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
    Liban Hassan, 1 Aug 2006 @ 1:06pm

    Re: ISP's

    Outside of north america, in most countries , people actually do pay for phone calls both when they are making the call and when they are receiving it.

    As far as this Net neutrality debate goes, I think Google and Yahoo and the other big bandwidth users are getting to our hearts but their plea is self serving.

    When this debate started I actually was appalled by the ISPs' tactics to get more money and get the public on their side.
    But I have come to realize that up until now the internet hasn't been treated like other telecommunications technologies. Wireless ( cellular) comes to mind , or like I said earlier even the old phone system is like that is most of the world.

    The reason for this is the gigantic cost of telecommunications technology infrastructures as you can imagine. When the web started out it was not essentially free content for ISPs to sell to their customers. Multimedia changed the price of that content. Now an ISPs has two choices ( and unfortunately only two choices)
    1. Make the content providers pay more
    2. Make the content consumers pay more
    The ISPs simply won't pay because the possible ROI is not looking good (this industry is too competitive and the amount of money involved too gargantuesque) .

    They could of course consider the increase in bandwidth use as an increase in the cost of doing business. But I'm afraid that if they do choose that route we will be left in many markets with a single internet service provider. They only thing I see offsetting this is an huge increase in the broadband penetration in the US.

    The real question remains, why should the Net be treated differently then cellular technology for example. The economic reasons that justify the regulatory landscape in one should be sufficient to justify for the other.

    And for those who might argue that ISP's should invest in fiber optics to handle the new loads just like they invested in copper lines for dialup , let me remind that the copper infrastructure that was used for dialup was mostly paid for by the phone and cable service monopolies of the last century.

    The internet in it's current growth trajectory cannot be supported by the same business model the helped it see the light of day.

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