Google's Anti net-neutrality

Google’s Anti net-neutrality

Network neutrality is the principle that is proposed for potentially every network which says that Internet users should be in control about the type of content they view and kind of applications they use on the Internet. Since a very long time, the Internet has been operating according to this neutrality principle. Fundamentally, net neutrality is about equal access to the Internet. It means no discrimination between web contents based on its ownership or destination. But from our point of view, the carriers of broadband network should not be allowed to use their market power to block Internet applications and content (e.g. websites, services etc) particularly those of competitors. They should not be permitted to control all the activities online. All the phone companies must treat the traffic in the pipeline to be same. It’s not supposed to block or slow down any contents.

Talking of law, there is both legal and political wrangling and conflicts going on in US regarding net neutrality. Also the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) claimed jurisdiction on this issue and has passes dome rules which all the telecommunications industry has to follow an obligation of transparency is also proposed which aims to limit network operators’ ability to restrict end-users’ choice of lawful content and applications.

Many major Internet application companies are advocates of Network neutrality such as Google, Yahoo!, and EBay etc. Software giant Microsoft also, along with many other companies, has also taken a stand in order to support neutrality regulations. But over the time this support is quietly losing its powerful defenders. Till now Google has been the loudest and foremost advocates for equal internet access, but according to a document reviewed by The Wall Street Journal it seems that Google is changing its position on net neutrality and also claimed that supporters of neutrality are hypocritical. The document says that 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. This clearly means that Google is now negotiating with broadband providers for bringing up an internet fast lane for its own content. This statement shows a conflict between the two views; one is its constant support for net neutrality regulations and second approaching broadband companies for its own fast track on the web.

It’s been reported that Google said it has not backed away from supporting neutrality principles. the company denied the information contained in the Journal story. Google is making efforts to enter into edge caching agreements with broadband providers and at the same time is also consistent to support net neutrality. Google has offered to collocate caching servers within broadband providers’ facilities. Edge caching means frequently accessed data are stored temporarily on servers that are located close to the users accessing that data.

Google entering into this collocation agreements with broadband providers doesn’t mean that any other online companies cannot make this agreement. It’s completely nonexclusive and also it does not means that Google traffic be treated with higher priority than other traffic.
Not only Google but The Wall Street Journal article also said Microsoft and Yahoo have quietly withdrawn from a net neutrality coalition. But they also denied from this report.

This is the moment for network neutrality to become law as it has great appeal and clear need. Also strong and big supporters like Barack Obama, and the new congress. President of US strongly supports the principle of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet. According to him, users must be free to access content, to use applications, and to attach personal devices. We don’t know which way the wind will blow but it’s a mystery that giants like Google and Microsoft are “supporters” or have abandoned from supporting the net neutrality principle.

Contributed by:

Vishal Dwivedi
Internet Marketing Consultant

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