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Net Neutrality & AdSense Publishers

Will Your Site be Relegated to a Slow Lane?

     
9:26 pm on Jun 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Sergey Brin made an interesting statement [sfgate.com] about Net Neutrality yesterday regarding the Net Neutrality issue, that has implications for publishers, both small and large.

"The only way you can have a fast lane that is useful, that people will pay for, is if there are slow lanes,"

Sergey then added,

Google's searches are valuable only if consumers can also quickly access the sites listed in its results.

While larger companies like Google will be able to pay a fast lane tax, is there a possibility, as Sergey suggests, of a slow lane for smaller publishers who cannot afford to pay?

And what of medium sized publishers with high traffic sites?

9:46 pm on June 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It spells the death of content for the "small" guys, while mainly a US issue right now, if not nipped in the bud at the congress, it will spread internationally like wild fire as greedy carriers jump on the new revenue stream.

Here is another interesting food for thought:
We - publishers - serve for free what motivates the subscribers to pay the ISPs and carriers for the internet connection in the first place, accordingly it is us publishers that should be getting an internet tax or share from those fat cats.

10:09 pm on June 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This subject always reminds me of the demise of "Route 66" and all the wonderfully unique businesses and attractions that were lost for the sake of speed!
10:34 pm on June 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Googe with it's dark fibre, massive datacentres, web acellerator and whathavewe are themselves building said fast lane.

This is just a publicity stunt to deter their competition.

There's also an open letter by Eric Schmidt: [google.com...]

Wolves in sheepskin

10:40 pm on June 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This is just a publicity stunt to deter their competition

How is that?

10:56 pm on June 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The cable and telcos are saying this is only about charging for high-bandwidth content. However once that precedent is set, what's stopping them from expanding the concept? I know I certainly don't put my trust in them and would rather there be a law guaranteeing my sites protection from this greedy shake-down attempt. Hey, we pay for bandwidth, too. The internet is like cellphone service: both the sending and the receiving parties pay for the transmission. Their next argument is that there isn't an incentive to continue upgrading bandwidth capacity. This is completely specious. Bandwidth has been increasing for years without a two-tiered system! Why would that growth suddenly crash, especially given so much competition?

Hobbs is right. ISPs base their business model on the fact that we the publishers create content that people want access to. Without us they have nothing. They ought to be paying US a fee!

11:52 pm on June 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Information on maintaining net neutrality (the good guys):

[savetheinternet.com...]

Be careful of astroturf, false-fronts for the telcos such as:

[handsofftheinternet.com...]

These are the bad guys -- telco shills in populist clothing.

12:18 am on June 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>> How is that?

You ask how ISP's are competitors to Google? It's pretty obvious, and they even explain it in their latest "Form 10-Q", eg. on page 40. See [investor.google.com...]

We also compete with destination web sites that seek to increase their search-related traffic. These destination
web sites may include those operated by Internet access providers, such as cable and DSL service providers.
Because our users need to access our services through Internet access providers, they have direct relationships with
these providers. If an access provider or a computer or computing device manufacturer offers online services that
compete with ours, the user may find it more convenient to use the services of the access provider or manufacturer.
In addition, the access provider or manufacturer may make it hard to access our services by not listing them in the
access provider’s or manufacturer’s own menu of offerings, or may charge users to access our websites or the
websites of our Google Network members. Also, because the access provider gathers information from the user in
connection with the establishment of a billing relationship, the access provider may be more effective than we are in
tailoring services and advertisements to the specific tastes of the user.

Google is themselves an ISP, and they have built up a separate fast internet infrastructure (for delivery of Google products of course). So they have the product in the pipeline already, that they now want to stop the other ISP's from getting.

6:05 am on June 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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That's just conspiracy theory claus, based on a business report that has to cover all possibilities.

Google as an ISP would compete with AOL and MSN who provide both content and access, but not with carriers, Google can does and will provide free wireless access, that is also competing with ISPs, but again not with carriers. As for having products, that only puts Google in the firing range of Micro$soft, but who isn't, that company is into everything but selling hot dogs and falafel. Personally I am rooting for Google for taking on the cause of the smaller guys.

And yes, carriers should be paying part of our hosting cost, we have been spoiling them now they're prepping the grill for a golden goose bbq.

7:23 pm on June 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hooray for the rest of the world, but the fact is that such legislation WOULD fundamentally change the Web.
7:39 pm on June 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I agree there is always a butterfly effect. And this legislation may well change the internet in the rest of the world - the only questions for debate are how, or the degree.

