Internet, schminternet

I am baffled by the Google-Verizon agreement on nonnet-nonneutrality. I’m mostly baffled by why Google would put its name to this. What does it gain?

As I see it, the agreement makes two huge carve-outs to neutrality and regulation of the internet: mobile and anything new.

So ol, grandpa internet may chug along giving us YouTube videos of flaming cats, but you want to get that while you’re out of your house? Well, that’s the nonnet. I can hear the customer “service” rep explaining this to us:

“Oh, no, sir. That’s not offered on the internet. That’s on the schminternet.”

You want something new? Anything created after 2010?

“Schminternet, sir.”

And transparency in essence creates a third carve-out: So long as the phone company tells you it’s screwing your bits, it’s ok.

But wait. Mobile is the internet. Mobile will very soon become a meaningless word when — well, if telcos allow it, that is — we are connected everywhere all the time. Then who cares where you are? Mobile? doesn’t matter. You’re just connected. In your car, in your office, in your bedroom, on the street. You’re connected. To what? To the internet, damnit.

“No, sir, I told you, the schminternet.”

Besides, Google itself proposed using the broadcast white spaces to create “wi-fi on steroids,” enabling us to do anything we could imagine and creating the competition that is the only real solution to net neutrality, competition that would force telcos to provide open, fast, reliable service at a decent price or we go elsewhere, competition that could even — oh, if only — put a few telcos and even cable companies out of business. Good, old, American competition. That was where Google’s interests were supposed to lie: the more we use the internet, they say, the more money they make. White-space steroid wi-fi would get us to use the internet more. But that would be new.

“Schminternet.”.

Grrrr.

“Sir, sir, if I could interrupt you. We do offer the things you want. Let me connect you to a sales representative for our schminternet department. She will be glad to explain the fees, limitations, and regulations to you. I’ll be putting you on hold now….”

: LATER: In my tweet, I called this a Munich Pact. Netizens are now citizens of the Sudentenland.

Just as Czechoslovakia was not invited to its cutting apart, so were we not invited to Google and Verizon’s parlays.

But the internet is ours, not yours, Verizon and Google. This is why we need our Bill of Rights in Cyberspace.

As the Google-China drama played out, I said that Google was acting, against its own desire, as our ambassador to China and other nations. I said that’s not good for us, as Google has its own interests and they don’t necessarily align with ours. Google is a corporation. (And I’ve just scored a point for Siva in the debate we hope to have at SXSW about whether companies have to be evil or can be good.)

So as after China, I will argue that it is up to us to create our own principles so we can point corporations and government at them. Otherwise, they will take over our land without us at the table.

Pass the sauerkraut, Herr Chamberlain.

: AND: I now own Schminternet.net. What should I do with it? Something new, of course.

: QUESTIONS: So If I take an iPhone or iPad away from my home and its wi-fi and start using cellular spectrum, is that the internet or the schminternet?

If you launch, say, a new video university, because it’s new, is that internet or schminternet?

And if it’s schminternet, do I have to negotiate with each carrier to carry it? Who gets to say it’s new? Me or them? Who gets to say what the limit is of the service I would get on the old, plain internet, forcing me to us and pay for the schminternet?

Oh, and I really still do not get Google’s interest in playing this role. OK, folks now it’s time for your conspiracy theories.

: REACTION: Josh Marshall says the Munich Pact analogy is “a bit inflammatory but unfortunately pretty much captures it.”

: Kara Swisher says I was making a joke on “Schmidt.” I honestly, densely didn’t even think of that until someone tweeted it after I wrote the post. It’s a Yiddish gag: Kara, Schmara. Jarvis, Schmarvis. Verizon, Verklempt. You get the idea.

: AND: Finally, a good piece explaining Google’s possible motives by Wired.com’s Ryan Singel: “Verizon and the nation’s telecoms have yet again won; Google officially became a net neutrality surrender monkey; and you, as an American, have lost.”

  • http://mikecane.tumblr.com Mike Cane
    • Jeff S

      Verizon takes irony to a new level.

