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Google Networking Businesses Communications The Internet Technology

What Are Google and Verizon Up To? 120

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-aren't-they-up-to dept.
pickens writes "Robert X. Cringley has an op-ed in the NY Times in which he contends that Google has found a way to get special treatment from Verizon without actually compromising net neutrality, by beginning to co-locate some of their portable data centers with Verizon network hubs. 'With servers so close to users, Google could not only send its data faster but also avoid sending it over the Internet backbone that connects service providers and for which they all pay,' writes Cringley. 'This would save space for other traffic — and money for both Verizon and Google, as their backbone bills decline (wishful thinking, but theoretically possible). Net neutrality would be not only intact, but enhanced.' So why won't Google and Verizon admit what they're up to? 'If my guess is right, then I would think they're silent because it's a secret. They'd rather their competitors not know until a few hundred shipping containers are in place — and suddenly YouTube looks more like HBO.'"
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What Are Google and Verizon Up To?

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  • Google TV (Score:5, Funny)

    by dsginter (104154) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @10:04AM (#33180280)

    We can ditch the cableco and finally get ala carte programming.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by thebagel (650109)
      Wishful thinking, but probably not the case as Verizon also supplies television service. It appears they also have a partnership of some sort with DirecTV.
    • Re:Google TV (Score:5, Informative)

      by odies (1869886) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @10:08AM (#33180316)

      Well, I don't really understand what is so interesting about this. Akamai and other CDN providers have been doing this for 15+ years already. It's nothing new.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Linegod (9952)

        And Google as well. At least up here in Canada. Google is leaps and bounds ahead of Akamai when it comes to setting things up though.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Antidamage (1506489)

          [Citation for your stupid opinion regarding Akamai being "leaps and bounds" behind needed]

      • Mod Parent Up (Score:3, Interesting)

        by xmas2003 (739875) *
        Odies pretty much nails it ... although one subtle difference is that presumably Akamai and the other CDN providers are available for all to use ... whereas Google's co-located servers may be primarily for its data/apps.
        • Re:Mod Parent Up (Score:4, Interesting)

          by duffbeer703 (177751) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @11:02AM (#33180654)

          Google is probably looking at partnering much more closely with Verizon than you realize. VZ has thousands of CO facilities all over the country that are essentially empty -- the footprint of equipment needed to provide landline services is shrinking dramatically. Plus the wireless side has the best site placement of any of the carriers, and the backhaul internet connectivity for many of the cell towers runs through these COs.

          Throw some Google clusters in these facilities... and you have an ability to deliver extremely fast application access without traversing the internet or having to increase bandwidth to the thousands of wireless sites.

          • You nailed it (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 08, 2010 @11:16AM (#33180716)

            This has nothing to do with being anothe akamai. This has everything to do with Google getting more detailed information on exactly who you are. I'm not a Google hater, but when Google and Verizon partner, they will know almost everything that was in your credit report, where you are right now, where you've been walking with your cell phone, which computer at home you're using (assuming you use their router), what you're watching on TV right now, and what type of porn you like on PPV.

            Net neutrality remains, but your privacy most certainly does not.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by AHuxley (892839)
            "without traversing the internet" is the key, all on private networks or near too it, the "exchange" to the user.
            So google wants to test the water on a lock in deal. Super fast, instant on data, telco gets boasting rights to 'best ever' experience as the resolution and quality goes up.
            Value add the same content and they both hope to lock in and win.
            Think of the tracking too if google becomes the isp, your ip and real life stats could mix. Offering as a very nice non "individually identifiable" wink wink
          • by Compaqt (1758360)

            What I don't get is how it could possibly not "traverse the Internet". For example, take gmail.

            Your gmail is located somewhere in some central Google server, not in a VZ CO near you, so you'll still have to traverse the Internet.

            I could imagine caching the top 1000 YouTubes, though.

            • Your gmail is located somewhere in some central Google server

              Nope... your gmail is located on a Google Filesystem (http://labs.google.com/papers/gfs.html), which could be located just about anywhere.

