Verizon Exec Whines About Google Spiking The Kool-Aid At Its Free Lunch

from the not-sure-who's-drinking-the-spiked-kool-aid dept

Another week, another bizarre and misleading statement from a telco on network neutrality. It seems that the telcos are really stepping up their efforts to get online offerings to pay extra -- but it's fairly amazing that no one in the press seems to be calling the telcos' bluff on all of this. No one is pointing out that what they're saying is 100% false. Last week, it was AT&T's Ed Whitacre claiming that the internet connection you paid for only went from your endpoint to the backbone, and now a Verizon exec is trying to get away with claiming that Google is somehow getting a "free lunch" online, while also claiming that the debate has been skewed because Google "spiked the Kool-Aid." That's fascinating, because we still can't figure out which part of the network isn't getting paid for. Google pays for the bandwidth it uses. End users pay for the bandwidth they use. Everyone knows that the value isn't in getting to the middle, but in connecting all the endpoints. So we're left with a network that is clearly paid for, and a bunch of telcos who are resorting to what appear to be outright lies and misstatements based simply on greed and jealousy. Of course, if the telcos actually got their way, it would destroy a lot of the value in what they provided, hopefully opening the doors to some much needed competition.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Fellow Whiner-fat cat, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 4:17am

    Whats the big deal?

    Why is everyone getting so upset? I mean, these companies (the telco providers) are for profit organizations. They have collectively built this huge network and for sometime now, have been underutilizing it. Now that people are starting to go out and do more than talk on this billion dollar network, well, our profits are starting to fade. We need those profits, if not for them, well, all our CEOs will start to just leave the biz, then where would we be? I know we wouldn't be making any more profits that our for-profit organization has been making for years. C'mon, I mean, we want this money, we want the money we have been making for all this time, and if we have to go and redouble our efforts to roll out an even MORE efficient and powerful network to support all this "content" well, that is gonna cost a lot more money, and a lot more profit. PROFIT I tell ya, c'mon, we need this money!!! Its bad enough we used to have to pay for A MILLION employees before we got so cruely divided up, now that all this is happening, I bet we collectively will have to be paying near a MILLION all over again, just to support this freakin network!!! Bunch of ingrates, I tell ya, I think someone needs to pay me just for having to have typed this!!!

     

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  2.  
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    Dosquatch, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 5:15am

    Just wondering

    How do I go about telling these people that they are inane twits, and would it do any good?

     

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  3.  
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    DaneJaneiro, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 5:16am

    Are they kidding?

    My first thought is always "How do these people sleep at night?" But then I remember that some people really have no conscience. They're called sociopaths. And they seem to have taken the leadership roles in government and a lot of high profile corporate positions. Lawyer capitalism seems to breed this kind of personality disorder - then reward it.
    This guy is a lawyer. Verizon (and the all the other FrankenTelcos out there) employ more lawyers than network engineers. That's a fact. They don't "compete" with their networks; they "compete" with manipulation of the public service infrastructure under which they were born. They then grew so bloated with cash that they subverted public interest -- buying it out while everyone watched in confusion -- and now have their sights set on FINALLY getting around to building the ubiquitous tollbooths they've been planning for 15 years. They're pissed because they've had to ride out all this open IP nonsense which made it harder than they expected to proceed with their final build-out of pay-for-play services. But it's here now
    I ask are they kidding because what to they think their customers are doing? In what bizarro world does it look like the content providers are getting a free ride? Google, I'm sure, pays Verizon beaucoup bucks for access -- as well as...well, I'm not sure who their providers are, but I can only imagine they pay a seven-figure monthly access charge to somebody. If Google (or Yahoo, Or AOL, for that matter) don't provide the content and the structure for presenting it, then there's no demand for their DSL or (don't hold your breath) fiber-to-the-home service. Is their only plan to become "DisneyBell" and become totally vertically integrated content-and-carrier? I wonder.
    The stupidity of these people is boundless. Beware of any "network" company that hires more lawyers than engineers.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    EB, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 5:23am

    Re: Are they kidding?