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    • Darden McGlothlin

      Jeff,
      I like Google and I have, like you, tried to figure out the sell out. What if Google uses the wired system for net neutrality and releases Gizmo 5 so that we all have a compelling reason to use Google Voice? And, what if, Google fully pushes a national network in direct competition with Verizon and the giant providers? The carriers would be bound to allow Skype and Google Voice to own the landlines and Google could pour cash into its own broadband mobile at a rate that would require the giant providers to compete. I don’t think Google caved in. I think they are fixin to beat the traditional giant providers at their own traditional game.

      I have heard that Google is buying up fiber-optic by the gobs. I have heard that they are building transmission stations around the shore which generate their electrical needs by the sun and sea. Are they doing these things because they like the sound of perpetual motion transmitters or are they fixin to announce the fastest most complete mobile transmission system imaginable? What about the company that is sending a satellite system up to hit 4g in every nook in the nation. Do you imagine that Google “Mobile” will like those additional subscribers in rural America? If I am right I also imagine that the SEC will not be able to trounce on Google with legal grounds of unfair business practice. Who could reasonably argue that Verizon and the giant providers were unable to compete. But, if they do the settlement would probably include Net Neutrality for mobile since Google set theirs up that way.

      Google has stated many times that unrestricted internet is the backbone of its potential growth. They are smart enough to realize that they cannot expect the congress, currently financed by the telephone infrastructure giants, to continue Net Neutrality the way we enjoy it today. Having the giants required to submit fully to Net Neutrality on the ground while making them imagine they have a right to tier mobile net is a good plan. Who do we know would option to pay for some extra “service” when they can get it for “free” from Google.
      Let us remember that Google makes its money by ALL of us looking at them. The more, the faster, we look at them the more money Google makes. Google plotting with Verizon, seriously, why? Verizon sells bandwidth and Google wants it delivered for “free”. Verizon, are you forgetting who you are plotting with? Hold your breath that Verizon does not realize that the future Google can have a division of its business called “mobile broadband delivery” capable of generating enough cash to make us feel sorry for the current giants as they struggle to compete.
      Darden

      • http://www.cadfanatic.com/ Brian McElyea

        Darden,

        Interesting points… I only hope that you are right!

        Brian

  • http://devolute.net Ian

    Great. First time I’ve seen Goodwin’s law invoked about the Verizon/Google plotting.

    • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

      Heh. Well, it was about time, nein?

    • http://toomanytolist Don Alameda

      Did you mean “Godwin’s Law”?

  • http://www.m79.ca Mark Wadden

    Well said, Jeff. This stuff scares me and does not at all seem like the Google we love and trust. Google obviously needs to make an aggressive play in the mobile space to help secure its future, but this seems as half-baked as putting Buzz in Gmail.

    I can’t wait to hear the full discussion on this that’s sure to come on TWiG this week!

    • EB

      Can’t wait for TWiG, too!

      TWiG =This Week in Google, a podcast Jeff does with Leo Laporte and Gina Tripani on Wednesdays and available later as podcast through subscription.
      (Just in case some other folks here didn’t know what TWiG is.)

  • Craig Roth

    Well, so much for idealism.

    Good post, Jeff.

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  • http://Frankston.com/public Bob Frankston

    It’s actually worse – since Verizon keeps broadband to use for its own services. Neutral on the 1% left over isn’t interesting. As long as we try to fund “Internet” as a TV channel by having carriers making money on high value services and making bits valuable through scarcity we’ve got a problem. Broadband is a business model that denies us abundance.

    http://rmf.vc/?n=IPBR

    Google is another user of Verizon’s services. That’s not the same as a connectivity advocate. Once again it’s pursuing its own interests period.

  • http://www.muninetworks.org/reports/rss.xml Christopher Mitchell

    Jeff,

    I think mobile is not always mobile. When I am wireless in my house, my YouTube marathons have no impact on those around me using the tower because I am using Wi-Fi connected to a fast wired connection.

    On the other hand, when I am on cellular mobile moving around the community, the more and more I consume, the less others who are sharing the tower have to consume. We don’t have to capacity in wireless under current allocations to allow everyone to do everything at the same time using the cell towers. The more we can offload onto local wireless nodes that can use wired backhaul (with its much greater capacity), the better.

    I offer this as some nuance rather than a repudiation. I agree with you on your points and our need to protect our interests. However, it may make sense to regulate cellular differently than wired (and the Wi-Fi that uses wired as backhaul). That said, those regulations should _not_ be determined by corporations … and what are the odds of that not happening?

    • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

      Christopher,
      No, your use in your house also has an impact on your neighbor on the same node. That’s just cheaper bandwidth in terms of capital investment today. When wireless provides decent competition to wired connectivity – see: white spaces — this also changes the landscape.

      • NotEvenClose

        Jeff you have no clue what you’re talking about from a technical or business perspective on this issue.

        • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

          Well, that’s so helpful. Thank you very much. I know I speak for everyone here to say that we are so grateful to have been enlightened with so many specific arguments, facts, and new perspectives coming from your well-known experience in the field, whoever the fuck you are.

        • http://www.muninetworks.org/reports/rss.xml Christopher Mitchell

          Best. Reply.

        • http://hightechforum.org Richard Bennett

          Right, I should lay out a cogent argument with extensive footnotes from peer-reviewed journals to counter a bit of foaming-at-the-mouth, Godwin’s Law-proving hysteria by a guy whose idea of a making an intellectual point is saying “whoever the fuck you are” to guy whose blog was linked by Buzzmachine for years. Right.

          I’ve explained to you many times that “neutrality” doesn’t make the Internet open. Openness is the goal, and neutrality is a means (a defective one, it turns out) for achieving the goal. You’ve always ignored those arguments and gone back to the hysteria.

          What’s different now?

          The Open Internet is good, worthwhile, and worthy of protection; net neutrality, on the other hand, is a piece of fluff championed by people who aren’t entitled to have an opinion about how networks should be managed in order to ensure that they’re open.

          Openness and Neutrality: You can have either one, but you can’t have both. Which do you want?

      • http://www.muninetworks.org/reports/rss.xml Christopher Mitchell

        Jeff- I hope white spaces has that effect but I fear that it won’t (by the time they are ready for primetime, if they are not squashed by larger business interests, I fear demand will still outstrip supply).

        Use in my house on a cable network does have an effect on the neighbor (if they are on the same loop) but there is more capacity there than on the wireless tower and the wireless tower is shared by many more.

        If I am on an all fiber network, there is no real effect on the neighbor’s capacity though tech-geeks will note that depending on the architecture, there could be some effect but it will be quite minor.

        If I am on DSL (God help me), the effect on my neighbor is again negligible but the speed is probably so slow, who cares =)

        As broadband demand increases, we need to bring connections as close to the user as possible when it comes to wireless to match demand to capacity. So long as we don’t, I don’t think we can regulate wireless in the same way as wired.

      • http://iamdavebowers.com Dave

        It’s wrong to compare mobile with broadband wired internet. The easiest way to understand is try and do the same tasks on your fios as you do on your mobile. You can’t. It’s not the same. You can pretend it is, but it isn’t. The impact I have on my neighbour’s wired internet is negligible. Not so when you get crowds of people in a room. Ask Steve Jobs about impact of mobile devices on presentation bandwidth.

        Jeff, even you constantly talk about how news has changed from being a scarcity economy. You must understand that currently mobile is still a scarcity. You can complain about ‘the schminternet’ as much as you like, but while mobile bandwidth is still expensive and scarce it’s completely understandable. Companies have to earn a dollar. You had to earn a dollar when you decided to publish a paper book rather than make your information freely available on the Interent. So you understand profit, revenue, the bottom line. How can you not understand this?

  • http://www.ukfree.tv Briantist

    I got a bit annoyed about Martha Kearney on BBC’s The World At One calling it “web neutrality”, totally missing the damn point.

  • tim

    I was thinking Molotov-Ribbentrop.

    • GreatChuikovsGhost

      As was I

  • http://twitter.com/wolfyuwyo Patrick Wolfinbarger

    So who buys priority content delivery on the Schminternet, Republicans? Democrats? Tea Partiers? Fundamentalists? Rupert Murdoch? Jon Stewart? What I can’t figure out is why economic benefits for current service providers trumps the worldwide economic, social and communication benefits for everyone else. The cost/benefits for the Schminternet vs. the Internet doesn’t add up. It doesn’t make sense to start creating Internet ghettos. But lobbyists + politicians often don’t deal with what makes sense.

  • http://example.com example

    “What does it gain?”

    What do you mean, what does it gain? Google’s job isn’t to protect the internet, it’s to make money. Google, being the biggest kid on the internet block, can work out good deals with companies like Verizon, while their competitors have to pay in. It’s far more a burden on Google’s competitors then it is on Google.

