Google makes bold statement on net neutrality with Fiber services
These days, the societal tug of war that has developed around net neutrality can change from day to day, with new benefits and counter-arguments emerging what feels like every moment. This week, the world's most valuable media brand made a huge statement on their stance on the matter – Google, who just overtook longtime competitor Apple in value this week, according to CNN, has announced an interesting, middle-of-the-road solution through new service Google Fiber.
According to popular tech blog ZDNet, Fiber is a broadband internet and television service that has been available in the limited area of Kansas City and, more recently, small areas of Texas and Utah in its beta form. The service's goal is to provide optimal web service, specifically at a time where streaming video on the web and video conferencing have grown more popular than ever, without compromising the "free and open Internet" platform they've publicly endorsed in a recent letter to the FCC. Google was certainly not alone in this public stand against Internet culture where super-companies can purchase preference to potentially wipe out smaller competition – other powerhouses like Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, Amazon, Reddit, Ebay and many others cosigned the full endorsement of an uncompromising Internet.
"Instead of permitting individualized bargaining and discrimination, the Commission's rules should protect users and Internet companies on both fixed and mobile platforms against blocking, discrimination, and paid prioritization, and should make the market for Internet services more transparent," the letter read, with over 150 major web forces signed beneath. Notably absent, of course, was Verizon and Comcast.
Toeing the line between profit and integrity
In an effort to make good on the "transparency" the letter refers to, Google has been forthcoming about the ways that video streaming will be optimized with Fiber without going back on their firm stance made just last week. After forging this partnership with Netflix, which faces enormous financial setbacks from major web providers if the FCC manages to overturn the net neutrality act – so far, Fiber appears to offer a solution for faster video streaming without yanking reasonable Internet speeds for less wealthy users of the service. Google Director of Network Engineering Jeffrey Burgan made a statement on how Fiber will maintain this balance.
"If the connections between the content provider and our network are slow or congested, that will slow down your access to content, no matter how fast your connection is," he explained. "So that your video doesn't get caught up in this possible congestion, we invite content providers to hook up their networks directly to ours."
This is a negotiation made with Google-owned entity YouTube, Netflix and Akamai according to the ZDNet report. Though Google and its majorly successful counterparts stand by this FCC letter, a separate article from ZDNet made clear that the idea for the appeal came from the many smaller businesses signed far below the major companies. Over one hundred providers had signed the letter by the time Google threw its powerful name onto the bill, inspiring partners and, frankly, those who would benefit from being on the same side as Google, to join up, as well.
With the giants of the Internet in a bitter war over a free and open Internet, the future remains unclear as ever – for now, it can be a comfort to advocates of the free and open Internet that so many major providers are on their side. However, with Comcast and Verizon looming with billions of dollars in the distance and the ever-indecisive FCC, the battle over net neutrality is still anybody's game.