SBC: We Own The Internet, So Google Should Pay Up

from the uh-oh.--trouble-coming. dept

It's become pretty clear that Kevin Martin's FCC has no problem considering "competition" in the broadband space to mean incumbent telcos vs. incumbent cable companies. So far, the FCC has done just about everything possible to make it much harder for any third parties to get into the game. So is it really any surprise to hear the CEO of SBC, Ed Whitacre, in an interview suggest that it's only a matter of time before they start going after any of the services that make the internet useful to try to make them pay up to remain reachable? When asked about companies like Google, Yahoo and Vonage, he says: "Now what they would like to do is use my pipes free, but I ain't going to let them do that because we have spent this capital and we have to have a return on it. So there's going to have to be some mechanism for these people who use these pipes to pay for the portion they're using. Why should they be allowed to use my pipes? The Internet can't be free in that sense, because we and the cable companies have made an investment and for a Google or Yahoo! or Vonage or anybody to expect to use these pipes [for] free is nuts!" In other words, he's talking about going well beyond blocking some ports like BellSouth, to actually blocking out websites and services unless they first pay SBC a fee. It certainly has the feel of extortion: pay up or no one on our network will be able to reach your website. If you thought that mess Level 3 and Cogent was problematic, just wait until you can't access Google from SBC, because Google fails to pay up SBC's "connection" fees. What Whitacre seems to be forgetting is that it's all of these services and the ability to connect that makes the internet access worthwhile. Now who was just saying that network neutrality wasn't needed? Notice that the only reason this is possible now is because there's less competition in the broadband space, not more. If there were real competition, SBC would never even dare to suggest that they might cut off a Google, Yahoo or Vonage.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Jak Fox, 28 Mar 2006 @ 8:33am

    Northern comments

    Real quick now...As I am at work, on break. Communication is being controlled. Most of us don't know or care to know about the inner workings of modern com. equipment. Just get us connected, and keep us there. If any "Human" actually believes they can control anything these days, they are so fucking lost in their minds. We all know how sophisticated communications has become. We do not need another asshole with a position to speak, telling us how things are going to be! We have enough of the same type of old, retiring, never know when to shut up, baby boomers that are beginning to act like babies again. Gimme gimme gimme. For all those people that may read this...Please ignore this part...This is for all of you old, money hungry pricks...On behalf of the new generation of humbled peoples...GO FUCK YOURSELVES...The pipes are ours; all of ours.

    Do any Treckies remember the Borg. We definitely need to be thinking and acting as a powerful collective, but not fictitious. The real power of people. It's coming soon, and coming fast. Don't ever forget this. The World needs bright and bold individuals, who know how to speak and lead the rest of us in the same directions. We are not here to make other Humans rich. Those days are over and long gone.

    World Security.

    World Peace.

    It cannot be about $$$ anymore.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.