What I find problematical is the hidden/underlying premise of the discussion of how US legislation will have an effect on the rest of the world. For example, there has been some important legislation in the UK and other countries that will also have a butterfly effect on the rest of the world and on the US. Is it only what happens in the US that is regarded as important? Does not what happens in other countries have relevance to the US?

I'm not saying there isn't a butterfly effect. I'm objecting to the dominant US-centrism when discussing something that belongs to the world.

8:01 pm on June 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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As global citizens, some are more equal than others.
When the UK has competitively priced hosting I will consider moving my site there. When the next big advertising network emerges from France I will look into how the French tax law can affect my earnings, when a large chunk of my traffic is coming from China, my site will have a Chinese section, when enough Canadians start buying my widgets I will open a sales office in Canada .. Till then the US will have its day.
8:23 pm on June 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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A departure from "Net neutrality" will have more impact on broadband entertainment, such as distribution of movies and TV over the Web, than on the typical Web site. (Think Netflix or MSNBC, as opposed to mom-and-pop.com.)
8:29 pm on June 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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However the legislation goes, I don't see this having any major effects. Possibly there will be a few companies going for the cash grab early on. Still, there will be some companies who resist and advertise the fact that they don't/aren't charging extra to access any sites at full speed. They will say they don't slow down any sites accessed by their customers. That will cause many users to migrate to their service. Then, the other services will have to roll back to the previous billing plan.
8:30 pm on June 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think EFV has it right. I doubt traditional websites would notice any slowdown whatsoever. It's more like they wouldn't benefit from infrastructure upgrades required to support things like VoIP and HDTV downloads.
8:56 pm on June 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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A departure from "Net neutrality" will have more impact on broadband entertainment, such as distribution of movies and TV over the Web, than on the typical Web site. (Think Netflix or MSNBC, as opposed to mom-and-pop.com.)

That's exactly how I see it, and something that gets left out of all the pundit discussions in the media. Most of us with hosted websites already know that there's no such thing as neutrality, if you swamp the server bandwidth, you get charged more, or asked to leave.

9:03 pm on June 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I wonder if this could end up like airline fares.

Carrier A announces a rate increase to test the waters.

If carriers B and C then announce similar rate increases the increases stand, for the moment.

If carriers B and C don't announce similar rate increases, carrier A cancel its increase.

Could be a bumpy ride and a rough landing if so.

9:11 pm on June 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi Hobbs,

I have good hosting in various corners of the world, including the US, but my next major bandwidth expansion is going to be in the UK (in Telehouse Europe) because it *is* matching/beating US prices (and it is walking distance from my main client, and the guy who runs the hosting company is one of the best/smartest guys on the Net though you'll rarely hear his name!).

And remember that the EU alone is a bigger market (more people, more capital) than than the US, never mind (say) Japan (and the rest of Asia).

Anyway, walled gardens end up hurting those who put up the walls, to get back to the point!

Rgds

Damon

9:44 pm on June 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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And remember that the EU alone is a bigger market (more people, more capital) than than the US, never mind (say) Japan (and the rest of Asia).

I don't think it matters where your site is hosted, though. My biggest revenue source is in Europe, my hosting service is in the U.S., and my visitors come from 100+ countries in a typical day. To paraphrase the classic P. Steiner cartoon in THE NEW YORKER, "On the Internet, nobody needs to know the location of your doghouse."

10:34 pm on June 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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According to internetworldstats, Europe gives us 28.5% of the Internet population while the US is only 22.2% based on Mar 2006 statistics, that does not tell me that Europe is more influential or a bigger market than the US because in the same report Asia is 35.6%, many factors determine what's on the ground today and they are beyond the scope of WW, what is really interesting is:
- DamonHD's hosting, that is news to me, hope to hear of more companies like that, we could all use some diversification.
- The same report's Internet penetration percentage, the US is 68.6%, growth will be slow there, EU is 36.1 double the potential, and Asia is 9.9%, time to brush up on my Japanese, Chinese and the many Indian languages, while today is definitely American, tomorrow the picture is different for sure.
3:23 am on June 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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while today is definitely American, tomorrow the picture is different for sure.

Hobbs

It's not often we disagree therefore I shall slightly change your statement:

Yesterday was definitely American, today the picture is different for sure:-)

The times are a'changing and fortunately those at WebmasterWorld are at the forefront of the revolution!

