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
    directorblue, 7 Aug 2006 @ 5:03pm

    Put simply, the carriers want to turn the Internet

    Christopher Yoo's paper, held up by the carriers as academia's answer to Berners-Lee, Bob Kahn, Lawrence Lessig, Vint Cerf, et. al. points to cable television (and PPV specifically) as an aspirational example. Hardly what I think of as a hub of innovation.

    A few (very few) parties have been battling incessantly for QoS -- which on its face sounds good. Unfortunately, tiering traffic didn't work for Internet2 and there's no agreement as how to make it work on the public Internet. As NetworkWorld reports:
    "...Andy Malis, chairman of the MFA Forum, which is defining specifications to resolve the MPLS interconnect issue between carriers. "And at this point, the interconnections that are happening are basically for best effort [service] only." ..."

    In other words, there's no agreement how to implement QoS hand-offs between carriers, without which the whole structure falls apart (basically, for reasons of prioritization tarriffs and other business concerns). So, without handoffs, imagine BlockBuster trying to run wire from its data-centers to all of the cable companies and the telcos directly. Because without handoffs, that's what they need to do to guarantee QoS to the last-mile.

    Sounds practical to me!

    Furthermore, as others have pointed out, a duopoly is hardly enough to ensure competition at the last-mile. And that's why the carriers have spent nine figures plus on lobbying for. And that's nine figures plus they haven't spent on innovating. They're frightened by innovation. They've never had to survive in the real world. They've lived in a tiny, regulatory bubble insulated from fiscal concerns and protected from government interdiction by their lobbyists.

    QoS is fine. Provided there's real competition at the last mile. And an FCC capable of enforcing it.

    Go to Save the Internet and take action. Today. Nothing less than America's technological leadership position hangs in the balance.

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