    "Is their only plan to become "DisneyBell" and become totally vertically integrated content-and-carrier?"

    Yep, you've got it. We're all going to be penned up in little AOL-like online worlds, seeing what our providers want us to see and going only where they want us to go. When that happens, I'm unplugging.

     

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  5.  
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    Oh!, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 5:47am

    Plain

    Sounds like another Mob shake-down. Next they will want us to pay them for protection. When is enough enough? When do you know you make enough money?

     

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  6.  
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    Just me, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 5:49am

    NJ has exactly what the telcoms want

    The Garden State Parkway is the model that telcoms want to implement. Surf 5 minutes then pay a toll!

     

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  7.  
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    No Clue, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 5:54am

    Double True


    Go wimax baby!

     

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  8.  
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    Richard Vargas, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 5:55am

    No Subject Given

    Google, I love you.

     

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  9.  
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    Drew Nelson, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 6:11am

    thinking ahead

    Good thing Google started buying fiber years ago. Most of their intra-datacenter traffic will skip the telcos... else they'd probably already be paying more than they can afford.

     

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  10.  
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    solak, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 6:11am

    psychological analysis

    They're not evil. They are merely misunderstood. ;)

    The other side of the coin, of course, is that they misunderstand.

     

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  11.  
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    ZOMG CENSORED, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 6:19am

    WWII?

    I heard Hitler whined about the Russians getting a free lunch and spiking the kool aid when they started kicking his ass... Go figure.

     

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  12.  
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    Michael, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 6:33am

    Re: No Subject Given

    The telcos have a point mixed in there somewhere. They must fund their network for growth given a decline in new consumer subscriptions, and somebody here has to realize this.

    The fact is, Google could offer a new high-bandwidth service that increases overall Internet bandwidth utilization by... say... 10%. Obviously, Google is paying for that increase to whomever their service provider is, but it also effects every other network that connect consumers to Google.

    Now, while I agree with the networks that this could be an issue, and that ignoring it completely will stagnate infrastructure development, I don't agree with their solution. The one thing we absolutely can not afford is a plethora of vertical solutions, whereby Google managed to pay the premium to Verizon and Comcast, but not UUnet and Sprint, creating alternate views of the common Internet depending on what service the consumer is connected to.

    The clean answer is paying for bandwidth at the consumer end. After all, why does Google introducing a new service effect all of the other internet backbone providers? Because that traffic has to go somewhere, and that "somewhere" is the consumers of the service. They are who is truly creating the bandwidth, not Google per se. If we all paid per byte, the costs of the bandwidth would be distributed to each of the effected service providers, paid by each of the individuals responsible for that bandwidth.

    It's not the answer anyone wants to hear, as we all just want to pay our $20-40/mo and expect an ever-faster Internet, but that isn't going to work. I want network-neutrality, as I believe government regulation is needed, at least as thigns stand today. Without government-enforced neutrality, the telcos would have a field-day. However, the issue of stagnation is completely valid, and we as consumers need to stop the vertical break-up of the Internet by putting our money where our mouth is.

     

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  13.  
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    Kurt, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 6:46am

    No Subject Given

    They tried it with TV when they tried changing local channel offerings on cable and satellite TV. It didnít work well then and wonít work well with this remake battle. Google controls the data (organizes everything I do; chat, Email, news, blogging, research for essays, videos, maps, oh yeah and searches). They have the end everyone wants. When the Telcos try to multi-charge Google it wonít hurt Google enough to pay, they know their loyalty is stronger than the loyalty to an over charging underachieving telco.

    Telcos are only setting Google up to cash in on a low cost (or free) Google ISP offering. Why pay to not have Google when I can have Google for much less.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    NJ Boy, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 6:59am

    Re: NJ has exactly what the telcoms want

    Or do what all the NJ natives do and use Rt 9, 55, 322, 295 to avoid paying the tolls.....Tolls are for the Shoo-bees!

