It is Google's moment. They will change the world, as soon as they start controlling who gets access to what on the internet along with Verizon and others.
> ... responsibility we projected on them as being a smart company
That is really our fault not theirs. We are the ones fooled by their marketing and moralistic mission statements.
> They seem to be the first US company to happily surrender to the telecoms.
Google exists to make money. If surrendering to the telecoms makes money then that's what they'll do.
> I can't believe they're doing this. It's mind boggling.
What truly boggles the mind is the number of smart people here who are completely enthralled with Google, and believe it is a source of pure good in the world, fighting those evil companies on behalf of the little guy.
Google is a great company and I admire it for building such an exceptional image of itself in the eyes of tech community. It is a good company not because it saves the world or feeds the hungry, but because it makes money.
"@NYTimes is wrong. We've not had any convos with VZN about paying for carriage of our traffic. We remain committed to an open internet."
> We remain committed to an open internet.
Of course they do. No company we'll say - "we want to control the internet and everyone's access to it". They'll say somethig like "we want to expand more options for consumers", "we are helping deliver better content", and of course "we want an open internet". They are the ones being accusses of working out a deal behind consumers' back so their PR department will say something nice to soften the blow.
The only way to figure it out is to wait and see what happens. You'll have to forgive me if I don't take Google's PR department's word for it.
>> They seem to be the first US company to happily surrender to the
> Google exists to make money. If surrendering to the telecoms makes
> money then that's what they'll do.
Absolutely correct. I thought someone would call me out on that so let me explain in more details:
It is still about making money. It is about the expected ability to keep making money in the future. I was talking about maximizing the global future returns function (you can think of it as the stock value). This function is some composition of the 3 functions you broke it down to.
That still doesn't change the goal.
However,as you argue, there is a set of decisions that when taken, might lead to maximizing short term profit at the expense of long term profit.
Google traditionally tried to maximize the long-term, by positioning itself on the positive side of the moral spectrum -- it is their well-known "do no evil" mission statement. This of course could just be pure PR. Or, if not, it could have resulted in taking some short term losses (not getting involved with repressive governments around the world, for example) while increasing long term gains (attracting the right kind of geeks who actually care about morals, human rights, freedoms, etc.).
[As a quick side node on such moral mission statements, one can argue that the losses taken as a result of defending a moral stance, might be a good measure of how serious and sincere that moral stance really is. I am not passing any judgement on Google one way or the other here, just pointing out a general guideline].
The bigger the company got, the more likely that short-term gains will be emphasized. The company has stopped being identified with the personae of the original founders.
Consequently it's moral properties have been slowly pushed aside and it became just another faceless multi-billion dollar behemoth.
Don't get me wrong, I like Google. It is making me money. I bought stock in it. But, I never bought into its "morality" message. I just assumed it was a PR trick to attract the right talent. It worked great, you have to give it to them. Eventually they'll have to rely on PR again, when that bubble bursts to minimize the damage to it "good" public image. Perhaps, now is such a time...
Surrendering to the telecoms leading to Google making more money seems very unlikely. Which is one reason to question the veracity of this report.
The moment Google starts to focus on the money at the expense of other more noble principles, such as Don't Be Evil, the company will die a slow at first and then immediate death.
Google was disruptive in its inception. It had and still has much support because it stood up to Microsoft. But now that it has paved the way and there is little difference between Google search and Yahoo or MSN, what keeps most searchers, especially in the tech community with google is its image.
The moment they start doing some evil, such image is dead, and people will be on a look out for some other search provider.
Specifically, Google and Verizon's agreement could prevent Verizon from offering some prioritization to the biggest bidders who want better delivery of content on its DSL and fiber networks, according to the sources. But that wouldn’t apply to mobile phones, the sources said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the companies have not officially made their announcement.
Great. Excellent. The fourth estate at work.
Do they even know how bad they are at this?
Very well and succinctly put.
It would probably be better if they never took a moral stance because they now risk getting judged by it, and thus appearing to be hypocrites.
That would create sort of a moral void, if you wish, ready for some other company to position itself into.
At the same time the moralistic motto was probably what propelled Google well ahead of others. When I think back, I wanted to work at Google because it was a "do no evil" kind of company. That kind of image will attract certain people. So if it was just a marketing ploy or they actually had to take short term losses in order to abide by their mission statement, it has served them well initially.
