Posted by: Spacehamster74 | 12/05/2008

On the subject of neutrality

And I thought Telstra were the only Telecommunications company in the news. Here’s an article on AT&T – the rhetoric sounds very familiar –

If you recall, the network neutrality debate truly took off in the States back in 2005, when former SBC (now AT&T) CEO Ed Whitacre told Business Week
in an article that Google wanted to use Ed’s "pipes", for free. "I
ain’t going to let them do that because we have spent this capital and
we have to have a return on it," insisted Ed at the time. The comment
confused a hell of a lot of people, given that both Google and Google’s
users already pay for bandwidth. To many, Ed’s logic seemed to share a
resemblance to the South Park underpants gnomes.

Google doesn’t report how much they pay for bandwidth, so Cleland
guesses by examining Google’s 10-Q and 10-K filings with the SEC for
2007 and 2008. Google doesn’t specify anywhere how much bandwidth is
consumed by Google’s webcrawling activities, so Cleland guesses there
as well. The report then forgets that Google owns much of their own
fiber, data centers and undersea routes while direct peering with many
carriers, which oh — kind of undermines Cleland’s central thesis that
Google doesn’t contribute to the infrastructure of the Internet.

Most
importantly the report ignores that consumers are paying for much of
this bandwidth on their end too, which brings us back full circle to
Ed’s argument being dumb in the first place.

I thought Australia was the only country with monthly usage limits. If the US Telcos have their way, looks like US users will be following suit very soon. And no, I don’t have any faith that Congress can see throught the arguments.

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