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Google Argues Against Net Neutrality

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the here-is-your-internet-connection-but-don't-use-it-for-internet dept.

Google 555

An anonymous reader sends this quote from an article at Wired: "In a dramatic about-face on a key internet issue yesterday, Google told the FCC (PDF) that the network neutrality rules Google once championed don't give citizens the right to run servers on their home broadband connections, and that the Google Fiber network is perfectly within its rights to prohibit customers from attaching the legal devices of their choice to its network."

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555 comments

Don't be evil (some of the time) (5, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | about 9 months ago | (#44429945)

Google plans to offer its own business-class services on Fiber. Can't have people running their own servers as competition. This company tends to claim support for whatever is politically popular among techies and then quietly go back on it when it affects their bottom line.

Re:Don't be evil (some of the time) (5, Insightful)

homey of my owney (975234) | about 9 months ago | (#44430003)

Evil isn't in the eye of the beholder... It's in the mind of Google.

Re:Don't be evil (some of the time) (4, Insightful)

jdogalt (961241) | about 9 months ago | (#44430067)

Evil isn't in the eye of the beholder... It's in the mind of Google.

And that is precisely the kind of Free Speech problem that Net Neutrality is trying to solve. If the network operators become the gatekeepers determining which speech can go on their networks, and which can't (outside any government law enforcement agency direction), then... well, it's not good.

Re:Don't be evil (some of the time) (5, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | about 9 months ago | (#44430117)

So Google successfully conned the nerd herds into loving them with ostentatious nerd-friendly marketing in the late 90s and 00s, and now that they have acquired their financial and political power, the draw back the curtain to reveal Microsoft's policies on steroids.

"Somehow, 'I told you so' just doesn't say it."
- Will Smith.

Re:Don't be evil (some of the time) (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430185)

They're not quite that evil. At least, it's not publicly known if they're that evil, yet.

Re:Don't be evil (some of the time) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430247)

Seriously? Come the fuck on. What are you? Blind, deaf and mentally retarded? What do they have to do? Show up at your door and rape your mother with a splintery broomstick before you'll concede that they may have some unfriendly tendencies?

Re:Don't be evil (some of the time) (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430273)

What do they have to do? Show up at your door and rape your mother with a splintery broomstick before you'll concede that they may have some unfriendly tendencies?

Well, that would convince me.

Re:Don't be evil (some of the time) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430375)

Well, that would convince me.

Aah. A critical thinker, I see.

As someone who HASN'T (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430197)

trusted them all this time, all I can say is 'not surprised'.

While I have an android device, it hasn't got google play/appstore, login, nor data service to it. Won't save me from the NSA's taps/recording, but it does a pretty good job of keeping out commercial tracking.

How much longer do we have for that to stay true however? Android 4.3's restrictions, google's no-server limitations, etc are all pushing the masses towards sheepitude, and (ignoring the other players for the moment) government is pinching in with legal limits and surveillance from the other side.

Corporate Pot, meet Government Kettle. People: Meet hard place in between.

Re:As someone who HASN'T (2, Funny)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 9 months ago | (#44430357)

Android 4.3's restrictions, google's no-server limitations, etc are all pushing the masses towards sheepitude

that's why i like my iphone - always on the cutting edge of the next trend!

Re:Don't be evil (some of the time) (5, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 9 months ago | (#44430291)

I always pointed out on slashdot, just HOW MUCH trust was being put in Google, with how little understanding of their operation as a publicly traded company.

The fanbois for Google - which have a huge intersection with slashdot readership - nearly always mod-bomb these observations as flamebait or trolling. Contrariness is only rewarded when it chooses a popular target. ;-)

Google's hand-waving of good will always gets trumped by their desire to control revenue. But like a stage magician, those who want to believe continue their suspension of reality.

Google's real motivations afford them selling out customers for the value of their "private" information. You can now see, in this one, more obvious way, how principle is secondary to business and profit - through the artificial tiering of "business class" service. There is no "business class" IP.

Re:Don't be evil (some of the time) (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 9 months ago | (#44430365)

Who the hell has been trusting Google since they did their IPO? That was pretty much the end of Google's "do no evil" mantra, if it even applied at that time which I highly doubt. I haven't "used" my gmail accounts in a long time, except for a new work account, which is work only. Can't get out of that one.

Re:Don't be evil (some of the time) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430015)

Don't be evil? That's always harder when teh server is on the other foot ...

Re:Don't be evil (some of the time) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430027)

Why on earth is this modded down? It's the truth and all big companies are the same.

Re:Don't be evil (some of the time) (5, Interesting)

MrNaz (730548) | about 9 months ago | (#44430221)

The net neutrality debate is NOT about preventing abuse, as many naive people would like to believe. It is about ensuring that home users don't develop services that compete with commercial ones.