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Michael, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 6:59am

    Re: No Subject Given

    I love Google, if only for it's hype. It's amazing in that it seems to be the only company where you can predict them releasing just about any product in any market, and be taken seriously.

    Google OS? MS is going down!

    Google PC? Die, Dell! Die!

    Google ISP? Call my broker! We're hitting $800!

    Google Commuter Service To Alpha Centauri? Two tickets, please!

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Andy, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 7:00am

    Re: WWII?

    //I heard Hitler whined about the Russians//

    Ladies and gentleman we have the first Hitler reference! :-)

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 7:07am

    Re: No Subject Given

    Hello San Francisco! Google is teaming up with Sony and Motorola to offer FREE broadband access, Bypassing the teleco's all together! maybe this is where all the huff is comming from!?)

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 7:12am

    No Subject Given

    The telco's don't make a lick of difference when it comes to a Cable connection, am I right? So what they say doesn't mean squat to me, or anyone else on a broadband cable connection. The telco doesn't have their paws anywhere near my apt, since i only own a cell phone and have cable internet service. besides, with all of the telemarketing crap going on, it just pisses me off that they make you pay for a land-line that anyone can call you on, in the middle of dinner, to try to sell you some shit that you don't need. pointless rambling.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Michael, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 7:23am

    Re: No Subject Given

    The Internet is a complex place. If you don't connect through a telco, and the sites you want to visit don't connect through telcos, and the best route from you to those sites doesn't pass through telcos, then you aren't effected.

    That's a lot of ifs, though, and telcos own a whole lot of backbone.

    Not to mention that cable companies want to do the exact same thing.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    hexjones, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 7:34am

    Re: No Subject Given

    Uh we've (US gov) already paid the telcos to roll out the fiber. Only they didn't do it. Remember the whole gov't paying for infrastructure bit?

    In addition to that, The telcos should take the risk out of their own profits. If the service is better, people will go to them, they make more money. Competition and free enterprise.

    It's really backwards to try to institute a new pay scheme and justify it by citing "future costs".

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Telco Big Wig, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 7:36am

    No Subject Given

    We charge because we care! If we let other comapnies use our network and not pay for it, then the end user gets the worst of it. We already make billions but that barely pays my inflated salary.. I mean that barely pays for costs of operations. We have to charge these corporations that are using your bandwidth and slwoing down the internet for everyone. If we could charge just a small fee to these bandwidth thieves we could make the internet even better and faster than ever. Believe me it is for your won best interests that we do the things we do. Excuse me but I'm late to accompany my peers on our private lear jet to the caribbean for a "business" conference. Remember we charge because we care!

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Tyshaun, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 7:39am

    Re: No Subject Given

    The Internet is a complex place. If you don't connect through a telco, and the sites you want to visit don't connect through telcos, and the best route from you to those sites doesn't pass through telcos, then you aren't effected. That's a lot of ifs, though, and telcos own a whole lot of backbone. Not to mention that cable companies want to do the exact same thing.

    Thanks for pointing that out. In the end, this effects EVERYONE. BTW, as much hatred as people have for the telcos I find the level of naivety that people have regarding this more scary. So many posters have this "they can't do this cause, it's wrong" thing going. Bottom line is that telcos have deep pockets and politicians have lots of room in their bank accounts. Rest assured that when/if it happens it won't be one telco doing it, they'll all push for legislation and do it as a group (kind of the same way gas companies keep gas prices about the same even though they get oil from several different sources, that have different prices).

    Sorry to rain on anyones happy land.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Michael, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 7:49am

    Re: No Subject Given

    I'll admit that their partly proposing a protection racket, and yes, those bastards squandered a lot of tax money. I never said I liked them, or their plan.

    I'm just saying that there is a point in there. I'm also saying that it's their problem to solve, and not content providers. I agree that Google shouldn't have to pay for network B and C's bandwidth when they use network A.

    In that light, the argument is settled. We both agree that their proposal is crap.