              Google knows that I use Road Runner, that my iPhone is on AT&T, and that my employer uses AT&T. It's pretty trivial to replicate my data to cluster inside of a shipping container inside of a network that I frequently use. It also makes for a compelling reason to dump Road Runner for FIOS and AT&T for

              • by Compaqt (1758360)

                Thanks for the information, and the link. I didn't know.

                But what about security? Case 1 is your gmail is in a secure Google facility.

                Case 2 is it's in some unmanned central office somewhere where the janitor (actually a social engineer) has physical access.

                • That's an issue with all cloud providers. Even the secure Google facilities are probably unmanned. Intel has some videos up about one of their new datacenters, and I think they say there are 4-5 night watchman type staff assigned to each facility. No IT, no offices.

                  • by Compaqt (1758360)

                    Well, that gives pause to the way some corps are putting their entire IT infrastructure on Google.

                    I'd guess that Google Apps for Government is in a different category. (Does FIPS cover that, or is that something else?)

      • Re:Google TV (Score:5, Informative)

        by AnEducatedNegro (1372687) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @10:15AM (#33180376)
        Yes. In fact, if you watched the worldcup on ESPN online you were watching the stream coming from a local server hosted by your ISP.

        Although, to be pedantic, not all CDNs host in every ISP's datacenter... only the really rich ones do. Everyone else just uses anycast to reduce latency. A good write up about anycast is here [kuro5hin.org]
      • by Idbar (1034346)
        Yes, here I was thinking that google had been doing this for a long time too. No matter where I am, the latency of the pings changes as well as the ip address. Did this guy check before coming out with this article?
        if you have enough money to house equipment on ISPs why would you do it?
      • by icebike (68054)

        Google has a lot more stuff than either of those guys.

        Those companies typically contract to host high demand stuff for short periods of time, such as new software roleouts or special feeds of major events.

        Google on the other hand has far more stuff than will fit in any number of containers vans. Even hosting a single Gmail hub for that Verizon's local customers would exceed what you could fit in dozens of these portable data centers, and that wouldn't even address other google services such as search, ad s

      • by bonch (38532)

        It's interesting because Google has been such a proponent of "net neutrality."

  • by mbone (558574) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @10:07AM (#33180314)

    None of this would surprise me. Akamai has been placing gear in ISP's premises (for free!) for over a decade now.

    Here is a 2.4 Mbyte pdf on Google's approach to data centers [iepg.org], and a video tour [youtube.com].

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This.

      What Google are doing is nothing new in the slightest.
      It is a good thing they are doing this because (some of) their services are one of the most popular uses of the internet next to P2P.
      Whether it is Edge Server, or the more correct term, Content Delivery Networks. (CDNs)
      CDNs [wikipedia.org] for all those who want to read up on it.

      On a slightly related note, this would probably be the only realistic way that a company could create a digital distribution based console, with hubs at the nearest stores that allow you

      • I guess we need the phrase "Application Delivery Network" now.

      • by afidel (530433)
        The explanation of saving costs is also bunk, Verizon is a Tier 1 ISP and hence does not pay for transit. Since they still have to carry the same amount of data through their internal network this isn't saving them anything unless Google is actually net bringing the data closer to the user and hence causing fewer gigabit-miles of fiber to be needed.
  • What a question! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bogaboga (793279) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @10:08AM (#33180318)

    So why won't Google and Verizon admit what they're up to?

    Question is: Do they have to? I doubt they do.

    • by nschubach (922175)

      Everyone keeps thinking it's some devious... but nothing I've seen has anything to do with the apparent tight relationship Google has with Verizon for the Droid...

  • i don't think so (Score:4, Informative)

    by StripedCow (776465) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @10:09AM (#33180328)

    The largest bottleneck is from Verizon to the customer. This means that putting google's servers at Verizon will not increase speed so much. It may reduce latency a little, but that is not so important.

    Without affecting net-neutrality, Google could easily put bigger cables towards Verizon centers and accomplish exactly the same thing, namely, not so much.

