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.

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Companies: google, telefonica, yahoo

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Comments on “Spanish ISP Telefonica Claims Google Gets Free Bandwidth; Says Google Should Pay Up”

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Anony1 says:

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.


TW Burger (profile) says:

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.”

:) says:


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.

gp says:

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 http://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 !!!

afraidofevil says:

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

Pablo (profile) says:

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 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?

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