For example, Google doesn't want anyone starting up community-run OwnCloud instances reducing the attractiveness of Google's services now do they? How hard would it be to run a server to sync your contacts, files, calendar and other PIM data either yourself or with a group of friends? We're pretty much there with open source software like OwnCloud and Zimbra. THIS is what Google and other service providers don't want. They are protecting their ability to monetise you and charge you for the basic services that could be done privately, securely and effectively either yourself or by community groups.

Re:Don't be evil (some of the time) (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 9 months ago | (#44430175)

Google plans to offer its own business-class services on Fiber. Can't have people running their own servers as competition. This company tends to claim support for whatever is politically popular among techies and then quietly go back on it when it affects their bottom line.

Just like Comcast and most other providers.

You can't run anything that accepts inbound connections. Even SSH is frowned upon.
Pay up for their business class service and all of the objections disappear.
The ONLY reason for this prohibition is money grubbing by the carriers. They sold it based on spam, but applied it to everything, even game servers.

No, it is simple economics (4, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 9 months ago | (#44430339)

If you want high speed net access, and don't want to pay a lot, you have to play nice with others and share. You can be offered 100mbit or gig to your home, with backhaul to more or less support it, for not too much money. However you can't be offered dedicated bandwidth in that amount unless you want to pay a bunch more. Just how it works. When you start talking dedicated bandwidth, the backhaul goes up massively in requirements and thus cost.

Well that means users have to keep their usage reasonable and that means no servers that gobble up bandwidth. If everyone plays nice and uses their net as home users normally do, links can be heavily oversubscribed and thus the price can be low. However if users start hammering things, it'll either mean poor service for everyone else or a need for a large increase in cost.

You can't get everything for nothing. Fast shared networks work only when people share.

the fine print (4, Informative)

jdogalt (961241) | about 9 months ago | (#44429947)

Re:the fine print (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430011)

I feel like this crosses a line that Google has not before. Dropping free services is annoying, but not evil. G+ might have been stupid and copycat, but definitely not evil. Tracking... probably not evil. Caving to NSA? Legally required. But this... this is different.

Re:the fine print (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430319)

Come on, Google has been fooling the geeks for quite some time now. It's not Google, it's the structure. All publicly floated companies act on the same logic. The human spirit behind "don't be evil" is long gone, it's been assimilated into the borg. It is now a function of marketing.

Re:the fine print (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430337)

It's trendy now to trash Google about everything but looking at this from a wider perspective this does not bode well for the consumer. As far as network neutrality Google was one of few big corporations actually supporting a free, open Internet. We still have isolated organizations like EFF but the idea of network neutrality is becoming more and more of 'what's a floppy?' kind of thing.

Misleading Article (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44429961)

No they didn't. Nearly every consumer ISP has clauses that state you can't run "business servers" through the residential connections. While that term is broad and hard to enforce, ISP's don't hassle you if your traffic is light or unobtrusive. I've only been notified by Charter about my server when it got a PHP/SQL injection and hosted a virus. As soon as that was cleared up and patched they didn't care about it.

Re:Misleading Article (1, Insightful)

jdogalt (961241) | about 9 months ago | (#44429975)

The problem with these "Cover Your Ass" overreaching terms in the fine print is that they are very chilling to the development of home server software. If there was a "right to serve" on the internet, there would be more home server software developed, and in my opinion we would all be better off.

Re:Misleading Article (3, Informative)

bonch (38532) | about 9 months ago | (#44429977)

If you'd read the article, citing what other broadband companies do is exactly the defense Google responded with, but that policy contradicts their previous position on net neutrality.

Re:Misleading Article (5, Insightful)

Carewolf (581105) | about 9 months ago | (#44429995)

No they didn't. Nearly every consumer ISP has clauses that state you can't run "business servers" through the residential connections.

Well, probably in the US, the rest of the world is not that silly.

But even accepting that. Nearly every consumer ISP also was against net neutrality because it would disallow them from applying silly rules like that to maximize profit. Google claimed to be FOR net neutrality, well exactly until they became an ISP, and now they appear are against it.

Re:Misleading Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430047)

I live in Canada, and I'm pretty sure not running business servers is the norm for terms of use everywhere in the world when it comes to residential ISPs.

In practice though, it's never enforced unless you have crazy traffic or are hosting something evil.

Re:Misleading Article (2)

Carewolf (581105) | about 9 months ago | (#44430113)

I live in Canada, and I'm pretty sure not running business servers is the norm for terms of use everywhere in the world when it comes to residential ISPs.

And you base that on your experience in living in Canada?

In most cases running business servers does not need to be forbidden, since the consumers get dynamic IPs that a less useful for servers. The question usually comes down to whether the ISP offers fixed IPs for regular broadband connections.