    • True for PCs, but not for phones. One of the big complaints about AT&T regarding the iPhone is that while AT&T has the "fastest 3G network" many of their remote towers are connected to the internet with a couple of T1's, and don't have enough bandwidth to provide a satisfactory browsing experience to a few hundred iPhone users.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TooMuchToDo (882796)

        And putting Google "pods" (i.e. glorified cargo containers) at these sites with limited bandwidth (T1s or microwave backhauls to better connected towers) is going to be useless. You can't cache everyone's Gmail data at each pod (although you could make a fair attempt at doing so, across thousands of cell sites), and you can't cache all of Youtube at each pod. It'd be cheaper to drag fiber to the towers like AT&T is doing.

        • by debile (812761)

          Users tend to stay in the same area most of the time so they could cache the user's gmail account that is seen into the specific region. No need to cache foreign accounts locally. No need to cache the entire account, just the last 2-3 days of email... I rarely read my old stuff

          You could also cache the most popular youtube videos at the resolution that is used on cell phones (that would save LOTS of bandwidth) thus freeing the available bandwidth for other needs. Don't need to cache everything.

          There is a LOT

    • Ok, there is a flaw here, which is that Verizon is serving thousands of customers, while there is potentially only one connection between Google and Verizon. Hence, it might help to put servers at Verizon, akin to what content distribution networks do, as posted elsewhere.

      So this does not affect net-neutrality. But it does put the smaller website owner at a disadvantage.

      • While a google co-location may put a "smaller website owner" at some sort of absolute disadvantage, it also could make the smaller website load faster, simply because not as many google requests need to go over the link...
    • Re:i don't think so (Score:4, Informative)

      by butlerm (3112) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @04:22PM (#33183184)

      This means that putting google's servers at Verizon will not increase speed so much. It may reduce latency a little, but that is not so important.

      Low latency is under-appreciated. Due to the way Internet congestion control and other connection establishment algorithms work, latency makes a big difference in how fast a connection starts up and how fast it recovers from any packet loss. Many web pages cause a half dozen connections to different sites to be established, and they don't all run in parallel, notably not the one that establishes the connection in the first place. DNS lookups and HTTPS make this all worse, as well, because both require additional network round trips.

      I have a 7 mbps connection now with ~100 ms typical latency to most sites in the United States. If I had a choice between twice the bandwidth with the same latency or half the latency with the same bandwidth, I would choose the latter in a heartbeat. It would make a much more perceptible difference. ISPs just need to learn how to market the increased real world speed that comes with lower latency.

      • Mod parent up!

        As a web site developer, I largely lost interest in bandwidth once we hit 1Mbps for most broadband users. Apart from video almost nothing in a web site makes much use of that bandwidth - and yet, even the best web applications can still feel "laggy" and experience slow load times because of network latency. Half the job of optimising a web site these days is figuring out all the points where latency occurs and either eliminating them or parallelizing them so they don't hold other things u

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        Lower latency from an ISP perspective pretty much always translates to overselling less.

        Thats not going to happen as the return on investment isn't there.

        • by butlerm (3112)

          Thats not going to happen as the return on investment isn't there.

          The only reason why the return on investment isn't there is because customers don't know enough to care. That and the fact that the big Internet access providers are predatory government supported monopolies of course.

    • by butlerm (3112)

      Without affecting net-neutrality, Google could easily put bigger cables towards Verizon centers and accomplish exactly the same thing, namely, not so much

      Assuming Verizon is willing to interconnect with them at those points, yes. This is probably more economical, however.

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @10:10AM (#33180336) Homepage

    Verizon would have been better served all along by approaching this from a positive angle along the lines of "how we can get your content to our users, faster" than "you are screwing us by not paying us." Everyone likes a company that says "what can we do for you" a lot better than one that stamps its feet like a brat.

    • Verizon would have been better served all along by approaching this from a positive angle along the lines of "how we can get your content to our users, faster" than "you are screwing us by not paying us." Everyone likes a company that says "what can we do for you" a lot better than one that stamps its feet like a brat.

      They called them "baby" Bells for a reason.

      None of them proved to be any more capable of investing in the future than big media has ever been.

