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Microsoft Opposes Net Neutrality Plan On Its Proxy



6:03 pm on Jul 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft Corp. wants to block an effort for a shareholder vote forcing the world's largest software maker to explain its support for Internet network neutrality, according to a company letter obtained by Reuters on Tuesday.

The Free Enterprise Action Fund, a mutual fund that says it offers both financial and ideological returns, wants Microsoft shareholders to seek a report on the company's rationale for backing Net neutrality, which the group says would result in "expanded government regulation of the Internet."

The debate centers on whether high-speed Internet providers like AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. should be barred from charging companies like Microsoft or Google Inc. to carry their content or guarantee service quality.

Microsoft Opposes Net Neutrality Plan On Its Proxy [today.reuters.co.uk]


6:32 pm on Jul 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Sure, they'll oppose everything Google wants. And why Google wants it, there is a reason!


6:39 pm on Jul 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Net Neutrality? I think it is impossible.


6:58 pm on Jul 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The thread title is a bit confusing; Microsoft is in favor of net neutrality, the issue is that a shareholder wants MS to defend (with a study) why it is in favor of NN and MS is objecting to the study.

Google is in favor of net neutrality but industry insiders believe its just a ploy to saddle existing telcos with regulation only to later unveil their dark fiber network sans regulation, quite a sneaky redirect! Its no secret google is building massive infrastructure that goes well beyond its needs to support search.

Of course google spin doctors would have you believe that "net neutrality" is helping the average Joe.


[edited by: TypicalSurfer at 6:59 pm (utc) on July 26, 2006]


7:58 pm on Jul 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

They're trying to convince people that it helps the average joe, because it really does help the average joe.


8:05 pm on Jul 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

because it really does help the average joe.

Only in theory and that theory can't be applied evenly to all companies with the same outcome.


Charge google for "premium access" to the network, average joe may have to at some point pay google for content that is now free.

Best Outcome for Google:

Have the telco pass the costs to average Joe by establishing "net neutrality".

Its all a PR ploy by G$$G.

[edited by: TypicalSurfer at 8:07 pm (utc) on July 26, 2006]


8:42 pm on Jul 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

The whole issue scares the heck out of me. I like the internet just the way it is.


12:58 am on Jul 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Net neutrality is merely a reiteration of the fact that common carrier rules, which have applied to telephone communications for almost a hundred years, also apply to electronic communications over the same network.

In other word, we have had net neutrality for decades in regard to our phone calls. All callers are treated equally. No one pays more for a service than anyone else. Corporations such as ATT can not deny you a phone or block access to your phone number.

This is currently the way the Internet operates -- it is an even playing field. Without net neutrality laws the Internet will change. Corporations can and will charge different players different amounts and they will block sites presented by those they see as opponents, such as union websites (this has already happened in Canada).

If you want the Internet to remain the even playing field which it always has been, then you want net neutrality.

For more info see:



1:24 am on Jul 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well Atticus, we can't ignore the imminent strain that "convergence" will put on the existing network/telcos, imagine for a moment that everyone decides to turn off their televisions and "watch the internet", not a wholly wacky concept considering what is available through the network. Now, if that were to happen today the network would simply collapse, the infrastructure could not handle that amount of data streaming through it. So its clear we need a beefed up network to handle the inevitable growth that is coming, the question is; who will pay for the upgrades/maintenance?

The telcos want to charge the googles and the youtubes(watching the internet?)a premium to make their services just as accessable as retrieving email from hotmail, why do the telcos want to charge the googles and the youtubes: so they don't have to charge "Joe Surfer" (no relation ;). Telcos need to be competitive with rates and if they are forced to pay the freight for upgrades their only avenue of recovery is charging the consumer higher prices making them less competitive/profitable.

The google and youtubes don't want to pay for upgrades because it makes THEM less competitive/profitable, google is so cheap they actually borrow books from the library to scan instead of buying them, so beyond the inherent cheapness of google they would also have to charge consumers, their beloved "end users". So here is how it works: "Joe Surfer" will end up paying for the network upgrades if the burden remains on the telcos, "Joe Surfer" will also pay if the google and youtubes have to charge for premium services. Joe Surfer pays no matter what happens so it is not a consumer issue it is a big business issue, let the billionaires fight it out but don't believe for one minute that Joe Surfer wins from either position.

Google is floating these petitions as if they are fighting for the "little guy", its just a simple snow job.


2:35 am on Jul 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

>So its clear we need a beefed up network to handle the inevitable growth that is coming, the question is; who will pay for the upgrades/maintenance?

Verizon should have started looking into this issue a few months ago, when my DSL service was down for ~ 70% of the time (in spite of daily phone calls to tech support) until I finally canceled it.