    But on a side note, there is still the issue of rising utilization and funding. In the example above, networks B and C will have to improve their service if Google releases a high-bandwidth app on network A. They can either a) choose not to and lose customers, b) do so at their own cost to retain their customers, c) do so at taxpayers expense, d) increase and/or restructure customer subscription fees, or e) try to extort the content providers.

    Obviously, they're currently doing some of (b) and (c) and threating a lot of (a) and (e). I'm against the latter, but what is the correct answer? Is their profit so rediculously high that we can rightfully demand (b) exclusively? What if they say "screw you" and choose (a) because lack of competition (because of a gentlemen's agreement between major providers) will keep customers from going anywhere?

    Uhg.... messy.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Napacab, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 8:14am

    Re: Just wondering

    By buying from someone else. And you will have that opportunity.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Tyshaun, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 8:38am

    Re: Just wondering

    By buying from someone else. And you will have that opportunity.

    And once one (or more) companies get away with this racketeering scheme, how long before all of them don't get on board. It's easy money and, unfortunately, most people who use the net are not sophisticated enough to realize they're being had (as evidenced by the fact that AOL still is in business).

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Jan Ott, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 9:05am

    Re: NJ has exactly what the telcoms want

    hey man Don't mess with the GSP. It was that way for a reason now we updated it.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Posterlogo, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 9:23am

    Re: thinking ahead

    my thoughts exactly -- add some competition to the marketplace. i wouldn't mind if there were a parallel internet that was freely accessible (no, your internet is not free right now).

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Scott, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 9:30am

    Re: No Subject Given

    If google offers a prog that uses 10% more bandwidth, Google will be the one paying. Google is not connecting through "Joe's ISP Mart", they are tacking onto the backbone as close a possible. This means this magical center the telco's keep bringing up gets more money when Google provides more service. Unless this is some sort of P2P app. Everything google has done so far has been client/server, thus when people use their apps more, they pay more.

    Second, being that Verizon has been accused of keeping up to 80% of its bandwidth set aside for its TV offering, this is their bandwidth issue no one else's. How many others are doing this same thing? And it is nice they are doing it on my dime twice, my old DSL, which I no longer have, paid for it and my tax dollars.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Pongidae, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 10:06am

    Re: Users don't pay by the byte??

    We have paid and continue to pay for bandwidth.
    1. Yes, we have already paid for the pipes via taxes and the telcos haven't even completed installing the fiber to our homes yet, but want to charge more for bandwidth.
    2. We do pay for bandwidth on the user end each and every month; or are you still using a 56k dial-up connection. You can currently get one for $5-10 a month? Now, if you want more bandwidth (cable or DSL) you pay more, roughly $15-20 more, on the low end, for a "basic connection" - read slower high-speed. Now if you want a higher bandwidth from your provider you pay more for this premium service (usually $10-20 more), correct?
    What do you call that if not paying for bandwidth? We already pay for our bandwidth!

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    truckus, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 10:07am

    Re: No Subject Given

    One point keeps getting overlooked:

    The Bells were granted monopolies in practically every market, in order to incentivate them to complete their buildouts - ie. this is in the Public Interest.

    The FCC is supposed to allow the Bells to earn a "fair return", and in return the Bells agree not to abuse their monopoly positions.

    The Bells are ignoring this equation and trying to establish monopoly control. The FCC and the States should remove their sole provider positions, and open the markets up to greater competition from other landline providers if the Bells insist on abusing the Public Interest.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Poor White Boy, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 10:11am

    Re: No Subject Given

    LOL!

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    General Fault, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 10:49am

    Re: No Subject Given

    If Google or other content providers did not roll out high bandwidth services, then we would all probably be fine with slow $5/month dialup access. As it is, I am willing to pay the $40/month (but not much more) for high speed cable access so that I can use those nice high bandwidth services. If anything, the telcos should be paying Google and other content providers for the right to transmit their content to the telco's customers. Afterall, without the content the telcos service is not worth anything.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    someon, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 11:07am

    Re: No Subject Given

    And how would that solve the problem? You still have the problem of telcos finishing system updates and expansion.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Mikey, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 11:11am

    Re: Are they kidding?