What is going to happen will, yes WILL, be discussed and argued like hell here first regardless of anyone's pre-conceived notions.

WebmasterWorld Members consider this: I can almost guarantee that nearly anything we see on the NET any time in the future will be discussed here years in advance of any implementation.

We're the lucky people, we're at the forefront of all what is happening whether YOU realise it or not!

Do not asssume what have you learnt here that everyone else knows, they do not, use it to your own advantage:-)

3:32 am on June 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think hosting providers have peering agreements with other ISP's and they set the price per MB. If USA Carriers raise prices then prices go up worldwide?

These companies can't tell the difference between a HTML file and a video file. So they would just say if you are over 10 megs a month you get moved to the slow lane automatically unless you pay up.

3:45 am on June 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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if you are over 10 megs a month

Any specific reason for this figure or merely an example?

At what point would you squeal bearing in mind your traffic levels?

3:58 am on June 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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There won't be a "new" slow lane. They'll just let the existing 'free' lane continue to get more and more congested, and move everybody who pays to the new 'fast lane'. Which effectively means that anybody who doesn't pay, whether they're publishing a single page view per month or thousands of gigabytes of videos, will be sharing the slow lane. The only reason the slow lane would be expanded is to keep its overall performance at the minimum level necessary to keep customers from switching to a different ISP.
4:38 am on June 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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They'll just let the existing 'free' lane continue to get more and more congested

Maybe, but it seems like web connectivity has been getting steadily faster and faster, and I'd personally expect that trend to continue even if the ISPs do build a fast lane for deep-pocket companies that need superfast connectivity.
6:51 am on June 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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["The only way you can have a fast lane that is useful, that people will pay for, is if there are slow lanes,"]

["Google's searches are valuable only if consumers can also quickly access the sites listed in its results."]


LOL, in the real world, it is always to go with these versions:

"The only way you can *always* have a lane that is useful, that people will pay for, is if there is *no other* lane exists".

"Your result is *always* valuable only if consumers can only have *one choice* - the result you offer."

9:00 am on June 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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These companies can't tell the difference between a HTML file and a video file. So they would just say if you are over 10 megs a month you get moved to the slow lane automatically unless you pay up.

As I understand it, the anti-forces want an Internet where they CAN tell the difference between an HTML file and a video file or any other high bandwidth file. Once tagged as such, the website sending these files must pay the toll or then risk having its bitstream slowed. This seems to answer the first question:

I think hosting providers have peering agreements with other ISP's and they set the price per MB. If USA Carriers raise prices then prices go up worldwide?

Why wouldn't prices go up worldwide? Once data enters the pipes of USA companies it will be examined, determined to be high bandwidth or not and charged accordingly or slowed down. Those wishing to have access to the high speed lanes in the USA for their websites will be charged the toll - whether their servers are on USA soil or not. USA telcos/cable companies will set the tiered pricing of transferring data from one domestic telco/cable network to another and those wishing to use USA pipes (read: access the USA market) can make their own choices.
3:38 pm on June 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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billcale ISPS currently don't check packets, and do things like block spyware etc based on IP because once a ISP looks inside of packets they become liable for the contents of the packet. Lots of laws need to be changed.
9:39 pm on June 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi Marcus;
Yep, operative word there being "currently". Currently, they can't do a lot of things which is why the telcos/cable companies have an army of lobbyists working for them around the country on these problems. They aim to get the control they seek.

Don't know about you but since Google furnishes me with a goodly portion of my income each month, if they get cold, I shiver. I don't believe they - or any other current big net business - can sustain if the telcos have their way. Instead of the traditional 70-30 split common for publishers now, we could be looking at a 20-80 split with Bell South in the future...

11:58 pm on June 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Well, Hobbs, feel free to call it conspiracy theory or whatever you like. In my definition a conspiracy requires more than one party. I'd call it Google speculation in stead, but that's just semantics.

Anyway, Google is already a heavy user of bandwith. Probably the heaviest bandwith user at all. As an aside: Do you think bots are likely to get first priority?

Second, Google is building up efforts to distribute many more types of content, from private homepages to video. That all requires more bandwith.

Google is the one company that will be affected most by price increases or regulation on bandwith. This is not about them being in favour of some free-as-in-libre internet, it's about them being grabbed by the balls. As in revenue-less-costs-equals-profits.

And Google is an ISP as well. They just don't provide ISP services out house (except for homepages), as they consume them in house (for their own products/services).

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