When I canceled yesterday they offered a few free months. The support person did not understand that their service was worth less than nothing.

I asked if I could talk to their CEO about upgrading their network. The support staff said he was not interested. Fair enough.


2:49 am on Jul 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

- Hello people.
1st - My information is that the internet started at the department of defense , as a way to guarantee that communications could be maintained in the event of nuclear war, or other disruptions. Thus the information packet w/ it's self contained address, etc. It wasn't until the mid-90's that the internet was publicly known outside of universities etc. I don't know when this system became publicly available. But it's safe to presume & remember one crucial factor. The internet / arpanet, was bought & paid for by the american taxpayer. We paid for it, now we own it. it's that simple. just like the highway, it's a public thoroughfare. the service providers only supply access to this 'superhighway'. they do not maintain or control it. Now, we do ( My guess is that after the collapse of the soviet union, the DOD or somebody decided it was a waste to let such a great, & expensive piece of technology go to waste, but what do i know.).

2nd - Certain types of connection, like cable companies, often have local monopolies. If they are allowed to charge different entities for different 'uses' of the internet, then it's not just going to be Google paying. they can charge anyone anything they want, & they can flat-out refuse to 'carry' anyone they want. This is a serious threat to all of us. Then, who they can & can't shaft or censor will become subjects of regulation.

3rd - So, if the infrastructure needs upgrading, it has to be done in a rational way. putting ISPs in charge of what you can access & for how much is a bad idea. would you want phone companies to charge based on the type of conversation they were eavesdropping on?

4th - So, speaking as 'joe-6pack', i would rather pay higher taxes, or higher rates myself, to maintain the infrastructure of a free state & a free society ( or at least what's left of it.). There seems to be some consensus has come about that while the government can't censor us, that somehow corporations can. Doesn't anyone understand why we have the civilization we have anymore? I can't believe so many people everywhere are so willing to throw it all away for some darwinian business gobbledygook.


3:57 am on Jul 27, 2006 (gmt 0)


There used to be respect for "the commons" in America. The commons included all the physical and intellectual resources which our community has traditional held in common for the common good -- grazing land, water supplies, the airwaves, public highways, etc.

Now these things have become mere commodities. And we who were once citizens have been busted down to nothing more than consumers.


4:54 am on Jul 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Quite frankly, I think the people who should be paying for the upgrades are the telcos. Not their customers, not the companies who want to put sites on the internet.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but businesses generate this thing called profit. That is money they can take home or invest into growth and R&D. Im willing to bet Charter, Comcast, Adelphia, and many others turn over a substantial profit. God forbid they invest their profits into future technologies like every other company does :S

Moreover, I think this whole "we need to upgrade our hardware for future growth" is nonsense. Here's an idea, STOP HANDING OUT SIX MEG CONNECTIONS. No one needs them. I'd be PERFECTLY happy with a 2 meg connection and I am what I would consider an internet power user. I spend 100+ hours a week on the internet maintaining and managing a large website. If they just restricted everyone to 2 meg connections, they've instantly tripled their capacity without having to charge anyone else a dime.

But barring that fact, there's no reason why they can't dump their millions in profits into fiber optics and better hardware. It's not like the internet is just suddenly going to explode with activity. They can start changing over the infrastructure slowly.


6:03 am on Jul 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Quite frankly, I think the people who should be paying for the upgrades are the telcos. Not their customers, not the companies who want to put sites on the internet.

You have an odd outlook as CUSTOMERS pay everything, including corporate taxes, because without customers corporations don't exist so whatever you think the 'corporation should pay for' is ALWAYS customers paying no matter what.

Next, the net has NEVER EVER EVER been neutral.

You want online cheap you pay for dial-up, you want to go faster you can buy ISDN or several levels of DSL or Cable modem, or drop a T1 in if your must, and each is priced upwards based on performance.

Same thing with webhosting, there's bottom of the barrel shared hosting for peanuts with 100s of people wedged onto one wheezing server or there's dedicated servers that cost more.

Even with a dedicated server you can get various data rates delivered for higher and higher prices so Joe and his hobby server for $139 doesn't even compare to some big WE-SELL-A-BUNCH ecommerce site with 3 servers for $500/ea. PLUS a big 4mbit pipeline or some nonsense like that.

Not to mention the fact that companies that want to provide top speed around the country or around the world, to avoid too many hops and data lag, have to install dedicated servers in multiple locations to maximize performance.

It's never been a one size fits all internet, never will be a one size fits all, and the people with the deeper pockets always pay more to get better service.

So I'm wondering where that neutrality is if it ever existed?

