Spanish ISP Telefonica Claims Google Gets Free Bandwidth; Says Google Should Pay Up

from the can-we-explain-the-internet-to-you? dept

And I thought Ed Whitacre had moved on to run United States General Motors. You may recall that, half a decade ago, when Whitacre was running SBC (prior to its takeover of AT&T), he made sure that a lot more people heard the term "net neutrality," after he claimed that SBC should charge Google and other big online companies. His explanation was that Google and Yahoo and others were "reaching" his customer's for free. This is, of course, wrong. Very, very wrong. It's actually an attempt to double charge, based on the false belief that when you pay for your internet connect, you are only paying for the connection into the cloud, but then not out to any end point. Google is not getting anything for free. It pays (and pays a boatload) for its bandwidth. What Whitacre was trying to do back then was double dip and get everyone to pay twice for their bandwidth. The reasoning was so bizarre that you would have hoped it had died off by now.

No such luck.

Alan Gerow points us to the news that Spanish telco Telefonica's President Cesar Alierta, appears to be channeling Whitacre, by claiming that big sites like Google and Yahoo get too much bandwidth "for free" and he wants to start charging them for it. Just like Whitacre, he's really looking to double dip. Google pays for its bandwidth. What Alierta really means is he wants Google to pay again just to reach his customers over the bandwidth the customers have already paid for. The claim that Google, Yahoo or any of those companies are getting their bandwidth "for free" is ludicrous. But since Alierta believes that Google is getting bandwidth for free, perhaps he'll agree to pay Google's bandwidth bill.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anony1, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 2:51pm

    I'm predicting that The Anti-Mike will say this is good.
    Why you ask? Well, if you would indulge a for a momement a small *off-topic rant* please read the following:



    "tickets which stop something bad for society (speeding a school zone, example) are good by nature, as they help to make us all generally safer. The idea of a fine (or any punishment) is to bring the offender back into the society norm. So the goal of writing ticket where tickets are merited is good." Posted by The Anti-Mike on Feb 5th, 2010 @ 2:58pm Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Culture?


    Now, observe what was posted by the same user less than 1/2 HOUR PRIOR that same day:

    "Example, where I live the local police force has added a whole task force for "public safety". It is pure horseshit, they are just the ticket writers. They hide behind buildings and in bushes, pulling people over for speeding, burned out tail lights, failing to signal a lane change, and all sort so other minor offenses"


    So, in other words, it's good if it happens to someone else.
    If it happens to HIM however, it is bad. Since this only effects Google, TAM will no doubt pronounce this as good, IMHO.

    YOU DAMN HYPOCRITIC TAKE THAT.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 2:52pm

    Did Ed ever work for the IRS? They are the kings of double dipping.

     

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

  3.  
    icon
    Modplan (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 3:04pm

    Re:

    That might be an issue with implementation, not overall idea or principle.

    I'll give him a chance with that one.

     

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

  4.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 3:49pm

    Obligatory Reference:

    "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!"

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Big Mook, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 3:53pm

    Make mine a double, please!

    I can haz double cheezburgr?

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    :), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 4:16pm

    Peering

    Just do what others did before.

    One operator in Europe thought that some big company(no names) should pay up, that big company said ok and made sure all the traffic from that provider passed through the most expensive route available, 1 month later a peer agreement was signed.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    :), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 4:31pm

    Peering

    In practice, it is actually quite likely that the ISP side of an ISP-YouTube relationship would see the greatest savings both in absolute costs and as a percentage of total traffic costs. Most ISPs have less traffic (and buy less transit) than YouTube and its parent Google have. Their buying power therefore is less than that of YouTube/Google, so their price per Mbps/month for transit is likely to be higher. Given that the amount of traffic saved from transit is by definition equal for both YouTube and the ISP, it follows that the ISP is saving more money.


    http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2008/09/peering-and-transit.ars/

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 4:48pm

    The internet IS NOT a dump truck.... it is a series of tubes ... the tubes are clogging up ... Google is killing the tubes ... and the newspapers ... and the music industry ... Google must pay!!

