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
    John, 2 Jan 2007 @ 1:53pm

    Re: Re: It's not actually a lie

    Those jerks!!! They never let any new websites pop up. Look at the Yahoo/MSN/Altivista strangle on the search market, how Hotmail and Yahoo mail keep any other web mail sites from showing up to offer cheaper email access, and how Google, Yahoo and MSFT have prevented upstarts from appearing....Unless you count google showing up in the search market, hundreds of free and low cost email services, YouTube, MySpace, Flickr, need I go on?

    Google was once a tiny upstart facing big companies and major competition. YouTube started in 2005 and recently sold for $1.65 Billion. They were wildly successful because they were able to find great programmers (very rare); put together a good, simple, reliable, powerful system; and deliver a much wanted product. There's not a ton of them because most computer programmers aren't very good, and most good ones can't do much marketing.

    I've seen a lot of changes in internet content over the last 10 years. There's a search engine everywhere you turn, people have stopped stealing songs (though not everyone) and started buying them for $1, free email includes pop3 and 1GB+ space, a very wide variety of people are getting published (like me here), sites have become much more interactive (drag the map around instead of click to reload or even use Google Earth), everything imaginable is getting archived (archive.org), vast amounts of knowledge is being shared through wiki's, all kinds of videos are being shared for free (some are even getting TV and movie contracts for their fame and talent), and web servers everywhere are tremendously faster (ever try broadband in 1997?).

    However, since 1998, my ISP still charges $60/mo for internet access that has gone from 3mb/s down and 384kb/s up to 5mb/s down and 384kb/s up, offers no more web or email space than they did before, and has a homepage that requires me to use Google to navigate. Who is stifling competition and innovation while lining their pockets? (hint: look at how much money Google (GOOG) made last year vs. how much money AT&T (ATT) made last year)

    If Google were to become a monopoly, I wouldn't care. First off, they're so innovative that they deserve it. Secondly, a monopoly is only as bad as the people running it, and they're really kind to their customers. RoadRunner is in process of upping my speed once again, but I can't find out when or to what speed. They don't seem to care about making it very public (I haven't downloaded anything recently so it could have already changed). Not that I care much about going from 5mb to 7 or 8, but the 384k is crappy for uploading.

    P.S.
    Only once in my life have I had a 2nd choice for broadband, and I stuck with dial-up because I just needed it for email. Email and solitare users aren't paying for a lot of bandwidth they don't use. You can get ad-free dial-up for $5/mo.

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