  • Really? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Alcoholic Dali (1024937) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @10:11AM (#33180344)
    Has Cringely ever been right with one of his predictions/theories? I like the guy a lot, and his ideas are always pretty interesting, but somehow I never hear a follow up where someone says "Yep, he was right!"
    • by Mabbo (1337229)
      He never even says he knows anything, he just purely speculates. For all he knows, the Google-Verizon deal could be that they share catering for Friday lunch.
    • Cringley is a columnist, like many others, and he makes predictions based on the facts he has and his extensive experience in IT. He also makes annual predictions for the coming year in technology and then follows them up the following year with an article about how many he got right and how many he got wrong. So the first person to say he's wrong is himself and he is humble about it. He even has rough statistics on his percentage year to year. Someone who's willing to dissect his own hits a misses dese

    • Re:Really? (Score:4, Informative)

      by AHuxley (892839) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @11:38AM (#33180872) Homepage Journal
      He did talk about his work over the years eg
      "As longtime readers know, the routine here is that I first review my predictions from a year ago and either revel in my brilliance (good luck, actually) or admit my failure (all failures are real, nothing is simulated and no special or computer effects are used)."
      http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2008/pulpit_20080104_003787.html [pbs.org]
      • by baegucb (18706)

        I'm not sure if he's still at PBS. Thought he (the current user of the name) moved to http://www.cringely.com/ [cringely.com] a few months ago.

        • by PCM2 (4486)

          It's a little confusing, but "the current user of the name" isn't quite right. There is this guy about whom we're talking here, who goes by the name Cringely, and even though that's not his real name you know who he is and recognize him as Cringely, so that might as well be his real name for most intents and purposes. And then there is "the current user of the name," who writes an insider gossip column for InfoWorld [infoworld.com] under an assumed name, just as the other Cringely used to do. These two Cringelys are not t

    • by kuzb (724081)

      The best part about being a futurist is that you can throw any kind of snake oil out there, and you never have to have a shred of evidence that it could be true. When it doesn't come to pass, everyone has either died, or forgotten about it.

      I wish Slashdot would stop putting up articles about this guy. He's about as useful as tits on a bull.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Seems to me that Google isn't "avoiding sending its data over the backbone", but is only doing it once per colocated datacenter instead of many times. Still a big win, but the article is a bit misleading on that score.
    • A changeset dump on a schedule is a lot better resource usage wise than general requests by end users - for one you can schedule the changesets for lull periods in backbone usages, and the same data doesn't need to be transmitted multiple times (while multiple requests by end users may not be cachable), plus you can always pause the changeset transfer if backbone usage picks up.

      Also, Google has a lot of fibre available to it, so theres a good chance that it puts in a direct line to its servers when it c
  • So? (Score:5, Informative)

    by nweaver (113078) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @10:12AM (#33180354) Homepage

    This is the entire Akamai business model: It saves money for BOTH google AND Verizon, and improves latency for Google.

    And unless the user is actually transferring data at full line rate (saturating buffers), does not penalize anyone else. (During full rate transfers, TCP dynamics cause short RTT flows to be favored).

  • Google has found a way to get special treatment from Verizon without actually compromising net neutrality

    Why does the opening sentence imply that this compromises net neutrality in spirit? It has nothing to do with net neutrality, which is about ARTIFICIALLY restricting speeds based merely on who the data is coming from. In this case, putting your equipment closer to the end-user is less costly, due to physics.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      less costly, due to physics but it may become a 'its our network, our packets get a bump "welcome to our walled garden of speed and content"
      Want in, ask google for local space and a deal.
      Will the rest of the internet feel like a p2p app on a cost cutting isp?
      The second you host on "their" servers, its all fine again.
      Cringley had some thoughts on this from 2007
      http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2007/pulpit_20070412_001931.html [pbs.org]
      • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        Classic slippery-slope logical fallacy.

        That they are doing something that decreases costs for both companies while increasing performance for their customers, while still being fair to their competitors, in no way suggests that they will next decide to be unfair to their competitors and decrease performance for their competitor's customers (who are also their customers as well).

        Making that leap is stupid, because there are a number of significant disincentives for doing so. The most significant is the fact

    • by Decessus (835669)
      He wasn't implying that this deal would compromise net neutrality in spirit. Towards the end of the article he even states that the deal would not only keep net neutrality in tact, but it would enhance it.