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 5:30pm

    Re:

    Just ask someone to send you an internet. It might take a few days to get to you though.

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    gp, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 6:33pm

    I will also charge google, twitter, facebook... they are consuming my bandwith, that i am paying to an isp... this is a good example of a capitalistic crusted monopolistic mediocrity... some operators searching for revenues without own products or ideas making arrangements against the network freedom and attacking the WWW... by the way its worse as the chinese censorship or an hacker attack because they have too much authority due to their monopoly... they are not controlled and regulated... but you can solve it with money ... thats the difference ?!!! BAD Weahhhhhh... I love you google & WWW & freedom !!!

     

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  11.  
    icon
    TW Burger (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 6:34pm

    Just cut them off

    Google should simply agree and cut off access for any server Telefonica operates. Telefonica should agree to STFU about 2 hours/20,000 complaints later.

     

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

  12.  
    icon
    TW Burger (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 6:58pm

    Re: Bad Things to others = Fun

    The joy of the misery of others is universal. The Germans call it schadenfreude and consider it a universal character flaw. The Russians consider it human nature and is very well expressed in a classic Russian joke:

    A reporter from Moscow is sent on assignment to travel the country and write an article on "What is most wanted deep in the soul of a typical Russian?". One day the reporter is driving through the country and stops when he sees a farmer working in his field near the road. The reporter asks the farmer to tell him what he wants the most, deep down is his soul. "Well," says the farmer. "I want three things: First I want peace and love throughout the world. Second, I want health and prosperity for all mankind." The reporter writes this down with glowing admiration of the man. "And what is the third thing?" asks the reporter in anticipation of a great revelation for his story. "Thirdly, and most of all..." says the farmer with great resolve, "I want my neighbors cow to die."

     

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

  13.  
    icon
    TW Burger (profile), Feb 9th, 2010 @ 7:10pm

    Re: Re: Bad Things to others = Fun

    It could be argued that the "Russian Soul" story reflects a hatred of anyone else's prosperity, no matter how basic and minor rather than joy in another's sorrow. But, I really like the joke.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Glenn, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 4:40am

    Dear Cesar:

    What, exactly, do you think your customers are paying you for? Access to "your" network? You sell "Internet" access, right? That is what your customers are paying for, isn't it? And is Google one of your customers? Does Google initiate a connection with any of your customers?
    You so funny!

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    afraidofevil, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 5:03am

    Check your facts about what they pay in total / Mbps

    [bquote]His explanation was that Google and Yahoo and others were "reaching" his customer's for free. This is, of course, wrong. Very, very wrong.[/bquote] The author is ill informed. Google as peering arangements with many ISPs. The interesting things is Google struck many of those arrangements when traffic was balanced before YouTube and the mass video they are rolling out. ISPs cannot cancel the peering arrangements as Google will make the traffic come in at the most painful point of the ISPs network costing them $$ or customers. This is devilishly smart on Googles side as they have shifted all their bandwidth cost growth to the ISPs and their customers. [bquote]Google is not getting anything for free. It pays (and pays a boatload) for its bandwidth[/bquote] This author has NO IDEA what they are talking about. Google generates traffic mostly in a single direction and only carries a few meters from their CDN to their peers. They pay very little and usually nothing, relative to their traffic volumes

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Skippy, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 9:25am

    Re: Check your facts about what they pay in total / Mbps

    Google is a public company moron, check their publicly filed papers and you will see they pay millions for bandwidth.

     

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

  17.  
    icon
    BearGriz72 (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 8:34pm

    Re:

    Note: Over 48 Hrs and no response from TAM

     

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

  18.  
    icon
    Pablo (profile), Feb 19th, 2010 @ 6:42am

    Re: Re: Check your facts about what they pay in total / Mbps

    I'm not familiar with Google accounting but could it be that those charges are for what they pay to have their own network infrastructure and not for Internet access fees to an upstream provider?

    According to the info you can get telnetting to route-views.oregon-ix.net Google is connected to about 27 different ISPs? Do you think they are paying all of them? Would it not make it more sense to force peering relationships like afraidofevil has suggested?

     

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


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