Feeds

Google hints at the End of Net Neutrality

This cache makes perfect sense

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Updated Network Neutrality, the public policy unicorn that's been the rallying cry for so many many on the American left for the last three years, took a body blow on Sunday with the Wall Street Journal's disclosure that the movement's sugar-daddy has been playing both sides of the fence.

The Journal reports that Google "has approached major cable and phone companies that carry Internet traffic with a proposal to create a fast lane for its own content."

Google claims that it’s doing nothing wrong, and predictably accuses the Journal of writing a hyperbolic piece that has the facts all wrong. It's essentially correct. Google is doing nothing that Akamai doesn’t already do, and nothing that the ISPs and carriers don't plan to do to reduce the load that P2P puts on their transit connections.

Caching data close to consumers is sound network engineering practice, beneficial to users and network operators alike because it increases network efficiency. More people are downloading HDTV files from Internet sources these days, and these transactions are highly repetitive. While broadcast TV can deliver a single copy of “Survivor” to millions of viewers at a time, Internet delivery requires millions of distinct file transfers across crowded pipes to accomplish the same end: this is the vaunted end-to-end principle at work.

There’s nothing wrong with Google's proposed arrangement, and quite a lot right with it. The main beneficiary is YouTube, which accounts for some 20 per cent of the Internet’s video traffic and was recently upgraded to a quasi-HD level of service. Taking YouTube off the public Internet and moving it directly to each ISP’s private network frees up bandwidth on the public Internet. Google’s not the only one doing this, and in fact so many companies are escaping the public Internet that researchers who measure Internet traffic at public peering points, such as Andrew Odlyzko, are scratching their heads in wonderment that the traffic they can measure only increases at 50 per cent a year. Researchers who study private network behavior see growth rates closer to 100 oer cent per year, and caching systems like Google’s and Akamai’s make this kind of traffic distribution possible.

While there’s nothing to see here of a technical nature, the political impact of this revelation is study in contrasts.

The essential guide to IT transformation

Next page: Cache from Chaos

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
NBN Co claims 96 mbps download speeds for FTTN trial
Umina trial also delivers 30 mbps uploads, but exact rig used not revealed
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?