Also there is the small matter that forbidding servers is completely meaningles when it comes to internet. In many European countries writing meaningless drivel in your term of service is frowned upon.

Re:Misleading Article (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 9 months ago | (#44430217)

A dynamic ip address really isn't an issue as there are lots of free and pay dynamic dns services that cater to the geek/home server market i use one for my home computer so I can ssh in and access my files and not have to memorize what ever my ip address is this week.

Re:Misleading Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430219)

I live in the US, and have had this limitation from multiple ISPs, though they don't seem to care unless you're hosting a very large server. Of course, this is just in my experience, and I am definitely not saying it's okay just because it's common. This is against the concept of Net Neutrality by definition, and as others have pointed out, something Google has argued against in the past.

Re:Misleading Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430351)

My ISP offers a /29 for $10/m on ALL residential connections. Get as many as you want.

Re:Misleading Article (1)

dk20 (914954) | about 9 months ago | (#44430143)

I live in Canada as well. In practice you can do it, but be ready for one of the "big three" to randomly shut you down for no valid reason (low traffic, low bandwidth site). You know they offer "business" class at twice the price right?

Re:Misleading Article (4, Informative)

Cimexus (1355033) | about 9 months ago | (#44430203)

Here in Australia there are very few ISPs that have such a restriction. Most are completely silent on the issue (and thus permit servers).

Of course, residential ISPs generally give you a dynamic IP which isn't very useful for hosting purposes (DynDNS or equivalents notwithstanding) and charge some extra fee (e.g. +$10/month) for a static one. So they make extra money off the customers doing any serious form of hosting anyway.

But yeah, the "don't run servers" clause in ISP terms of service seems to mostly be a North American thing. I've used dozens of ISPs in Australia, NZ and various European countries and never come across such a clause.

Re:Misleading Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430097)

Where the hell do you live? I never heard about that NOT being somewhere in the contract, and no I'm not in any english speaking country.

Re:Misleading Article (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430125)

Sure they did. You're just being a defensive fanboy.

Re:Misleading Article (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 9 months ago | (#44430363)

I don't really see why anybody would want to use a home ISP connection for business uses. Without an SLA, there's no guarantee that you will get the speed advertised, and there's no guarantee that you will get problems fixed quickly. Sure I could get a static IP from my cable ISP, and run a server off of it, but it's definitely not something I would want to run my business on. When something stops working, it can be days before things are working properly again. You don't want to be spending days talking to minimum wage tech support when the bad weather causes problems in your lines and the last thing they want to do is send out a $100 an hour tech to replace your line.

In all fairness (1, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 9 months ago | (#44429969)

In all fairness, Google was in favor of net neutrality before they became evil. Things are different on the dark side.

Re:In all fairness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430193)

The cookies are much better.

well (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44429971)

I think we can now agree they have abandoned "Don't be evil"

Re:well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44429991)

The only thing we can agree upon is that you have a peculiar way of defining the word "evil" if you think it is "evil" per se to not want people leeching bandwidth.

Re:well (4, Insightful)

jdogalt (961241) | about 9 months ago | (#44430013)

what in the name of all things good does it mean to "leech bandwidth". What makes _your_ "use" of bandwidth ok, and _mine_ "leaching"???

Re:well (4, Insightful)

_merlin (160982) | about 9 months ago | (#44430261)

Back in my day, leeching meant finding a way to impersonate someone else on a dial-in server and using bandwidth against their quota. That made sense - you were using what someone else was entitled to. Later it came to mean downloading from peer-to-peer networks without sharing. Still made sense - you took from the community without contributing. But just using your own bandwidth for something someone doesn't smile on? Where's the leeching in that? Now get off my lawn!

Re:well (2)

Carewolf (581105) | about 9 months ago | (#44430333)

Leeching is apparently now having the TV on all the time maximizing the bandwidth on the cable. How dare they use what they paid for to the fullest extend?

Re:well (1)

Kal Zekdor (826142) | about 9 months ago | (#44430353)

...But just using your own bandwidth for something someone doesn't smile on? Where's the leeching in that? Now get off my lawn!

The problem is that you're not just using your bandwidth. These are residential lines, not dedicated, and as such are shared between other nearby users. It's not the type of traffic that they care about, it's the quantity. These no server clauses are there so they have a framework to cancel users who are running a datacenter out of their house, using terabytes of traffic per month. People who do so "leech" the available bandwidth from everyone in the area.

Yes, it's unfortunately vague, but it is not about net neutrality. (Or at least it's not until there's an incident of abuse shutting down a small server they don't like. That would be newsworthy.)

Re:well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430153)

"Leeching" bandwidth? They are paying for a service advertised as unlimited gigabit. Now Google is arguing after the fact that they don't like certain people doing certain things on that connection because it means they can tier their service and charge those same people people more. Google is running a bait-and-switch.