[edited by: incrediBILL at 6:04 am (utc) on July 27, 2006]


7:37 am on Jul 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hey AgmLauncher,
I hate to disagree here, but i'd like to clarify my thoughts. I'm just not a big fan of making corporations pay for things just because their making money. As for their cost of doing business, well, when i 1st got on the web, i had Earthlink on the phone everytime my connection went out for an hour. That's about 1/4 - 1/3 of an hours wages per week they spent to save me from a mental breakdown. What's left of my 10$, then 20$ per month fee? Same w/ Applecare. I paid 300$ for 3 years of unlimited tech support. I had them on the phone every week or 2 for long stretches. Most of those problems i solve now by restarting my computer-duh (Of course, nobody told me that till i spent 50$ on a Ted Landau manual.). So, if everyone is as ignorant & nervous as i was when i 1st got on the net, that's alot of sacagaweas spent just to educate & handhold new users. A necessary investment perhaps, but there you are.

-What worries me is that some companies seem to be intending to seize the authority to penalize & possibly block web sites based on content served, ostensibly to solve a technical problem. I don't trust it. At all. ISPs can lock out websites just for the benefit of their parent or subsidiary companies, & worse, it sets the stage for covert censorship. This is because at this point, there's no competition for high-speed cable connections in most areas. The only way i might accept such an intrusion is if providers were forced to give up their various monopolies. At least then another company has the chance to offer the disputed content. But even then, a website would be limited to serving only those subscribers of the less restricitive provider. It gives a way out to joe6pack, but muzzles the web publisher. Still no good. On the other hand, i don't like the idea of congress dictating 'net neutrality' either. 'The road to hell is paved w/ good intentions" they say. I've lived long enough to know this is true. You can't feed a pigeon, or pick up a stone on a beach anymore. So, if this dilemma is real, & things like 'the Venice Project' are going to blow digital gaskets up & down the east coast & the west coast, well then, i just hope that somebody comes up w/ a solution that is mo' betta'. that's all. Otherwise, we are screwed. All of us. So, hooray for Microsoft. Don't let these ISPs pull new rules out of their, um, hats.


7:51 am on Jul 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

It is all about bittorrent technology and the like. Companies and entities that think THEY ARE THE INTERNET in their respective regions, are horrified they can not control anything there.


12:21 pm on Jul 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I'm going to weigh in on the side of net neutrality.

The Google's and YouTubes of the net already pay a premium for the bandwidth they use. The more bandwidth they use, the higher access fees they have to pay. Just like Joe consumer, who pays more for broadband than he does for dial-up.

What the TelCo's are asking for is, effectively, a form of corporate censorship. They'll be able to determine who gets premium delivery of service to the end user, based on who pays a higher fee.

There are just so many ways that the proposed system can be abused, it isn't even funny.

Another problem, is that if net neutrality is dropped, this will be yet another incentive for US e-businesses to move offshore. Remember, this is a debate that's happening primarily in the US. I don't know of any other nation that is considering a change to net neutrality. If the change is implimented in the US, it will become desireable for many corporations to move offshore. Sure, they may have to pay a premium to access customers in the US if they do, but they'll have the rest of the planet open to deliver their content to on a traditional net neutral basis.

But American lawmakers don't see this. Typically, they see the US as the center of the known Universe, and believe that any change they make to internal regulations will automatically be implimented elsewhere. And this is extremely unlikely. Foreign carriers will see an opportunity, and actively market to gain business. They'll also lobby their respective governments to keep net neutrality intact.

When MS and Google are on the same side of any issue, it really bears looking at.

When MS, Google, Yahoo, AOL, are all on the same side of an issue, failing to ask why is foolish. Especially if they're all lined up against other "Big Business" entities.


2:56 pm on Jul 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Quite frankly, I think the people who should be paying for the upgrades are the telcos. Not their customers, not the companies who want to put sites on the internet.

Where do you think the money that telcos would use to pay for the upgrades comes from? It's like corporate taxes, companies don't pay them, people who buy stuff from companies pay them.


3:24 pm on Jul 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

This article is exactly to the point we discuss. Note the "billable event" that telcos need to increasingly invest in without any benefit to the consumer!


Hope mods will not delete the link as it is pretty much worth reading.


12:44 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I think it's good to see big companies pushing for Network Neutrality. It shows me Google has a heart after all.


6:44 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

A heart for making money, lots of money. We need upgrades and someone has to pay. That someone has to be consumers. Telcos can't magically come up with money, especially given how terrible half of them are doing, and the stiffening competition from various new technologies.

Personally I think this is a step in the right direction. We need to build out the infrastructure nation-wide, or there'll only be a select few who can really use the internet's full potential in several years.


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