    What pisses me off here is the idea that Google can sit there and “negotiate” away our freedom for it’s own benefit. It’s bullshit. But without the corporate money Google was putting in to protecting NN, a lot of the fight will go away :(

    • VV

      first: Google is evil.
      Second: Google has a major interest in making Android a success
      Third: in the USA you have to be in bed with operators to push your mobile platform
      fourth: Verizon is the “android” network
      fifth: Verizon needs android to fight the iphone (at least until LTE is everywhere – 5 years?)
      sixth: both benefit: google gets android to gain market share; verizon gets to push nonnet-nonneutrality because it increases their revenues

      “pay per click” just got renamed to “pay per click…if you paid to have the right to advertise in our network!, well, did you?”

  • Jay Gischer

    Do we really expect Google to engage in unilateral disarmament? The current state of affairs is at an impasse. It is so because some parties want it to be so, and want to forestall regulation.

    Google has a track record of changing the rules of the game by staking out radical positions in advance. I think of this as a negotiating posture. They aren’t negotiating with us, they are negotiating with AT&T, etc. Consider how they influenced the sale of spectrum.

    There’s nothing just or fair about a few consumers sucking down a highly disproportionate share of the mobile bandwidth available on a particular cell, while paying the same price as everyone else. I’m not sure why there’s such resistance to a usage-based pricing model, but there is.

    • http://mileonemedia.com Joe Cianflone

      You’re talking about edge cases, the vast majority of people don’t use a crazy amount of data. I don’t necessarily agree with capping, but if it’s a reasonable cap, I could personally get behind that idea. So people who use more than 5GB a month pay for the overage. That’s fine.

      But this is not that.

      This deal says, hey, you want to go to YouTube on your phone, pandora? Sure, $20.00 a month extra please.

      Basically, if you would like the OPTION of one day being at dinner and showing someone a video on YouTube, you’re going to have to pay extra $$ for that opportunity. Is that video of someone getting kicked in the nuts by his toddler really worth it?

      • http://iamdavebowers.com Dave

        “This deal says, hey, you want to go to YouTube on your phone, pandora? Sure, $20.00 a month extra please.”

        But it doesn’t ACTUALLY say that, does it. It says that’s possible, along with many other things.

  • http://realvirtuality.wordpress.com Alex

    You should have gotten “shminter.net”.

    • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

      Sadly, taken, as is Schminter.net

  • http://kaelri.com/ Kaelri

    “I now own Schminternet.net. What should I do with it? Something new, of course.”

    When the Schminternet comes, you should use it as a proxy server to open Schminternet content to the plebiscites.

    • http://www.GalleryArtship.com Helen Compton

      You’re all wrong. It’s Sphincternet.

  • http://Mileonemedia.com Joe Cianflone

    Jeff,
    A great piece. I propose a small protest to google and this deal. Change the name of This Week In Google to This Week in The Cloud.

    We know google employees listen to the show and it’s not a huge thing but I think it makes a nice statement.

    • EB

      TWiTC …… Great idea, but then the acronym would be too close to This Week in Computer Hardware, also on The Twit network, known as TWiCH.

      How about This Week Every Evil Villanous Internet Lowlifes.
      TWEEVIL.

      I know, needs work.
      :)

  • MichaelC

    What Google and Verizon know is this: In a few years, the wireless net WILL BE the Internet, at least for consumers. That’s the trend. So this is a very dastardly clever ploy.

  • http://bookkeepingnewtown.com.au Newtown

    Very disturbing, however not completely unpredictable. Google’s purchase of truckloads of dark fibre over the years had to be monetised, sooner or later. With its traditional markets under threat from revitalised competitors, the revenue shortfall has to be made up somehow….

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  • http://www.vintagevice.com Pamila Payne

    The internet is the most important tool for human advancement to come along since the printing press. Having access to (the current iteration of) the internet – even people who are so poor and destitute as to be homeless could use a computer at the library – gives everyone a chance to educate themselves and find resources to improve their lives.

    The internet is not important as a means to entertain us with piano playing cats. It’s important as a means to access, gain and share knowledge.

    Corporations are nothing more than a group of people who have gotten together and said, lets pool our resources so we will have the power to take more for ourselves from others.

