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. identicon
    Jeff, 2 Aug 2006 @ 10:26am

    The telcos are just cutting their own throats in t

    The proposals to charge for use of an intermediate network (a lot of which was made with taxpayer money) are really just going to bring down the telcos in the long run.

    The only thing the telcos have going for them is the fact that they have a monopoly on the intermediate network and the endpoints. If you look at every other aspect of their business model, it's obvious that they won't be competitive in a truly open market. The only reason they are still around is that they have a monopoly on the physical structure of the networks.

    And that has been tolerated for as long as it has because no one has really had the incentive to compete with them. These charges have the potential to provide some serious incentive to implement a competing network structure. And since it's going to be a brand spanking new network it's not going to have a lot of the overhead associated with the telcos.

    If the network use charges are high enough Google might be motivated to compete, and with the serious amount of technical competence they have, they have they could probably deploy a network that would cover many large metropolitan areas in 2 or 3 years. These areas are the profit centers of most of the telcos, as the cost of delivering services tends to be much higher in rural areas.

    The obstacles to this are not technical but political, and it's entirely possible that the objections of mayors and city councils could be assuaged with free network access for municipal governments.

    It's not about right and wrong, it's about smart and stupid, and the telcos appear to be in the latter camp.

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