The funny part is that AT&T and other ISPs were also claiming that Google was "leeching" their bandwidth which is why they were trying to get tiered Internet service. Now Google is doing exactly what they were arguing against [google.com] just a few years ago:

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.

Strange how the two-tiered system is perfectly fine now that they are one of the ISPs...

Re:well (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 9 months ago | (#44430321)

um.. leeching bandwidth? they paid for it! If I pay for X amount of bytes per month at a given speed, I should be able to use that any way I choose, up or down.. It's the responsibility of the isp to set their prices so that they don't lose their shirts, not the responsibility of the users to read their minds and use their bandwidth 'altruistically.' Artificial use-type caps are just a shitty way of bilking people.

Even electrical providers don't do this.. They just bill on the kWhr (and by power factor with commercial/industrial service). How you use that power is up to you.

Water and Electricity Analogy (2)

kiloechonovember (1704288) | about 9 months ago | (#44429985)

If I wish to water some hedges trimmed into offensive shapes or power up a TV containing offensive images, it is NOT within the rights of the respective utility companies to tell me what to do. They can only charge me per unit of consumed resources. It's none of their business what I do with it. If you promise me X amount of mbp/s, then you damn well better deliver on it and 'do no evil' as you claim to.

Re:Water and Electricity Analogy (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430145)

That's patently false. Public utilities are well within their rights to prohibit certain uses of their services. My local utility has a prohibition on using electricity for direct, resistive heating. That means no space heaters, no heating strips, and no electric stoves, dryers, or water heaters. It's because the electricity infrastructure is old and was not expanded to keep pace with suburban growth.

When the grid here was built, there were 800 homes, and now there are 12,000.

Utilities can enact any restriction they want in order to maintain reliability of service to everyone who uses it. That include bandwidth caps, server restrictions, and anything else that is a measure to guarantee quality of service.

No utility has an imperative to deliver quantity. Only quality and reliability.

Re:Water and Electricity Analogy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430241)

As long as they're banning all electrical loads below X ohms, that's in line with the analogy for net neutrality. What would not be in line is banning a space heater that has a load of 0.1 ohms but allowing an electric stove with the same load.

So long as the ISP simply sets a data cap that you aren't allowed to go over, that's fine. But banning servers instead of that sort of sucks and is a poor technical solution.

Re:Water and Electricity Analogy (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430263)

1) how do they enforce their BS
2) and wtf is the actual reasoning for it?

Re:Water and Electricity Analogy (1)

gd2shoe (747932) | about 9 months ago | (#44430289)

No utility has an imperative to deliver quantity. Only quality and reliability.

When quality and reliability are directly related to available quantity? Yes... yes they do.

I'm not going to say much here, as I can't be sure you're not an AC troll.

He's sadly, right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430317)

There are seperate commercial water rates where I live. I only know this due to a sleazebag trying to take advantage of a family member and getting the water district guys to come out after putting a sign up indicating it was a business (Which he'd claimed it would NOT be.)

The irony of this being that Nestle worked out a deal to get local water at BELOW residential rates EN-MASS so they can sell us our drinking water right back to us at a dollar a pop as whatever brand Nestle is currently marketing water under.

Our local city/county government has been slitting it's throat, financially speaking, for big corps around here, without a commensurate increase in local employment. Makes one sick to see what it's become.

Bad Analogy (1)

krelvin (771644) | about 9 months ago | (#44430237)

I think you would find a very negative reaction if you set up a Water bottling business at your house and started selling the water you get from utility company. Setting up hosting is similar in that you are using resources not intended to be used and are "selling" something that is not yours.

Setting up a Charging station and charging people to charge up their cars using electricity at your residential rates would get you the same response.

The Unlimited Data is a false promise, but I don't see how it has anything to do with Net Neutrality.

I don't know because I have not looked, but I'm sure that Google has a "Business Plan" for those that want to host just like Cox has a business hosting package.

Re:Water and Electricity Analogy (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | about 9 months ago | (#44430259)

In San Antonio, we have certain times that we are allowed to use sprinklers to water our lawn and we get charged penalties if we use too much water.

Where is tuppe666? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44429997)

Where is tuppe666? He appears in every Google/MS/Apple threat to tell us how good Google is and how much they love us. Please save us tuppe!

Re:Where is tuppe666? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430243)

I like how this contentless ad-hominem is modded up to 2. Keep up the good work, mods!

Another failure of "unlimited" bandwidth (4, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 9 months ago | (#44430005)

The issue here isn't exactly net neutrality, it's that Google has to have some way of stopping users from sucking up all the bandwidth.

If the ISPs quit insisting on these fake "unlimited" bandwidth plans, there wouldn't be a need to have weird rules to stop people from running high-bandwidth servers.