We'll just have to wait and see what happens in the future. I think they will start to abandon their moral stance slowly and turn into another faceless multi-billion dollar company.
I don't claim it is a bad thing. I had never bought into its morality anyway, I just bought its stock!
The NY Times summary is exactly the opposite of reality -- Google negotiated to PREVENT a tiered internet, at least on landlines.
What the hell has happened with Tech News (this is hardly the first time where the fourth estate has presented reality in a shockingly inaccurate fashion)? The incompetence is just extraordinary.
Google isn't buying priority, they're negotiating for non-priority. That's a horse of a different color entirely.
But my google love bias is probably a little transparent.
"Don't be evil" is officially dead at the hands of a lust for control. Compare to Google in 2006:
"Today the Internet is an information highway where anybody – no matter how large or small, how traditional or unconventional – has equal access. But the phone and cable monopolies, who control almost all Internet access, want the power to choose who gets access to high-speed lanes and whose content gets seen first and fastest. They want to build a two-tiered system and block the on-ramps for those who can't pay. Creativity, innovation and a free and open marketplace are all at stake in this fight." -- Eric Schmidt
This would go against everything Google has publicly stated on the subject.
I'm not so sure what is so hard to believe; fast response times are crucial to Google's core business, selling eyeballs to advertisers. They could have waited for Microsoft or Yahoo to make the first move, but it's possible they were worried about being shut out.
Verizon: So yeah Google... Apple is interested in making a deal to prioritize iTunes traffic with us. We figured we'd see if you wanted to make a deal too.
Google: No way.
Verizon: OK well, bad news, we're not going to subsidize Android phones anymore. We're never touching Google TV for FIOS. We're going to start selling the iPhone in fact -- and Apple has even let us change the default search engine to Bing as part of our prioritization deal.
Google: Well played. Where do we sign up?
Aren't they usually the same thing?
Who cares what a company has publicly stated? If a US insurance company has always publicly stated they only care about saving lives would you believe them? I guess so.
"Specifically, Google and Verizon's agreement could prevent Verizon from offering some prioritization to the biggest bidders who want better delivery of content on its DSL and fiber networks, according to the sources. But that wouldn’t apply to mobile phones, the sources said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the companies have not officially made their announcement.
And Verizon could offer some managed services -- better quality to some Web sites such as those offering health care services, the sources said. But some analysts speculate that managed services could also include discounted YouTube and other services to FiOs customers at better quality."
Whether or not this is still "not being evil" is another question.
Google is using fear of its potential evil to leverage sentiment against this deal and toward net neutrality. Google wins either way.
Best for Google: Net neutrality
Second best for Google: non-neutral deals with as many ISPs as possible.
Google's selection of a premium wireless provider suggests that it's ready to make bold moves (and spend serious cash) to clinch a good position in a non net-neutral world. This is scary both for competitors and consumers who may have initially been on the fence about net neutrality.
Google is a very able company, but it's core revenue comes from search advertising.
A company like Comcast will (sooner or later) be able to easily afford to build its own search engine that is good enough. Microsoft did this with Bing, and who knows, MS or others could even do a special licensing deal with ISPs.
If a search company (Microsoft, or any of the variety of competitors) were able to score a non-neutrality deal with a few major ISPs, Google's bottom line would take a massive hit.
So all this talk of Google making videos play faster for everyone using a mobile network is a red herring. The real issue is that most of Google's revenue comes from US search ads, and most of those ads are served via a small number of ISPs.
Fortunately for Google, the scale of running web search data centers has been so massive that there have been significant barriers to entry.
But as Microsoft showed, it's possible to build a search engine that is every bit as good as Google for 99% of users from scratch without any secret sauce, relatively quickly.
If you want a thought experiment, suppose Microsoft licensed Bing to Comcast at a 50/50 ad revenue split deal and Comcast offered its customers $20/month cheaper pricing to force all search traffic through Bing. My guess is that most customers wouldn't care too much, and I think Google realizes this and chose to put lots of energy into net neutrality under the guise of not being evil.
Google just lost their rights to "First do no evil." because they are doing this first and it's evil. This hurts the web at least as much as Microsoft's browser monopoly did.
Larry and Sergey I want you to think about how you would feel about this if you were starting Google today.
