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...

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. icon
    Richard Bennett (profile), 3 Aug 2006 @ 3:27am

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

    Mike says: 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.

    You're assuming a lot that hasn't been proved about the why's and wherefore's of the Internet's rise to glory as the only world-wide packet network in town, and I don't care to go there. I would submit that we're not done innovating in the design of packet networks right now in 2006, and we need to allow the experiement to continue.

    And I'd also like to point out that it's not for you and me to say what makes business sense and what doesn't - especially for new services that we can't even define right now - but rather that our job is to define what makes regulatory sense. The freedom to fail is a vital part of the efficiency of markets, and just because we think it's dumb for a company to price its services in a particular way doesn't mean it should be criminal.

Add Your Comment

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



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown for basic formatting. (HTML is not supported.)
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

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

Close

Email This

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