Re:Another failure of "unlimited" bandwidth (4, Informative)

jdogalt (961241) | about 9 months ago | (#44430043)

I think it actually is net neutrality (of course, since I'm the complainant). However what you subsequently said is all spot-on. They want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to claim "unlimited bandwidth" in advertising, then not deliver it to the people smart enough to lawfully take advantage of it. In some circles such misleading advertising is known as "fraud".

Re:Another failure of "unlimited" bandwidth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430129)

Well, if their service is that poor, you should simply take your business elsewhere. I am sure you will have no trouble finding a competing service of better quality and without unreasonable restrictions.

Re:Another failure of "unlimited" bandwidth (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430171)

Ah, the sarcastic "if every company is committing fraud, then it's no longer fraud" argument.

Re:Another failure of "unlimited" bandwidth (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430139)

This isn't net neutrality.

They aren't saying: "You can't run servers that talk to netflix"
They are saying: "You can't run servers".
They say it in the contract.
They don't hide the fact from you.

You see; Net Neutrality is a problem when your provider stops other providers from getting to you.
Google isn't stopping you accessing another company.
Google isn't stopping another company from talking to you.
Google is asking Their Customer not to do something. If their customer has a problem with that, they can buy products that don't have that restriction.

Re:Another failure of "unlimited" bandwidth (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430229)

"Google isn't stopping another company from talking to you."

Yes, they are. Your idea of net neutrality only makes sense in a world bifurcated into "consumers" and "producers". I run my own personal services: XMPP, SMTP, HTTP, SSH, DNS, and NNTP. I don't run those as novelties. I use _all_ of them _every_ day, from various locations. To me or anyone else I'm neither producer nor consumer, I'm just another agent on the Internet making use of various standard protocols.

The new WebRTC protocol is P2P. Does that make you a producer or consumer?

Re:Another failure of "unlimited" bandwidth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430325)

They are saying: "You can't run servers". They say it in the contract. They don't hide the fact from you.

Irrelevant. It violates the concept of net neutrality (by discriminating against the application of bandwidth). There is absolutely no stipulation that it need be covert or exceptional; one thousand murders in broad daylight do not exclude any one of them from being murder.

Re:Another failure of "unlimited" bandwidth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430207)

I think it actually is net neutrality (of course, since I'm the complainant). However what you subsequently said is all spot-on. They want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to claim "unlimited bandwidth" in advertising, then not deliver it to the people smart enough to lawfully take advantage of it. In some circles such misleading advertising is known as "fraud".

So, your goal is to get Google Fiber to impose some bandwidth caps? Or is it to force them to raise their prices as they deal with the inevitable influx of mini-data centers? Or do you want them to start metering on a tiered plan?

Just what is it you want them to do in order to avoid advertising fraudulently (consistent with reality)? Because the one thing that can't work is that they keep their prices, lack of caps or other limits and other ToS all in place, while permitting businesses to set up on their lines for $70 per month.

Re:Another failure of "unlimited" bandwidth (1, Insightful)

mi (197448) | about 9 months ago | (#44430251)

The offers are not for "unlimited bandwidth". It is for "unlimited bandwidth without running a server of your own".

It is not any more "fraudulent", than "all you can eat" buffets imposing a time-limit, for example.

Re:Another failure of "unlimited" bandwidth (2)

jdogalt (961241) | about 9 months ago | (#44430299)

you are right. In the sense that if every customer read that deep into the fine print, compared to the BOLD advertising claims alone, then it could not be considered "fraud". However it *can* then be considered a Network Neutrality violation, because a Quake3 server is just as legal a device to connect to the internet as an android tablet.

Re: Another failure of "unlimited" bandwidth (1)

jimbouse (2425428) | about 9 months ago | (#44430151)

I own a small wireless ISP. I currently offer unlimited connections but they are low bandwidth. If I offered high speed links, I'd have to put limits in place. I find that customers are willing to accept either scenario. They prefer unlimited with lower speeds over quotas.

Prioritization, not throttling or caps... Please! (1)

gd2shoe (747932) | about 9 months ago | (#44430361)

I really don't understand why ISPs don't offer high bandwidth, without quotas and caps.

What they can do is prioritize packets based on monthly usage. And that is only the simplest solution. (They could even offer QOS to the technologically inclined.) Want fast Internet during peak hours? Don't use too much bandwidth during peak hours! The concept is simple, but executives can't see beyond charging tiered usage.

(And none of this precludes selling bandwidth minimum guarantees to businesses hosting their own servers. Think outside the box, people.)

Re:Another failure of "unlimited" bandwidth (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 9 months ago | (#44430157)

No, it's Net Neutrality and is very similar to the tiered systems that they were arguing against just 5-6 years ago.

