Mike McCurry: Will You Pay Google's Bandwidth Bills For The Rest Of This Year?

from the worth-asking dept

We've already covered how much dishonesty there is in the network neutrality debate -- often involving editorial pieces in major newspapers penned by lobbyists. In almost every case, those editorials aren't just misleading, they include flat out lies. Broadband Reports points us to the latest, written by Mike McCurry, who runs a lobbying effort funded by AT&T. He's written up an editorial for the Baltimore Sun that doesn't bother to mention his lobbying duties, or who has funded them. McCurry tries to make it seem as though the whole net neutrality thing is simply a ploy by Google to get "free" bandwidth. He notes, derisively, that "a $117 billion company like Google wants legislation that would drive Internet prices higher." Of course, he doesn't happen to mention that his viewpoint is funded by AT&T, who at close of business on Monday appears to be worth (oh, look at that) $117 billion as well.

While we're not convinced legislation is the right solution (it's focused on the wrong thing, first of all), it's extremely worrisome that the telcos and their friends keep resorting to trotting out lies. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to not support the various laws as written, but this constant string of lies certainly suggests that the telcos recognize their position is pretty weak. However, rather than just accepting the rhetoric on both sides, shouldn't we call the lies out? Among the whoppers in the editorial: "The "neutral" proposal that companies like Google are touting will ensure that they never have to pay a dime no matter how much bandwidth they use, and consumers who may only use their computers to send e-mail and play Solitaire get to foot the bill." That's a flat out lie. Google pays tremendously large bandwidth bills, and the more they use the more they pay. However, if McCurry is going to pretend Google "never [has] to pay a dime no matter how much bandwidth they use," let's see him put up or shut up. If McCurry really believes that, will he agree to pay Google's bandwidth bills for the rest of this year? We're sure Google would have no problem having McCurry contribute -- but we doubt he can actually afford their bandwidth bill. Still, if he's so concerned about his own bill from playing Solitaire, we're also quite sure that Google would simply trade him. So, come on, Mike, why won't you trade bandwidth bills with Google? According to you, you wouldn't have to pay a dime...

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  1. icon
    Richard Bennett (profile), 1 Aug 2006 @ 7:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's not actually a lie

    Look, Mike, when you try to make this debate all about who's telling the most lies, you're essentially trying to legislate on the basis of moral virtue instead of the actual issues. The telcos may very well be money-grubbing ho's and Google may just as well be shiny and clean, but that doesn't tell us which side is right on the issues. Politics is full of stuff that technical people recognize as "lying" and "dishonesty", but for the most part it's benign. The fundamental problem is that people either don't care about such technical issues or can't appreciate their complexity, so every one of these debates becomes a battle of sound bites at a certain level.

    Politicians have a code where they don't call each other "liar", recognizing that simplification is the watchword of politics. So just deal with that instead of getting so excited whenever somebody expresses a thought in a different way than you would.

    McCurry is right that Google is in this fight in order to keep their costs down, not because they're the champion of the consumer and of all things good and beautiful.

    I will take issue with one thing you've said just above: I have not seen any of the people I know from the protocol standards and design community supporting the net neutrality position, not a single one. In fact, they're all in agreement with me that these regulations are at best premature. And that goes across political lines and includes some Kos diarists. The so-called highly technical supporters of net neutrality are people like Cerf who retired from engineering a long time ago, or people like Berners-Lee who don't actually support the bills in question.

    Now we know that bandwidth and QoS are not interchangeable. Sure, you can accomplish a certain level of QoS temporarily by adding bandwidth, but that's like adding memory to a PC, it's only good until the next generation of applications comes along, so we need virtual memory too. And no amount of QoS is going to solve the problem of slow file transfer speeds. But the problem that faces us today is re-engineering the Internet to carry a mix of traffic, far different in its delivery requirements than the stuff we had back in the 80s. So we have to teach the net some new tricks.

    And I wasn't calling this a Lefty Blog, I was referring with that remark to real lefty blogs, like mydd.com and dailykos.com.

    Don't be so hypersenstive dude, it's only the Internet.

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