      "With servers so close to users, Google could not only send its data faster but also avoid sending it over the Internet backbone that connects service providers and for which they all pay. This would save space for other traffic — and money for both Verizon and Google, as their backbone bills dec
      • I saw that part, but the opening line "get special treatment without actually violating network neutrality" still implies violation in spirit. The fact is they aren't getting special treatment, unless you consider me to be getting special treatment from my landlord becuase I pay the rent on the place I stay.
  • Discussions and business relationships with regard to peering arrangements are nearly always "NDA" material. All networks engage in such arrangements, and it both lowers costs and delivers stuff that consumers use (peering & engineering of such connections are always done in conjunction with "bulk" usage data/transit amounts between any two networks). I'd say this is much ado about nothing, but a normal activity that goes on all the time between networks (content, eyeballs, mixed networks) and isn't som

  • by dachshund (300733) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @10:28AM (#33180464)

    I'm sorry, but how is this fundamentally different from the sort of tiered service that net-neutrality advocates worry about? Google pays Verizon a substantial sum of money, and in return Google gets preferential access to the network in the form of local datacenters. This gives Google an advantage over competing providers /provided that the bottleneck is in the peering or backbone connections/. Given that Verizon FIOS seems to have substantial excess fiber capacity within its network, that seems like a likely scenario. (Wireless less so.)

    There's a finite amount of room at Verizon's data centers, so I imagine they'll be able to charge plenty of money for this, and that smaller providers will be locked out (or will have to pay fractionally, e.g., through an already-colocated service like Akamai). Verizon gets a new profit center and Verizon users pay for it invisibly through advertising and the cost of any services that Google eventually offers for pay. Which is the truly worrisome aspect of net non-neutrality.

    Obviously this is only one step on the road to ISP-controlled, for-profit, tiered service. But it's in the same spirit, and it may be that Google has made it clear they're willing to pay for access to those networks.

    • by DwySteve (521303) <sfriederichs AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday August 08, 2010 @10:49AM (#33180566) Homepage

      I'm sorry, but how is this fundamentally different from the sort of tiered service that net-neutrality advocates worry about? Google pays Verizon a substantial sum of money, and in return Google gets preferential access to the network in the form of local datacenters.

      This is different in that Google actually paid for something physical and not just a 'It'd be a shame if your nice internet caught on fire' protection scheme. What *I* feared about a lack of net neutrality wasn't Google getting faster because they paid, but everyone else getting slower. These large communication companies have a history of trying to sell the same infrastructure as many times as they can. This is different in that new infrastructure was created instead of old infrastructure unfairly and arbitrarily reapportioned.

      • A more competitive isp market would solve the net neutrality problem. then if any isp did do some kind of 'protection scheme' that slowed or blocked a service that you use, you'd be free to switch to another isp that doesn't.

        Network neutrality regulations can only cause problems. Sometimes isps need to throttle or block certain types of traffic, to ensure that more important traffic is faster. they need to be free to block ddos attacks, they often need to throttle bittorrent, to ensure that latency sensitiv

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The difference is that the favouring of Google's traffic isn't artificial. In the classical net neutrality scenario, speeding up one company's traffic requires little or no effort on the part of the ISP--the pipes must already exist that can handle such faster traffic, so in reality they're slowing down their competitors by denying access to these pipes. When you colocate a server, though, that actually *does* cost power, physical space, server insurance, et cetera, and the benefits aren't gained by prefere

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dachshund (300733)

        The difference is that the favouring of Google's traffic isn't artificial. In the classical net neutrality scenario, speeding up one company's traffic requires little or no effort on the part of the ISP--the pipes must already exist that can handle such faster traffic, so in reality they're slowing down their competitors by denying access to these pipes. When you colocate a server, though, that actually *does* cost power, physical space, server insurance, et cetera, and the benefits aren't gained by prefere

    • Well, Akami has been doing the exactly the same thing for a long time. Steam had been doing something very similar for a long time. In essence, any time you pick a nearby mirror for your Linux distro you're doing basically the same thing.