Re:Another failure of "unlimited" bandwidth (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 9 months ago | (#44430191)

If the ISPs quit insisting on these fake "unlimited" bandwidth plans, there wouldn't be a need to have weird rules to stop people from running high-bandwidth servers.

We built a distributed network that is so self healing it's resistant to nuclear attacks -- Entire cities can disappear and packets get routed around the lost nodes momentarily...

And what did they do? They built Centralized Data Silos and protocols that exclusively use the antiquated Client / Server architecture despite there being no distinction of client or server at the packet or link level. Perhaps, centralizing the damn data is the bandwidth problem... Yeah, really, that's the problem. Oh, if only there were a distributed file system and a trust management system like the PGP protocol, then we could actually use it to reduce bandwidth via decentralization. Oh if only there were such a thing as Distributed Hash Tables we could index said data and do distributed searches too. Hell, people might would even be able to manually create a better SPAM-free categorized index. [dmoz.org] It would be so good that automated search tools would spider from it to build their own indexes...

Alas, no. Like a bunch of kids playing with the box the expensive gadget came in everyone keeps using the International Conglomeration of Data Silos AKA the World Wide Web.

Long Live the Internet, but Fuck The Web.

Re:Another failure of "unlimited" bandwidth (1)

KonoWatakushi (910213) | about 9 months ago | (#44430309)

The issue here isn't exactly net neutrality, it's that Google has to have some way of stopping users from sucking up all the bandwidth.

If the ISPs quit insisting on these fake "unlimited" bandwidth plans, there wouldn't be a need to have weird rules to stop people from running high-bandwidth servers.

Yes, selling something you can't provide is asking for trouble. If many people are saturating gigabit links 24/7, the pricing needs to allow for that. However, transfer caps and violations of net neutrality are not the answer.

The best solution is to advertise honestly, and the FCC should enforce this. Connections should be sold by minimum guaranteed rate, and maximum burst rate, with all else neutral. If there is any prioritization, it should only be among a customers own packets, at their request. This is easily done with guaranteed bandwidth available, and without any violation of network neutrality or impact on other users.

Selling by guaranteed rate has the advantage that there is a hard relationship between what is offered and what is purchased. If customers purchase more, the ISP must build more--rather than arbitrarily oversubscribing their networks. This incentive to invest in infrastructure is completely missing today. Since most people won't be using 100% of their allotted bandwidth, the excess can be divided fairly.

This would work great for google, offering something like 50Mb/s guaranteed and 1Gb/s burst. The minimum guaranteed bandwidth that cable and phone companies can provide would certainly look pitiful by comparison, but would be an honest reflection of what they can actually provide, rather than the meaningless "up to" numbers.

Not the ISP's fault (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 9 months ago | (#44430377)

Consumers demand it. People love "unlimited". Even when they don't need it, even if you can give them proof positive a metered plan will save money, they don't want that. Consumers want a flat rate to pay, period.

Meet the new boss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430021)

Same as the old boss.

FCC Troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430057)

According to the Google reply, the complainer doesn't even have Google Fiber service, or live in an area where Google provides fiber services. Go complain to your own ISP, buddy. FYI, his ISP is Time Warner Cable.

Re:FCC Troll? (5, Informative)

jdogalt (961241) | about 9 months ago | (#44430083)

According to the Google reply, the complainer doesn't even have Google Fiber service, or live in an area where Google provides fiber services. Go complain to your own ISP, buddy. FYI, his ISP is Time Warner Cable

Complainant here. I was living in Kansas City when the complaint was made, and for months after. I have since moved a few miles east. I think you'll see that I am not the only residential internet user who would like to be able to run a server without violating their contract.

Re:FCC Troll? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430149)

If I understand correctly, there is verbiage in the contract about a prior written permission. Why did the ISP (Google, that is) refuse your request? Or is it a fake altogether and there is no way to make such request?

Re:FCC Troll? (4, Informative)

jdogalt (961241) | about 9 months ago | (#44430173)

If you read my manifesto, you'll see that my answer to this involves pointing out the verbiage in the NetNeutrality document (FCC 10-201 Report and Order Preserving the Open Internet) which states that the internet is awesome, *precisely* because Tim-Berners Lee was able to develop and deploy WWW/http "without getting any permission from governments or network providers" (close to verbatim).

Re:FCC Troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430177)

Don't sign that contract then?

It isn't hard people. Net neutrality isn't about contracts that limit what a product can be used for. Net neutrality is about buying a product which has no limitations applied, that secretly has limitations applied, like Netflix being slow. If in the contract they sold you an internet product that said: All the internet in the world! except Netflix! that isn't against net neutrality, because that is the product you bought.

