Money-grabbing telcos want to charge for their piece of the Internet

Google is my search engine of choice, and Google AdSense is the main source of income for this site (still not quite breaking even though); however recently I have criticised the Internet search giant for their appalling Google Pack and also questioned (in not so many words) whether their rapid growth is starting to impinge on their “don’t be evil” informal corporate motto…

Whether Google are evil or not, I was appalled to hear on Slashdot Review that US telcos have criticised Google and other Internet giants for using their lines without paying extra fees and charges. According to the original Washington Post article, a Verizon executive said:

“The network builders are spending a fortune constructing and maintaining the networks that Google intends to ride on with nothing but cheap servers.”

The way I see it is that I pay my Internet service provider (ISP) to provide an Internet service and Google pays their ISP to provide an Internet service whilst the ISPs pay the telcos for access to the carrier networks. So, the telcos are paid, not once, but twice to deliver Google’s data to my browser. Now they want to be paid again… hmm…

At the same time, the telcos are putting in place next generation networks that will allow them to prioritise traffic, effectively allowing them to marginalise “free” Internet users, giving access to those are prepared to pay more. As both a user and a content provider, I don’t like this one bit, and neither it seems does Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist, Vinton G. Cerf, who was partially responsible for the original creation of the Internet and was reported in the same article as saying:

“In the Internet world, both ends essentially pay for access to the Internet system, and so the providers of access get compensated by the users at each end… My big concern is that suddenly access providers want to step in the middle and create a toll road to limit customers’ ability to get access to services of their choice even though they have paid for access to the network in the first place.”

That just about sums it up to me. Verizon (AT&T, and the rest) – keep your hands off the Internet – I pay my ISP – how ISPs and telcos charge one another for access should not be my problem.

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