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
    Mike (profile), 2 Aug 2006 @ 3:17am

    Re: Re: It's not actually a lie

    Well Mike, that's a nice strawman argument and I can see it makes you feel very virtuous.

    As I said, this has nothing to do with virtue. It simply has to do with whether or not you can prove your point without lying. You said it's okay to "simplify" -- which in the context of the discussion was about politicians lying. So, sorry, it certainly read like you were defending lying, as long as you were on the side that was "right." If I misread your argument, I apologize -- but, I just reread it and it still reads the same to me.

    And, yes, that upset me -- because I want to see an honest debate on this. I know you've contributed a number of good points to the debate, which is why I was hoping you'd get away from the silly insults and misleading rhetoric yourself, because it would only strengthen your argument.

    The rest of your comment here does that, and I appreciate that.

    However, my point is simply that I'd like this debate to be on the actual issues -- not insults and lies.

    So, then, if you want to discuss the meat of the issue, that's cool.

    It's completely absurd to hit every Internet user with the same bill regardless of how they use the network.

    It may be completely absurd from your technical viewpoint, but it's not at all absurd from a business standpoint. It was that very "flat rate" system that made the internet what it is today. You can argue (as you are) that it caused problems for the network, but that's a double-edged sword. If we had kept charging by the minute (or by bandwidth) in the first place, the internet never would have grown to become as useful and integral as it is today.

    So, you can make a good business case that the flat rate system actually makes a lot of sense. Your counter argument, it appears, is that it no longer makes sense.

    And it's completely reasonable to allow content producers to buy bandwidth or QoS at wholesale so they can re-sell it to ISP customers who can use it to access special services or content outside their service plan.

    Again, perhaps from a technical standpoint -- but not necessarily from a business one, where such actions are likely to impede usage, impeded adoption and impede innovation.

    What you seem to call a "free ride" by Google is also what resulted in Google's creation in the first place. Would you say that the world would have been better off without Google?

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