If you bought: "The internet" and you don't get "The internet", you instead get a specially crafted internet that pushes you to your ISP's services, that is against ToS.
Your argument, is if you buy something that uses the internet, but only gives you access to specified services, that you can sue them for breach of net neutrality rules.
"Your honor, they use the internet, so even though my contract says I can only access their streaming service, it is a breach of net neutrality rules to block my access to other content!!!"

That isn't what net neutrality means.

Re:FCC Troll? (2)

thesupraman (179040) | about 9 months ago | (#44430301)

Actually no, you are completely and totally wrong!

In your very messed up world view, all they have to do is put in 'we have the right to limit service to remote end points as we see fit'
and they can do what they want.

The point of network neutrality is that they are not ALLOWED to limit what services are carried based on source/destination, only on
amount of bandwidth consumed.

It would be like a petrol station selling you gas that could (somehow) only be used to drive on local roads, not on the freeway...

THAT is network neutrality!

Re:FCC Troll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430373)

They already do that [wikipedia.org] for diesel fuel.

For fucks sake google hating shills. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430089)

Every ISP.. I mean every fucking ISP has terms of service that state what you can and cannot do on their network. It's a legal CYA to prevent people people from conducting abusive behavior. Nobody advocates a strict, absolute interpenetration of "Net Neutrality", or you could get away with ping flooding your neighbor under the guise of free and unfettered access.

And yes, they also restrict behavior based on class of service. You can't claim "Net Neutrality" if you buy a bunch of google home fiber links and decide to start up yoru own CDN or server host farm.

Clue the fuck in people.

Re:For fucks sake google hating shills. (2)

jdogalt (961241) | about 9 months ago | (#44430109)

"Nobody advocates a strict, absolute interpenetration of "Net Neutrality", or you could get away with ping flooding your neighbor under the guise of free and unfettered access."

Do you really think Google couldn't have 1-3 employees spend 1-3 hours crafting language that would make it clear the difference between such obvious abuse, and "prohibiting any kind of server"?

For frack's sake, this is about Google not wanting home servers to provide the masses with alternatives to things like Gmail and GoogleHangouts. This is 2013 for frack's sake, and I can't run an OpenArena server without violating my contract? Really?!?

Ah yes - like false advertising (unlimited plans) (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430181)

That bullshit's been going on back as far as 1996 from my experience - & still goes on, unfettered. The only unlimited thing I see is unlimited bullshit!

Re:For fucks sake google hating shills. (1)

MrNaz (730548) | about 9 months ago | (#44430227)

How does using what you contracted to get amount to "abusive behaviour"? There are other ways to prevent ping flooding. Perhaps the same way we limit things like free speech by; saying it's only free so long as you don't harm others.

If they advertise "10mbits unlimited" then they have to deliver "10 mbits unlimited". If they want to prevent overuse, then why don't they just say "10mbits, 1tb quota" or something similar. That's how it is here in Australia. I have a 200gb plan and anything I use above that is shaped to 256k. My use fits well within that and if I need more I can up to a 500gb or 1tb plan. No uncertain "acceptable use" clauses. I can transfer 200gb, and as long as I'm not doing anything illegal like attempting to hack into a government database or peddling child porn, I don't need to worry about getting reprimanding calls from my ISP or LEO.

The net neutrality debate is NOT about preventing abuse, as many naive people would like to believe. It is about ensuring that home users don't develop services that compete with commercial ones.

For example, Google doesn't want anyone starting up community-run OwnCloud instances reducing the attractiveness of Google's services now do they? How hard would it be to run a server to sync your contacts, files, calendar and other PIM data either yourself or with a group of friends? We're pretty much there with open source software like OwnCloud and Zimbra. THIS is what Google and other service providers don't want. They are protecting their ability to monetise you and charge you for the basic services that could be done privately, securely and effectively yourself.

Net Neutrality: Its about content, not capacity. (1)

ravyne (858869) | about 9 months ago | (#44430135)

For me, the key thrust of net nuetrality is more about the network provider not being able to block or degrade the level of service based on the content being transfered and upon the providers preferences. For me, net neutrality doesn't really come into it with regards to the the amount of traffic I'm moving through the pipe I paid for -- that seems to be the domain of the license attached to the package plan I signed up for.

In my mind, it would be evil for Google to tell me I can't serve up or consume certain kind of (legal) content or to degrade my service while I am, but its not evil for them to not want me serving up 75TB/mo on my residential-class fiber connection that costs me 39.99/mo. Granted, if they sell me a package that's billed as "unlimited" then that's on them and they can stick it, but if they offer a limited, cheaper service for the masses, and a more-expensive, less-restrictive plan for those that want to pay for it, then its reasonable for them to want to get paid for it.

Offer unlimited downstream bandwidth, and a reasonable, loosely-enforced upstream cap that won't raise a flag for normal usage. When a user consistently goes over, call them up and find out what's what, then just raise their cap because they actually are just doing a lot of something reasonable, or bump their cap for a fee if they're doing something that needs to be done under a different plan. Problem solved.