"Google senior vice president Jonathan Rosenberg published a long memo “about the meaning of ‘open’ as it relates to the Internet, Google, and [Google’s] users.”
It’s the biggest pile of horseshit I’ve ever seen from Google.
Basically, he’s spewed 4,000 words to say that “open” is always good and always wins, Google is always open, therefore Google is always good and will always win. And please don’t worry your pretty little minds about things like Google’s search or ad algorithms or the specific details of how its data centers work, all of which things Google could not possibly be more secretive about. Because if you think about these things, you’ll see that Google isn’t open at all about certain financially lucrative areas where it has built huge technical advantages over its competitors, and that’s not possible, because Google is always open.
I really hope for Google’s sake that this horseshit artist Rosenberg is not representative of their executive ranks. Also: open is an adjective; the noun form in this context is openness."
Worse things have been rationalized away by people...
That's someone I respect. Someone I'll get along with, and probably someone with a strong moral sense and therefore someone I'm more likely to trust. I don't want to hire people who just come for the "free lunch."
Bing actually isn't that bad anyway. It's a legitimate competitor on pure technical merit.
While I believe in the market some things are best as a baseline like basic education, roads, telephones, and internet access because those baselines actually create more market benefits and encourage opportunity and innovation.
But it could also lead to lower charges -- if the content/advertising side of the net starts to subsidize the last mile via the carriers. Broadcast TV is 'free', after all.
And even if such agreements caused higher charges in the short term, if that prompted new entrants and the deployment of new technologies -- mesh networks again, anyone? -- then the medium-to-longer term trend could again be lower charges.
I could easily imagine a starter broadband service that is totally 'free' -- with bandwidth to participating sites as fast as those sites want to pay, and bandwidth to all other sites under some smallish rate cap (no good for video/p2p). The same arrangement could also work well for areas of 'free' wifi -- subsidized sites are fast at bulk, other sites work but subject to some per-person (or per all-users) caps.
That's different than what we're used to, but not necessarily worse. It could provide incentives for creating new avenues to the end-user and new service opportunities. (Consider: a VPN account that pays the preference fee, so that again 'all sites' are top-speed.)
If this is true Google just like Skype is selling it's soul to Verizon and if this deal goes through the Internet is seriously going to change for the worst.
Additionally, without net neutrality, monopolies could be easily formed.
The idea that we should all get the same priority on the Internet is ridiculous. It has always been the case (and always will be the case), that the more money you have, the better services you can acquire.
From the guy running a gaming server, through the hacker building a highly scalable network using Linode, CNN using Akamai for streaming media and Google building hundreds of data centers; we're all willing to pay for bandwidth or reduce latency.
I'm not against the idea of network neutrality, quite the contrary; however, the gap between the aspiration and what goes on in practice is already too great. We're all players and it can never be unwound.
I could understand if net neutrality fell by the wayside and lots of companies started bidding on preferred access, Google could reasonably say "we wanted net neutrality, but in order to compete in a world without it, we have to buy preferred access as well". But having them be one of the first to bid for preferred access is immensely disappointing.
The internet is not a delicate little flower needing careful tending by wise regulators. It is grey goo.
Any traffic tiering or preferencing schemes that are tried which don't feed overall capacity and delight users with new possibilities will be swept aside by new alternatives in a matter of 5-10 years.
Elections in November, starting a net-neutral provider as competition, etc...
"As part of the deal, Verizon would agree not to selectively throttle Internet traffic through its pipes. That would not, however, apply to data traveling over its wireless network for mobile phones, the report says."
This makes it sound like Google is still fighting the good fight...
I really hope this story is wrong; otherwise it says disturbing things about the stranglehold we've given to user-hostile oligopolies.
Really? I must have missed that. I only saw where they posted a message about leaving China, never did and ended up complying with them in the end. Was the standing up part before that or after?
"The Federal Communications Commission is negotiating behind closed doors with Verizon, Google, AT&T Inc. and other companies on rules...."
Second, all of this article seems to be filled with the word secret. We live in a democracy which depends in its very foundations on transparency. Even if it is two private companies, it just makes me utterly suspicious and default to guilty until proven otherwise.
Third, who on earth are these consumers NYT? Some sort of cattle you can chop as you wish like products? We are not "consumers" denoting some sort of robot stuffing his face!