    Google is about to do that on a scale never seen before. There is no metaphor too outlandish to describe how devastating these actions will be to current and future generations.

    And they’re doing it in a way that is woven into the very fiber of our culture – they’re making it a “Business Decision.”

    Welcome to 21 Century Corporatocracy…

    • Einfach

      There is no metaphor too outlandish to describe how devastating these actions will be to current and future generations

      Pamila: I’ve got a number tattooed on my right forearm that says you’re wrong.

      A little perspective, please?

    • Tex Lovera

      I’m with you, Einfach.

      “Corporations are nothing more than a group of people who have gotten together and said, lets pool our resources so we will have the power to take more for ourselves from others”.

      Nothing like making sweeping statements to bolster your case…..

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  • pdf23ds

    I wish that people would get it through their heads that throttling and/or caps (or metered bandwidth) on the client side is completely different from throttling or blocking on the server side.

    The first is neutral, the second isn’t. The first can solve the problem of bandwidth hogs.

  • Nate

    I love the internet as much as everyone but i think you’d have to be nuts to think it’s a “right” and that your “freedoms” are being taken away. It’s a service. Not a right. Jeezlaweez.

    • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

      I disagree, Nate. It is so critical to our future, it must be declared a right, like having water, getting an education, and access to roads. It is a strategic necessity.

      • Tex Lovera

        And roads have speed limits, no?

        (sorry, couldn’t resist).

        I still believe true open competiton, not regulation, is the way to go. But there’s still a lot to dig through on this issue.

        As for whether or not internet access is a “right” – well, I’ll pass on that discussion for now…

      • David UK

        Well carrying on the analogy, what Google / Verizon are proposing is akin to a toll road where people who are prepared to pay more get a fast, clear road, while everyone else gets stuck in a traffic jam. That’s hardly “net-neutrality”.

        Evil – schmeeval :(

      • http://iamdavebowers.com Dave

        To continue Tex’s point. Roads do have speed limits and you need a special license to drive a truck, rather than a car (and likely pay more road tax too). Depending where you live there may be water meters. Oh and electricity and gas, that’s not exactly a ‘use as much as you want for $10′ is it.

        What about education. Yes, you can get basic education for free. Harvard, Yale, Eaton, Hogwarts. All free? No. Definitely not.

        Let’s face it, calling mobile internet a ‘right’ as an idea is ludicrous, using water and education as a comparison, well, that doesn’t work either.

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  • http://www.independentcreator.com Matt

    I see neither the “new stuff” nor the “transparency allows violations of all other requirements” carveout that you claim are in there.

    I see the wireless carveout, which I agree is worrying. But the other two appear to be a substantial misreading of the text.

    • http://www.independentcreator.com Matt

      Actually, my bad– “Prioritization of Internet traffic would be presumed inconsistent with the non-discrimination
      standard, but the presumption could be rebutted.”

      That’s worse than “new stuff” or “transparency” carveouts. It’s basically, feel free to discriminate between content however you like, as long as you come up with a pretext.

  • http://frogblog.biz Fred H Schlegel

    Google has a lot of revenue to protect and is acting in it’s own self interest. That this is leading to shortsightedness or to a sudden appreciation of barriers to entry shouldn’t be surprising. Consumers benefit from an open internet. Startups benefit from an open internet. Places of existing power usually see open as a threat to what is and was.

    Google has gone from start-up to entrenched in record time.

  • http://cellar.org Undertoad

    Can I just point something out that nobody has picked up on? Not even Jeff? Something so basic that I have to resort to Caps Lock to point it out?

    THIS IS THE INTERNET, AND WE ARE IN CHARGE HERE.

    Don’t be afraid. We can do whatever we want. It doesn’t matter who agrees on what. There are more of us than there are of them.

    You want to prohibit our traffic? Fuck you. You can’t. We’ll encrypt it, we’ll put it through proxies, we’ll hide it in other things. We are the ones who figured out how to encode executables inside images, and images inside executables. We used innocent chat and Usenet groups as exchanges for porn and pirated movies.

    THE INTERNET RECOGNIZES CENSORSHIP AS NETWORK FAILURE, AND ROUTES AROUND IT.