Re:Net Neutrality: Its about content, not capacity (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430225)

In my mind, it would be evil for Google to tell me I can't serve up or consume certain kind of (legal) content or to degrade my service while I am

Umm which is exactly what they are doing; literally telling their customers that they may not serve content. (And it is evil for any ISP to have a policy against "servers" of any kind. If Google doesn't want customers running servers, their only ethical alternative is to make it clear that they are selling Googlenet and absolutely, emphatically NOT Internet access.)

Re:Net Neutrality: Its about content, not capacity (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430313)

For me, the key thrust of net nuetrality is more about the network provider not being able to block or degrade the level of service based on the content being transfered and upon the providers preferences.

Which is exactly what is being done here.

Has Google become too powerful? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430205)

It seems Google has its hands in everything: Search, social, advertising, online media, emails, cloud hosting, and now connectivity. At which point should we begin to worry?

Troll much? (2, Informative)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 9 months ago | (#44430223)

A residential service is meant for residential purposes. Your TOS explicitly states this. If you wish to use your internet service for commercial purposes then you pay for commercial service. Implicit with your residential service is a certain expectation of consumption. To use a car analogy, you are buying a tank of gas. Your subscription dictates how much fuel you get. If you're paying for the consumption of a passenger car, why should you expect to get the fuel for a public bus? This isn't a network neutrality issue. This is attempting to freeload and crying when you aren't given what you didn't pay for.

Re:Troll much? (2, Informative)

iggymanz (596061) | about 9 months ago | (#44430323)

your analogy is flawed. I buy ten gallons of gasoline it doesn't matter whether I put it in car, or bus or chainsaw.

a "server" may or may not be commercial. if it uses a negligible portion of the bandwidth compared to videos and torrents and games, so what? it doesn't hurt the ISP any.

Re:Troll much? (0)

jdogalt (961241) | about 9 months ago | (#44430329)

If you read any amount of my complaint you would understand that I am not trolling. Network Neutrality does not allow network providers to charge one rate for non-commercial traffic, and another for commercial traffic. Go read it. Really.

It's like pornography. (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | about 9 months ago | (#44430239)

"Servers" are technically difficult to accurately define within the context of a residential broadband connection, but you know what they are when you see them.

The only solution that would satisfy the hordes of /.ers, apparently, involves treating every customer as a business customer. After which I fully expect /. to explode with wild conspiracy theories around the rising cost of broadband.

Re:It's like pornography. (3, Informative)

iggymanz (596061) | about 9 months ago | (#44430311)

bullshit, typical geek "server" (domain with email and http server, maybe IRC or somesuch) uses negligible amount of the bandwidth of the home user who streams videos and/or plays multiplayer games.

google can go fuck themselves and die in a fire, I've been running a "server" on my home network since the mid 90s, which accounted for less than 1% of my traffic.

Re:It's like pornography. (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | about 9 months ago | (#44430345)

bullshit, typical geek "server" (domain with email and http server, maybe IRC or somesuch) uses negligible amount of the bandwidth of the home user who streams videos and/or plays multiplayer games.

google can go fuck themselves and die in a fire, I've been running a "server" on my home network since the mid 90s, which accounted for less than 1% of my traffic.

Good luck defining typical geek server usage without an enforceable TOS.

and so the internet dies. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430269)

The whole original IDEA was peer to peer networking that could route around damage. Somehow, we've let it become "everything gets routed through a few big players, and they can tell you what packets you can send and receive".

Sad thing is, this direction has been BLINDINGLY obvious for over a decade, easy. But nobody cared. It's only going to get worse and worse, until the internet is TV 2.0, just like the media companies wanted. And we - the internet using public - sat idly by and let them do it.

Net neutrality != permitting abuse (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 9 months ago | (#44430367)

Net neutrality means that content is freely available to all. It does not mean that an ISP has to provide the same services to all of it's users. At best it means that everyone has the opportunity to purchase or lease said services without bias or prejudice.

I don't see Google as having shifted their stance at all. They're merely talking from a different viewpoint on the issue, and just so happen to agree with pretty much every other ISP on the planet: if you want to run servers, you pay for business class services.

Just charge per bit. (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about 9 months ago | (#44430371)

This would all be solved if they just charged for the total data sent and received. They could charge something like a $20 monthly rate and $0.01 for each GB transferred.

This would mean that someone that transferred a terabyte would have to pay $30 for the month. Still pretty reasonable. Someone who transferred 10 terabytes would have to pay $120.

These are just numbers I came up with now. I'm sure they could be tweaked to make sure Google still makes a profit on people running servers and doesn't overcharge regular customers.

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