Google’s non-neutral traffic carriage deal with BT?

December 9, 2009

In a new development highly pertinent to the FCC’s proposed open Internet regulations, the Guardian reports that: “BT and Google in talks over creating video delivery network for ISPs; BT Wholesale developing Content Connect to deliver online video stored on an ISP’s network rather than the internet.”

  • In a nutshell, this highly illuminating Guardian article explains that Google’s YouTube is in talks to pay BT to store YouTube content inside the ISP (BT’s) network in order to get prioritized delivery.
  • This proposed arrangement drips with irony because it directly contradicts Google’s strong public net neutrality stance in the U.S. and the FCC’s “Google exemption” in the FCC’s NPRM that would ban an ISP from charging Google et al more for additional services, even if both sides agreed on the differential terms.
  • It is also reminiscent of the WSJ front-page story 12-15-08, “Google wants its own fast track on the web,” highlighting Google’s secret attempt to cut non-neutral U.S. carriage deals for only itself.

Let me be clear, it makes perfect sense and it is legitimate for content/application companies and ISPs to innovate to ensure quality of service both for the content/application provider and other users.

  • ISPs, content providers and applications providers should be free to negotiate market arrangements that allow for quality of service, and new products, services and offerings without having to always go to the FCC for “Mother may I” permission, to innovate, grow or protect users.

Let me be equally clear that it is outrageous that Google is manipulating the public policy process to secure unwarranted special treatment and non-neutral favoritism for Google.

  • As the most dominant Internet company by far, the Google monopoly is seeking to turn the private networks of broadband companies into de facto public utilities, while ensuring its own Internet distribution network — that carries the most Internet traffic in the world per Arbor Networks — can run as a private network unaffected by the network neutrality restrictions that they seek to shackle their broadband competitors with.

Lastly, where is FreePress‘ everyday big business outrage about net neutrality “violations” like this?

Or has FreePress become a de facto Google astroturf group?


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