    Censorship includes bit-throttling and port blocking and whatever else they want to do. I’m sure that all the powers that be are tearing their hair out trying to figure out how to fit all this bandwidth on the network; in 1995 I was working for a small ISP trying to figure out the same thing. But in the long run, as they provide more and more bandwidth, we will turn more of our attention to breaking into it, so that we can do whatever we want.

    It follows a similar path to open source software: at some point there will ten times more hackers working on riding Verizon’s network, than there are engineers at Verizon. Illegal you say? Sure, but a good chunk of real legitimate businesses in the Internet era started out by doing something illegal. Somehow even Napster turned into a legitimate business, and wound up signing deals with the record companies that tried to legally assassinate it.

    So DO NOT WORRY ABOUT NETWORK NEUTRALITY. Even if Google starts playing games with it. They are not in charge. We are.

    • Karim

      I’m reading that in a John Belushi, “WAS IT OVER WHEN THE GERMANS BOMBED PEARL HARBOR?” voice. :-)

      But yeah I think you can count on Delta House.

  • http://twitter.com/stevenkane Steven Kane

    Jeff – looks like we now know the answer to the question, “What Would Google Do?”

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  • The Supreme Overmind Of All Things

    Google and Verizon will go out of business long, long before they could ever own and control the entire, actual internet. Every program and device and protocol and hack that can be made will be made to put the Google-Verizon junk into its place as equals with the rest of us, as it has always been done before this. That’s how The Internet was formed, and that’s how it will always continue.

    There is also the little sometimes oversighted matter that Google and Verizon are corporations. If they tamper in such ways with our virtual reality, we, the public, will tamper with their physical reality in response, in ways they will regret with lifelong aplomb. As we all compose The Internet, they will become the criminal hackers on the run from us, the disease, the vermin, the pestilence, and they will truly never, ever be able to hide, and they know this.

    This is the way it will be done, as it has always been done and always will be done.

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  • dax

    Jeff, you are a great thinker. It’s why I listen to This Week in Google. It’s so upsetting that this would happen, and so hard to believe that Google would be in on it. I’m at a loss for words. The big money wins again.

  • Mark Jordan

    Trying to take the focus from Googlenet by using schminternet..nice try! Google is a dangerous company period. They should not be allowed to control information!!!

    • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

      “They should not be allowed.” Now that’s quite the statement. By whom? what information? Why? And if they can’t, wouldn’t that stop others? Let’s extract the emotion and talk in real terms.

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  • http://www.teawithcarl.com Carl Levinson, CEO

    Thanks, Jeff – Given your love of Google (I watch This Week in Google all the time – it’s deeply meaningful that you’ve blasted this hard – and I totally agree with you – freedom matters.

  • http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/ Tom Foremski

    It’s interesting that Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google is absent on this discussion.

    Also, Internet traffic would neet to be prioritized over backbones and local wireline networks prior to reaching the wireless nodes therefore it would be automatically prioritized for local last mile wireline distribution too… It’s a Trojan horse argument.

    • Rurik Bradbury

      Well those backbones are ultrafast — little latency there. I see the war being about the constricted last-mile pipes.

      MSOs want to protect their cable extortion racket for as long as possible. But it’s too late to close the barn door. With modern fiber/DOCSIS consumers can get 50 Mbits of bandwidth — enough to run several hi-def streams at once.

      So the cable cos are already disintermediated (maybe they just don’t realize it yet). All Google needed was an agreement that they would forbid MSOs from actively degrading any transmissions — and the proposal includes that (no “discrimination”). Google just outfoxed Verizon.

  • Rurik Bradbury

    Fuzzy thinking.

    1) The Schminternet already exists today. It’s called proprietary cable/telco services. When I order ‘movies on demand’ from Time Warner, those packets are prioritized. This will not be regulated away.

    2) as far as the public Internets are concerned, the only danger is active disruption by the MSOs, and that was already struck down after Comcast/BitTorrent — and would be again.

    Who cares about the Schminternet? If you don’t like it, don’t use it. If you want fast speeds, buy FiOS or Docsis services. All the MSOs want is the right to sell premium products (managed high speed packet delivery) at a premium price. Anything more than that, and both consumers and the FCC would not accept it. The pro-neutrality crowd are being so hysterical.

  • Eric Gauvin

    Jeff,

    All you ever do these days is throw tantrums. You have no credibility.

    • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

      And all you EVER do, Eric, is complain about me. EVER. Do you have no other foils? It’s quite tiresome being your only. So branch out. Find someone else, please. Show your brilliance through criticism there. Your work is done here.

      • Eric Gauvin

        :-)

    • Eric Gauvin

      As usual you’re full of crap.

      You wrote a book about google called What Would Google Do, yet all you can’t really provide any insight.

      Good luck with that…

      • Scotty

        Eric, you’re always going to be disappointed if you come to Jarvis for deep or critical thinking.

        I tend to think of his writing as being fairy floss for the brain – lots of empty calories with no substance, but it passes the time between real meals even if it is, ultimately, unsatisfying and bad for you.

      • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

        Enough, Eric. Discuss the substance. Stop the personal attacks. That’s a warning.

      • Eric Gauvin

        Dude. You’re the one who’s usually very insulting and condescending.

        • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

          Let’s get the chicken separated from the egg here, mate. I write what I think. You come in and insult me. I regularly warn you to get back to the ideas. You keep insulting. This is the last time. From now on, any personal insult not about the substance of the ideas in the conversation will be killed. My house. My rules.

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  • http://www.haroldsharpe.com Harold Sharpe

    I think the time has come for us all to consider what power the people have.
    It is time to make a stand.
    Consider this,…
    What if everyone who believed the net neutrality is paramount, and on September 1st 2010 made a stand.
    All of them dropped verizon phone, verizon wireless, verizon fios and verizon fios tv.
    What if all of the people who believe this is important, did a similar thing to google? Stopped using google for anything. No Searches, no email, no google voice, no google maps, no buzz etc?
    Do you think they would take notice?
    Not just for a day, but a huge slap in their face. No more google , no more verizon ever. If the people take a stand. the companies will surely fail quickly.
    While I would not want to see companies fail, I would prefer they live up to their word. When they don’t and they think they are bigger than life, it is time to take them down a notch.
    Verizon as a company can be wiped off the map in mere months if just 40% of the people canceled their accounts.
    Google may take a bit longer, but keep in mind, the share holders would tell google what to do if they noticed a difference.
    If people saw verizon fail then sprint and att would not attempt such an idiot idea.
    I will be leave everything google and everything verizon on September 1st 2010.
    Please join me.
    Make a stand!
    On September 1st, 2010, stop using Google for anything. Cancel your Verizon accounts.
    Start to set everything up now to work around.
    Some people simply can not, and have some requirements and may only be able to cut some of the services. Others can cut them all as there is other alternatives.
    I will cut all their services on September 1st 2010.
    Instead of verizon wireless I will use sprint.
    Instead of verizon phone services I will use vonage.
    Instead of verizon fios internet I will use time warner cable.
    Instead of Fios TV I will use time warner Cable.

    Instead of google maps I will use Bing.
    Instead of google search I will use bing search.
    Instead of google gmail I will use windows live or live.com

    On September 1st, 2010 I will remove all things google or verizon from my cell phones and computer.

    I will not come back to Verizon as I believe they overstepped their bounds.
    I will not come back to google as I believe with this mistake they should fail.

    Good Bye Verizon
    Good Bye Google.

    You signed my cancellation when you ended, or tried to end, net neutrality.

    Please join me and make a stand on September 1st 2010.

  • Another perspective

    Should we demand mail neutrality – an end to 1-day and 2-day services from the post office? They, too, favor established businesses at the expense of newcomers. How is this any different?

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  • http://www.pennsylvaniasbusiestmagician.com Pennsylvanias Busiest Magician

    Good read and interesting that these companies become so large they start to think they can control and do anything they desire. When companies like this get larger and larger it’s tough finding better choices. I guess we will see what Google does in the next several months.

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  • http://stephenchukumba.wordpress.com Stephen Chukumba

    Jeff, thanks for the really insightful article. I don’t think anyone is really paying attention to the ramifications of this position, and the fact that there is only ONE internet and multiple ways to reach it. If the telcos get their way, they will do to the internet what cable (and VZW) have done to TV, forcing us to select and pay for packages for what we were otherwise able to access for free. I hope that your voice is heard far and wide, and that others like you, with influence, can cut through the crapola we’re being fed, so that the gov’t and the FCC don’t make a HUGE mistake.

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  • Joe

    Wow, kudos to you Jeff.