      The key difference between this and net neutrality is that Google's service wouldn't degrade if they didn't stick a datacenter in. It stays as it was. But by cutting out 3-4 hops, Google's customers on Verizon get better latency and (perhaps) bandwidth, and Verizon pays les

    • by cacba (1831766)

      There's a finite amount of room at Verizon's data centers, so I imagine they'll be able to charge plenty of money for this, and that smaller providers will be locked out (or will have to pay fractionally, e.g., through an already-colocated service like Akamai). Verizon gets a new profit center and Verizon users pay for it invisibly through advertising and the cost of any services that Google eventually offers for pay. Which is the truly worrisome aspect of net non-neutrality.

      This argument is essentially

      We should be equal, but you have something shiny. Destroy it, destroy it now!

    • I would ask what is wrong with tiered servicing?
      Consumers can and should pay for different level of servicing.

      What's wrong with the other end doing the same.
      As long as all parties are treated/charged the same for their use, I see nothing wrong with it.

      For net-neutrality supporters that oppose a move like this, they're basically wanting society to be worse off just for an idea.
      Google putting servers inside Verizon only speeds things up. It doesn't deprive anyone else of anything.

      As long as verizon gives all

  • Why the heck is the backbone even an issue? I used to work for a (now-defunct) company that made fiber optic equipment and I know first hand how much dark fiber is out there and how much optic equipment going for pennies on the dollar. This is just the owners of the buried fiber trying to work up the case against net-neutrality and squeeze as much mon.....987(^&^ [connection lost]
    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Why link up a network for millions of $ and then offer it to any telco or isp for millions of $. You could spend millions with 1 national telco and lock down the network for billions of $.
      • by butlerm (3112)

        (1) Because it is illegal
        (2) Because the Internet has always operated on the end points pay their provider, providers use part of that revenue to pay interconnection costs principle, just like (wait for it) every telephone network in the country. The word is "common carrier".

  • 'With servers so close to users, Google could not only send its data faster but also avoid sending it over the Internet backbone that connects service providers and for which they all pay,'

    I think that seems like a great idea. It at least pays token respect to net neutrality and is a win for both companies.

    It's also not a stretch they'd want to keep this quiet. The move would vault Google/Verizon out ahead of the competition and put Google at an advantage for content delivery. You could almost hear th

    • by ldconfig (1339877)
      How close a server is don't mean diddly. Fine let google put intel atom servers next door to special customers. While they feel good about it the rest of us will just giggle at them :)
    • by butlerm (3112)

      Or acceptance that, sooner or later, the FCC will be in a position to enforce net neutrality

      The FCC already is in a position to enforce network neutrality. The question at this point is whether Congress is going to take that right away, by exempting Internet access providers from existing laws.

  • Google buys Verizon, spins off what they don't want.
  • Am I the only one who doesn't know what HBO and shipping containers have to do with anything?

  • by Culture20 (968837) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @11:30AM (#33180816)
    And just last night I saw a Verizon commercial that insisted "Air doesn't discriminate, it carries my words, my ideas the same as anyone else's." &$@!ing liars.
    • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

      How are they liars?

      I'm sure they'd be perfectly fine with Microsoft installing a pod at each of their ISPs to reduce traffic and increase customer's performance.

      They'd be cool if AOL did it too, or the NY Times, or whoever the hell else wanted to.

      Where's the discrimination? I see none.

  • Net neutrality would be not only intact, but enhanced.

    I don't think you understand the concept of neutrality. Either you're neutral or you're not, there is no neutral scale, so you cannot "enhance" net neutrality.

    If google is getting premium internet service because they're paying more money, that's not neutral, period.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It is different because they are paying for something physical, which is co-location on Verizons network. BTW this is something that has been in practice by CDNs for years, so it isn't really radical.

      The principle goal of network neutrality is not to allow ISPs to double dip on the bandwidth charge with protection racket scheme veiled by tiered service. Which is to say, Verizion can't make google (or anyone else) pay for bandwidth or be throttled, which is something the requester (i.e. the consumer) has alr

    • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

      If google is getting premium internet service because they're paying more money, that's not neutral, period.

      How is it not neutral for Google to move their equipment closer to the customer, thereby reducing bandwidth costs? Google isn't paying Verizon a dime to do this, they are simply leveraging their size to reduce their overall bandwidth consumption. This helps Verizon and Google both without restricting any of Google or Verizon's competitors in any way.

