Google Finally Stops Playing Mute On Net Neutrality, Says New Rules Won't Hurt Google Fiber In The Slightest

from the NOW-you-lend-a-hand? dept

While Google was a major player in the net neutrality fight early on, the company performed a stark about-face on the issue sometime around 2010. Google was responsible for co-writing the FCC's original, wimpy net neutrality rules alongside AT&T and Verizon, which were jam-packed with loopholes and ensured that wireless networks and devices weren't covered at all. When called out on this, Google pretty feebly insisted they weren't being inconsistent, though it was clear to most folks that the company had shifted lobbying strategies in the hopes of fostering a better relationship across both sides of the political aisle.

As a result, when net neutrality supporters needed Google the most during the Title II debate, Google remained silent. Recently, when asked about net neutrality during press events, the company simply refused to comment.

Now that the Title II tide has shifted without Google's help, the company has re-entered the discussion to once again support meaningful net neutrality rules. We noted a few weeks ago that Google told the FCC in a filing that Title-II based rules could actually help their Google Fiber deployment by streamlining the utility pole attachment process. Now in a conversation with the Washington Post, Google has made its clearest public statement in years regarding support for Title II net neutrality rules:
"The sort of open Internet rules that the [Federal Communications Commission] is currently discussing aren't an impediment to those plans," Google said in a statement, "and they didn't impact our decision to invest in Fiber."
That's of course in contrast with AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast, which continue to proclaim that if Title II neutrality rules are passed, they'll stop investing in broadband networks and people will lose their jobs. Of course, the fact is AT&T and Verizon were already dramatically cutting back on fixed-line broadband investment and cutting those jobs anyway, and in many of the areas Google is now looking at for Google Fiber deployments. Again, Title II is only a worry for ISPs interested in abusing their gatekeeper position to make an extra buck, and that's not Google Fiber's MO as a disruptive new market entry looking to make friends.

Regardless and whatever the motivation, it's nice to see Google join net neutrality supporters on the right side of the street again, even if it's a day late and a dollar short.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: google fiber, net neutrality, open internet, title ii
Companies: google


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2015 @ 4:53pm

    I'm surprised Google took so long to comment on net neutrality, seeing as YouTube is the largest streaming service provider in the world.

    Eventually wired/wireless telcom operators were going to start extorting Google with paid prioritization fees. Fees the wired/wireless telcom industries would justify by saying their interrnet exchange point links are overly saturated and are too costly to upgrade.

    Even if Google offered to pay for the IXP link upgrade costs, themselves. Like Cogent offered to do, but Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, and Time Warner Cable declined Cogent's free upgrade offer.

    http://www.multichannel.com/news/content/cogent-ceo-we-ll-pay-peering-upgrades/355855

    It looks to me like Google was simply trying to keep from pissing off the wireless telcom industry heavyweights. Seeing as it has a strategic partnership with them. Through the sales of Android phones which operate on their wireless networks.

Add Your Comment

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



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

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

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

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