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Google Inc. has approached major cable and phone companies that carry Internet traffic with a proposal to create a fast lane for its own content, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Google has traditionally been one of the loudest advocates of equal network access for all content providers.One major cable operator in talks with Google says it has been reluctant so far to strike a deal because of concern it might violate Federal Communications Commission guidelines on network neutrality.
"If we did this, Washington would be on fire," says one executive at the cable company who is familiar with the talks, referring to the likely reaction of regulators and lawmakers.
Google responds [googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com]
Despite the hyperbolic tone and confused claims in Monday's Journal story, I want to be perfectly clear about one thing: Google remains strongly committed to the principle of net neutrality, and we will continue to work with policymakers in the years ahead to keep the Internet free and open.
P.S.: The Journal story also quoted me as characterizing President-elect Obama's net neutrality policies as "much less specific than they were before." For what it's worth, I don't recall making such a comment, and it seems especially odd given that President-elect Obama's supportive stance on network neutrality hasn't changed at all.
Net Neutrality + full control of the internet = a rip in time and space (or corruption).
edit: funny typo.
[edited by: JS_Harris at 3:41 pm (utc) on Dec. 15, 2008]
No matter which side of the net neutrality debate you're on, the WSJ article is quite misinformed. Sad, considering they tend to be better than most at objective technical analysis.
In fact, caching represents one type of innovative network practice encouraged by the open Internet.
Google has offered to "colocate" caching servers within broadband providers' own facilities; this reduces the provider's bandwidth costs since the same video wouldn't have to be transmitted multiple times......
All of Google's colocation agreements with ISPs...are non-exclusive, meaning any other entity could employ similar arrangements.
Sounds like the WSJ is misinformed about their story. Removing tinfoil hat now...
Nothing wrong with it whatsoever.
The idea is great because caching a large bulk of common content closer to the customer would actually take a major load off the backbone itself and improve the so-called 'net neutrality' since there would actually be more bandwidth left for everyone else!
It's absurd to call Google's plan a "fast lane". It's carpooling, using the same lanes as everyone else does, but paying Google's own money to use the lanes LESS. Or, perhaps, abandoning the lanes altogether and commuting by helicopter. Either way, the net result is:
(1) Google pays money.
(2) The result is LESS Google-originated traffic on the internet backbones.
Which is good for everyone, except apparently Luddite Conspiracy-Quack Journalists.