would be great.  I want Google and other internet companies to write the FCC in support of reclassification of consumer broadband as "telecommunication" rather than "information service," which as you say is necessary to give the FCC legal authority to regulate in the public interest.  Until they do so, I'm not sure they are on our side.  

  •  IMHO Title of OP is a bit off... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    robcat2075, koNko

    could be read in a way that makes it seem Google is fighting against net neutrality.

    • "But such is the irresistable nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants is the liberty of appearing." Thomas Paine
    • "The trust of the innocent is the liar's most useful tool." Stephen King

    by Tommymac on Thu May 22, 2014 at 06:03:31 PM PDT

  •  to be fair (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rikon Snow

    Google has a much much more vested interest in not charging because it's content delivery dwarfs it's ISP side.

    More over Joan no offense but there's nothing changed legally now from when Google took off. The net has always been free because noone is crazy enough to rock the boat too hard.

    Der Weg ist das Ziel

    by duhban on Thu May 22, 2014 at 06:14:13 PM PDT

  •  I had to read that headline 5x before I saw (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    it said "tolls", not "trolls".

  •  Nationalize the Internet (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jaimas, Liberal Thinking

    It has becomes essential to the commerce and national security of the US. The internet has become, in effect, a public utility and as such should be protected and maintained by the People and for the People, not by corporations.

    "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

    by US Blues on Thu May 22, 2014 at 06:59:57 PM PDT

  •  Google's stance isn't net neutrality (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Thinking

    As it's being defined in arguments here and elsewhere.

    They don't care if Netflix jumps the line with a direct hookup, but unlike Comcast they won't charge Netflix for it.

    The effect is still the same to the consumer and to the startup who can't afford the infrastructure for a direct hookup to every internet provider.

  •  Speaking of ISPs (0+ / 0-)

    I want to mention mine, Sonic, which I've been with about 20 years. The Electronic Frontier Foundation just rated them #1 on privacy in their annual privacy report.

    Ordinarily, I would not plug a company on the blog, but this is well-earned. I have no stake in Sonic, other than that they've done a great job and (as a customer) I want them to keep doing it. I think they deserve recognition for their stand on privacy. So, for that and many other reasons, I want to point them out.

    More than anything, I think maybe we ought to be asking more companies why they aren't getting six stars from EFF. Here's the existence proof that it's possible.

    Sonic is fairly localized. But there may well be a similar company in your area. In this case, small is beautiful.


    There should be no tiers.  No Fast or Slow lanes.  Once, two lanes are established; it is only a matter of time before there are three, four, etc. lanes.  The internet belongs to everyone.  Comcast, Time-Warner, ATT are internet connection providers.  Facebook, Twitter, Google are platform providers.  The rules governing the internet should be simple: open to all interested user without censorship or interference from either corporations or governments.
    Back in the ‘30’s the Roosevelt administration expanded electricity to rural areas.  Today, the government should expand fast-fiber broadband connectivity to both urban and rural America.  The FCC needs to ensure competition in urban areas and cheap open fiber in all areas.  Carriers should not have the power to bundle content with conduit.   The FCC should concentrate its efforts on improvement of the internet infrastructure and competition.  

  •  Google is a mixed bag. (0+ / 0-)

    Like most big corporations, they do the right thing when it serves their interest or at least doesn't cost them.

    But just as the SOPA/PIPA fight proved, they were perfectly capable of picking the cherries they wanted and letting the others rot.

    Don't get me wrong, I never mind high priced corporate lawyers pitching-in and helping out.

    No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

    by koNko on Fri May 23, 2014 at 04:13:29 AM PDT

  •  Has anyone posted on what other countries do? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We know that other countries have faster speed at lower cost than we do in the U.S. but does anyone know if other countries have net neutrality as well?

    •  The EU has passed a law (0+ / 0-)

      The European Union has recently signed on to Net Nuetrality.

      Net neutrality law passed by European Parliament

      On a personal anecdotal level (have not verified yet) our German friends tell me that the internet is seen as a necessity like electricity and phone service - those in Government subsidized housing get internet access included in their benefits.

      • "But such is the irresistable nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants is the liberty of appearing." Thomas Paine
      • "The trust of the innocent is the liar's most useful tool." Stephen King

      by Tommymac on Fri May 23, 2014 at 12:54:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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