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Google and Verizon In Talks To Prioritize Traffic (Updated) 410

Posted by samzenpus
from the preferred-traffic dept.
Nrbelex writes "Google and Verizon are nearing an agreement that could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content's creators are willing to pay for the privilege. Any agreement between Verizon and Google could also upend the efforts of the Federal Communications Commission to assert its authority over broadband service, which was severely restricted by a federal appeals court decision in April. People close to the negotiations who were not authorized to speak publicly about them said an agreement could be reached as soon as next week. If completed, Google, whose Android operating system powers many Verizon wireless phones, would agree not to challenge Verizon's ability to manage its broadband Internet network as it pleased." Update: 08/05 20:03 GMT by T : nr3a1 writes with this informative update excerpted from Engadget: "Google's Public Policy Twitter account just belted out a denial of these claims, straight-up saying that the New York Times 'is wrong.' Here's the full tweet, which certainly makes us feel a bit more at ease. For now. '@NYTimes is wrong. We've not had any convos with VZN about paying for carriage of our traffic. We remain committed to an open internet.' Verizon's now also issued a statement and, like Google, it's denying the claims in the original New York Times report."
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Google and Verizon In Talks To Prioritize Traffic (Updated)

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  • by The_PHP_Jedi (1320371) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @05:34AM (#33147936) Homepage
    Their motto has been thrown down the drain with the recent press releases, media coverage, and acquisitions. It's almost as if they're no longer the original company with their great philosophies.

    1. Investment in Zynga, a company who's CEO admitted to using forms of fraud to ensure the success of his company.
    2. Acquisition of Slide, another company whose success is mostly based upon their acknowledged violation of MySpace's Terms of Service.
    3. Discontinuation of Google Wave, a product which despite relatively low adoption levels, is very powerful and useful for many users. It's basically as awesome as GMail, but for a more niche market.
    4. Now, (even though talks began 10 months ago) an agreement which undermines Net Neutrality... not by lobbying against it, not by crossing their arms regarding the issue, but by planning to make an agreement between another private company, as if the Internet were owned by them (Google)?

    I'm dumbfounded. Simply dumbfounded.

    I've sincerely been a Google supporter since a little kid, and loved their products, services, and philosophies... and for most of this time, I ignored most critics, since Google actually kept doing good for the most part. Now, all of that has changed. I'm very disappointed in Google. :/
  • Re:And so it begins (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lengau (817416) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @05:34AM (#33147938)
    The part of me that really just wants Google to be doing the right thing after all really wants me to believe that they're doing this to spark outrage to make net neutrality a law. The rest of me is disappointed until that suspicion gets confirmed.
  • by Kifoth (980005) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @05:41AM (#33147960)
    The tone of the article suggests that the FCC's ability to maintain Net Neutrality is on life support. It appears as though Google have seen the writing on the wall and are trying to "stake ground" under what they probably see as a new business landscape.
  • by miffo.swe (547642) <daniel,hedblom&gmail,com> on Thursday August 05, 2010 @05:47AM (#33147984) Homepage Journal

    Google do not make all the worlds rules. One thing they are good at is adapting to them and trying to make the best out of bad situations. Google had hoped for legislation forbidding deals like these but when the politicians dont dare, google adapts.

  • by asaz989 (901134) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @05:47AM (#33147986)

    According to this [bloomberg.com] Bloomberg story, the New York Times is only accurate in that Google and Verizon negotiated net neutrality on everything but mobile networks, and hence Verizon will be allowed to do traffic discrimination on those lines.

    But I find it a little odd to write up that story as "Google and Verizon negotiating an end to net neutrality" rather than as "Google and Verizon negotiating to preserve net neutrality on most internet connections."

  • by TheThiefMaster (992038) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @05:49AM (#33147996)

    Maybe google's just setting up a dedicated link between themselves and Verizon? The article basically just says "google will be paying verizon to speed up youtube".

    That would be entirely benign, and the article is so vague that it could include this.

  • Re:Oh dear. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @06:05AM (#33148052)

    Looks like all us 'little' sites are getting booted off the internet soon.
    Oh well. It was a good run, right guys?

    Disruptive technology. Doesn't preserve the existing power structure. The only marvel is that it has lasted this long.

  • already paying twice (Score:4, Interesting)

    by StripedCow (776465) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @06:06AM (#33148058)

    The internet-subscriber is already paying for his/her content delivery. And web-site owners are paying as well for the upload of data. We are already paying twice. And now this...

  • by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @06:26AM (#33148132)

    That fits. The mobile providers are terrified of being seen as mere data carriers, because it would disassociate their one real asset - phone numbers - from their network. Currently you can only reach a phone number on their network, via their network (or via a roaming agreement). Switching your phone number to another network is a pain in the ass.

    Remove that anchor, and customers will be free to migrate from one network service to another. Which means they would have to operate on their merits, which they really don't want to have to do.

  • It's like this... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 05, 2010 @06:40AM (#33148198)

    Dear Google,

    I am writing to you today with regard to what many people have been referring to by the name of "network neutrality". As a regular user of your web search and video streaming sites, I notice that there is a large amount of bandwidth being consumed delivering content from yourselves. And that, despite the majority of my internet bandwidth being consumend by content delivery from Google services, Google do not contribute to the costs of my internet connection.