      Exactly how is this not neutral? It's the very fucking definition of neutral! I know the education system in this country is complete and utter shit, but th

    • by butlerm (3112)

      If google is getting premium internet service because they're paying more money, that's not neutral, period.

      I am afraid you don't understand what network neutrality is all about, namely acting like a common carrier. Tiered or other special services offered at the same rates to all comers is perfectly neutral. Singling out a customer (or even worse a non-customer) and deciding they should pay you more money because they have a successful business model is not.

  • google might just be covering their bases in case the net-neutrality stuff doesn't happen.

  • So, what about all the users on systems other than Verizon? Is their throughput going to suffer?

    In related news, Verizon is dumping quite a bit of their infrastructure (they pulled out of my neighborhood, selling their POTS and FiOS to Frontier). What happens to their mobile network customers when they become 'orphans' in a region?

    • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

      It won't be any different than before, and in fact if you are close to a Verizon network you will almost certainly see a speed bump. All Google is doing is putting their equipment closer to the customer, which eases the stress on the network. This good for Google, because their service becomes faster, and good for Verizon, because they have to send less data over the backbone. The closer you are physically to a Google pod, the faster your Google experience will be.

      It's smart infrastructure and physics vo

      • by PPH (736903)

        It won't be any different than before, and in fact if you are close to a Verizon network you will almost certainly see a speed bump. All Google is doing is putting their equipment closer to the customer, which eases the stress on the network.

        But "close" isn't defined only by geographic distance. Its a factor of network topology and corporate ownership as well. I have wireless broadband from my power company. My next door neighbor has DSL from Frontier (it was Verizon last month). So, depending on the cooperation between these two entities, we (or our ISPs) may not be very close. Network traffic between us must travel over some part of the 'backbone'. If my ISP didn't pay Frontier(Verizon) the preferred provider fee, my web site might look prett

  • by BitZtream (692029) on Sunday August 08, 2010 @12:52PM (#33181556)

    I'm not sure why this is news, this is and has been common practice for at least the last 15 years that I've been involved with Internet infrastructure and it wasn't really new then either.

    Regardless of 'net neutrality' issues, this is just common sense and good network design. If you're going to need a new datacenter putting it as close to the users as possible has always been 'good design' practices. The traffic not only gets to its destination faster, it also unloads links that previously carried the traffic. Its a win for everyone involved.

    This is no different than mutual peering agreements or the Akamia and iTunes hosting that pretty much every major ISP does already anyway. I haven't ever downloaded a song from iTunes or an app or movie that didn't come from the TWC datacenter a few miles down the road. Surprising this is the first we've heard of Google doing it actually. Its a safe bet this isn't actually new for them either.

    The only downside is that Verizon may not put as much effort into their backbone connections so external sites end up suffering, and thats a problem, but you can only legislate so much, shitty businesses will always figure out a way to rip you off unless they have competition.

    • by kuzb (724081)
      Because they seem to think Robert X. Cringley is somehow newsworthy every time he happens to wipe his ass. I get really tired of this guy popping up in the news when he doesn't actually do anything worth recognizing.
  • No one here has suggested that Google might be thinking of buying Verizon. Would such a buyout make sense?
  • So basically Verizon has decided it's sensible to peer directly with google?
  • ..implementing this. [youtube.com]

  • This is routine (Score:3, Informative)

    by Simetrical (1047518) <Simetrical+sd@gmail.com> on Sunday August 08, 2010 @05:48PM (#33183826) Homepage

    With servers so close to users, Google could not only send its data faster but also avoid sending it over the Internet backbone that connects service providers and for which they all pay

    Does anyone seriously believe Google is sending data to Verizon over the backbones? There's a little thing called peering [wikipedia.org]. ISPs go over their traffic records, find the data centers they're paying the backbones the most to ship traffic to, and run direct lines instead when that would save them money in the long term. IIRC, even Wikipedia only pays for about half of its bandwidth – the rest is peering. Google must use orders of magnitude more bandwidth, so I can't believe it's paying for practically any of it. It wouldn't be worth it for any significant ISP not to peer with Google.

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