    You guys do realize that the government gave the telcos hundreds of billions of dollars in breaks to build a fiberoptic network

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 11:34am

    No Subject Given

    "Of course, if the telcos actually got their way, it would destroy a lot of the value in what they provided, hopefully opening the doors to some much needed competition."

    I totally agree, and I think the telcos should be allowed to implement their two-tiered network. The internet will route around this damage, probably through Google, and the foot-dragging telcos and their bad service will be gone once and for all.

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 12:03pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    Verizon is NOT holding back 80% or their bandwidth, they are choking the speeds available on the Fiber Network. Verizon could easily offer 45mb up/down speeds through the fiber network, or even more without increased cost, due to the way the infrastructure for the fiber is set up.

    What they are doing is choking the speed over the fiber for the IP portion and reserving the rest of that bandwidth for the Cable TV they plan to provide. It's not like the average consumer need 45MB download speeds anyway.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Random Paranoid Delusionist, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 12:20pm

    Re: Whats the big deal?

    Let's go back to the comment that the telcos are "for profit" organizations.
    They are actually regulated utilities, i.e. a public monopoly.
    Over the past decades, the telcos have broken up and yet mysteriously continue buying one another out...looking for all the world as if the Bell System is pulling itself back together.
    Kind of reminds me of the liquid metal terminator.
    Think about it for a moment. They own the copper telephone system, the wireless telephone system, and now they want the IPTV system as well.
    It's not good when one organization controls everything.
    The **AA are pikers compared to these guys.

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    Agonizing Fury, Feb 7th, 2006 @ 8:27pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    A. They can either a) choose not to and lose customers, b) do so at their own cost to retain their customers, c) do so at taxpayers expense, d) increase and/or restructure customer subscription fees, or e) try to extort the content providers.
    You forgot about option (f). Netowrks B and C could pull a Level 3 stunt and just disconnect from Netowrk A, claiming unfair amounts of bandwidth are being transfered. Although after the backlash Level 3 got from people over that fiasco, I think it'll be at least a year or so before the telcos forget what happened and try it again.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Scott, Feb 8th, 2006 @ 7:26am

    Re: No Subject Given

    How much of Verizon's network do you think is copper versus fiber? Do you think they don't have those restrictions in place on their backbones? They are not going to put all of this TV service at every local point available. The TV stuff will be served over that backbone from some central locations. They are not talking reserving 80% of the FIOS service, think about it.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    alison kayla bleiweiss, Mar 18th, 2006 @ 12:28pm

    i love jordan

    i love jordan

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    alison kayla bleiweiss, Mar 19th, 2006 @ 9:28am

    Jordan is excited about kissing me too

    Hi i already know that my boyfriend jordan claus is very excited about kissing me too

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    ali, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 2:48pm

    got rocked to sleep by jordan claus

    Hi i just loved getting rocked to sleep by jordan

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Wanderer, Apr 6th, 2006 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Re: No Subject Given

    Obviously, Google is paying for that increase to whomever their service provider is, but it also effects every other network that connect consumers to Google.

    And every last one of us consumers is paying for our connection. Google isn't getting a free ride. They're providing content, and I'm paying my network provider to deliver it to me. Nobody is getting a free ride here, because it's already being paid for by the consumer.

    A free marketplace? That's exactly what network neutrality provides -- and exactly what the telcos don't want. They want to be the gatekeepers to the market, where anyone who might want to do business on the Internet (especially any business that's competing with some branch of their business, such as information services) has to have their approval, or be priced out of the market. No competitors need apply. It's like Disney owning all of the movie theaters and being able to double the ticket prices for any non-Disney movies being shown.

    It is no less than giving the telco monopolies the power to control content on the Internet. That is not a position I want to see any private company in.

     

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