    Clearly this financial imbalance, whereby I fund Googles use of my home network, cannot continue. Therefore I think it would be in the best interests of both parties if we could reach a financial arrangement that would enable me to keep streaming Downfall parodies from YouTube.

    I look forward to your response.

    Regards,

    Anonymous Coward

  • by mcvos (645701) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @06:44AM (#33148212)

    Wasn't Google supposed to be the main party in favour of net neutrality? What happened?

  • by brasselv (1471265) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @07:14AM (#33148338)

    Google has enough market power to effectively set the rules.

    Despite its market power, Google does NOT control the food chain.
    If 10 major ISPs decide tomorrow to do a "little favor" to Bing (God forbid), this would immediately and effectively hurt Google - massively.

    It is certainly unlikely, but not impossible.

  • by adosch (1397357) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @07:19AM (#33148374)
    IMHO, not only has Verizon become an evil glutton when it's come to data plans in combination with certain (all) phones which are marketed almost as bad as laptops and PCs are now-a-days (e.g. "Multimedia", "Great for checking e-mail and updating your twit-face account"), but THEN want to add tiered broadband access constraints at the user for something they *always* got, and now start referring to some access as *premium*? This shit is out of control.
  • by delinear (991444) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @07:31AM (#33148426)
    That's an interesting point of view, but as a customer, what say do I get in this I wonder. Example, if a bunch of CEOs decide video is more important so they give it priority over everything else, but to me it's not nearly as important as moving around large files or having a snappy web, will I get a choice in the matter - do I get a discount because I'm not enjoying super fast video, or do I have to pay the same as people who are getting much greater benefit than me because they're only using their connection for video.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 05, 2010 @09:45AM (#33149292)

    You would also see a massive surge in the number of "my internet is slow" calls to ISP's. Now, those ISP's could say "don't use Google, they're slow". But that would make the evening news, the truth would come out, and the masses would revolt.

    Not to mention the enormous number of small claims lawsuits they'd lose from people like you and me. "They throttled my internet back because of Google. I'm not paying for a Google connection, I'm paying for an internet connection. They need to refund a portion of my monthly fee." If it's less than $500, it's in small claims, and if it's in small claims, they pretty much lose by default. It would be like a billion mosquitoes sucking a fat cow dry.

    No, they wouldn't dare play that card.

  • by Jonboy X (319895) <jonathan.oexner@ ... u minus language> on Thursday August 05, 2010 @11:28AM (#33150530) Journal

    "People get confused about Net neutrality," Schmidt said. "I want to make sure that everybody understands what we mean about it. What we mean is that if you have one data type, like video, you don't discriminate against one person's video in favor of another. It's OK to discriminate across different types...There is general agreement with Verizon and Google on this issue..."

    And what if Verizon decides to prioritize a particular type of data that Google just so happens to use a lot of, at the expense of slowing down other types of data like P2P traffic?

    Verizon: We'll speed up latency-sensitive data streams, like online video.
    Google: What a coincidence! YouTube uses that kind of data.
    Hulu: Hey, our users use video too.
    Verizon: Ah, but that's not the kind of video we're prioritizing.
    PirateBay: Torrent traffic seem to be almost completely blocked.
    Verizon: Quiet, you.

  • by Maarx (1794262) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @11:39AM (#33150684)
    At one point, there was an article, titled "Facebook Wants To Be Your One True Login". It, at one point, became the top Google search result for: "facebook login", thus changing the behavior of Firefox's Awesomebar for the command: "facebook login". The article is here [readwriteweb.com]. Skip directly to the comments.
  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @12:41PM (#33151492)

    Verizon is crippling Youtube bandwidth on FIOS.

    Verizon is guilty of extortion. They are holding the user hostage, and forcing google to pay up to protect their brand.

    Meanwhile, the FIOS subscriber, such as myself, finally have an answer as to why Youtube hasnt fucking worked for a year now.

    Verizon FIOS... has just lost its sainthood.

    If you value youtube, and use it... Do not subscribe to Verizon FIOS.

  • by RabbitWho (1805112) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @01:18PM (#33151850) Homepage Journal
    Absolutely! It's so upsetting how ready everyone is to believe a lie and argue so feverishly that people are "evil" for doing something they've no actual intention of doing. http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=45&aid=188249 [poynter.org] [poynter.org]
  • leave (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tom (822) on Thursday August 05, 2010 @04:52PM (#33154654) Homepage Journal

    Quite frankly, I would leave any carrier that "speeds up" some special content. Why? Because do the math, how can they make it go faster? By raising the speed of light? Maybe they will bury a few thousand miles of fibre, just for Google? Come on! The only way they can make people who paid for the priviledge faster is by slowing everything else down.

    They can do that directly (e.g. slow it down unless it is paid for) or indirectly (e.g. by using QOS and other routing tricks), but what happens is that they don't provide the best possible service anymore, unless someone pays extra for it.

    Thank you, but no. I'd change to a carrier that provides the best possible service because as a subscriber I am already paying for that. So, Verizon and to all you other marketing monkeys at other carriers thinking about a stunt like that: How about I don't pay you my subscription fee as quickly as I used to, unless of course you book the special "speedy delivery" service? I'm sure my bank would love a piece of the action as well.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 05, 2010 @05:09PM (#33154824)

    I have a 15 meg Time Warner RR cable connection and I have the same problem. I doubt it is my ISP, or yours.

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James

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