    As a frequent listener of TWiG I fully expected to see/hear a rationalized apology from you regarding this Google-Verizon move. You described yourself as a Google ‘fanboy’ (god, I hate that term) on a couple of occasions.

    Instead what I got was rational, objective reason why you think this was bad for consumers and for Google. I say that not just because I agree with you but it was nice to be surprised and not hear somebody faithfully tow the party line for once.

    Once again, thanks for busting a preconception. Your integrity, IMO, went up a whole bunch this afternoon.

  • Christo

    ‘Sudentenland’ ??

    ‘Sudetenland’ you mean: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudetenland – ‘a far away country of which we [Brits] know little’ but nearly went to war about in September 1938.

    It all ended in 6 years of horror . . In the 2001 census, approximately 40,000 people in the Czech Republic claimed German ethnicity.

  • Arthur P. Johnson

    Well stated, Jeff — a visionary piece. You are one of the few who could write such a fiery indictment and light up the skies with it, because of your record as a Google apologist. And your courage, your willingness to wad up your past pieces in praise of Google and fling that big ball at their two-faced visage, wins you major respect from this reader. Go get ‘em. If we all could see as clearly as you and speak as clearly, G&V wouldn’t stand a chance.

  • John Button

    Google/Verizon pact vs. ultra wide band wireless

    At the risk of sounding quite daft as maybe I’ve misunderstood some of the legal & technical issues…

    but like you – I could not figure why Google would do the recent Verizon deal… and then I recalled….

    ..at just before 44 min. into this interview Vint discusses greatly increasing available wireless bandwidth by use of ultra wide band frequency sharing technologies or some such black magic.

    http://fora.tv/2010/01/07/Whats_Next_with_the_Internet_Vint_Cerf_Looks_Ahead#fullprogram

    Could this figure with their recent Verizon pact?

    My 2 cents: On first look it sounds even worse… Google sees much more available wireless bandwidth and that’s the $chminternet pie they want a slice of w/ Verizon, so they can afford to leave the wired net neutral.

    Still – I don’t get it either. It’s not like Google… so what’s the other option… to keep Google un-evil?

    If this ultra wide band wireless tech works and is adopted, couldn’t consumer or home brew devices be developed that would allow its use by anyone?

    Low cost wide band wireless adapters that consumers could plug into their wired connections and allow -even public w/ secured channels- localized wireless internet access w/o Verizon or anyone’s interference?

    Sure Google and the Verizons could manage the big public channels of wireless interconnection, but if the protocol works for them why not for anyone?

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  • http://www.azazaza.com Michael Harold

    Good post.

    Today wireline = broadband; wireless = narrow(er)band
    Tomorrow wireline = insanelybroadband; wireless = broadband

    Schminterband = you’re going to get a letter from Chowder re: his Knishmas smingerbread house episode.

    If the wireline is ultimately fiber optic and the wireless is ultimately LTE (or an equivalent), the “new” and the “wireless” carveouts are nothing more than codewords for the quadplay toolbooth the telcos have been unrelentingly pursuing for the past ten years.

    Marshall McLuhan saw it coming:

    “When faced with a totally new situation, we tend always to attach ourselves to the objects, to the flavor the most recent past. We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future. Suburbia lives imaginatively in Bonanza-land.”

    This is what Google is doing. It is trying to see its future in its rear-view mirror. Wake up Google! It doesn’t have to be this way. You can make money without being evil. It’s harder work, but doable.

    • r4ltman

      which keeps it thoroughly out of touch, moving forward in a car, while looking at the rear view mirror, can’t last, won’t last, it’s like the ipad, no destination.

      mcluhan tetrads need to be taught in schools

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  • http://hightechforum.org Richard Bennett

    The Master of all Link-Whoring strikes again.

    Google and Verizon are making a serious attempt to define and enforceable policy. Rapid, over-the-top pandering like this isn’t helping anyone.

    If you have nothing worthwhile to say, then…(never mind, I was going to suggest the entire blogosphere should shut up, and we can’t have that.)

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  • Zehaniah

    Hey, I’m from Prague and yr reference to the Munich Pact doesn’t offend me at all ;)

  • http://google.com/profiles/kaifahmed Kaif Ahmed

    Surely the free market will regulate all of this? If people know that a certain ISP blocks the sites that they want to go on then there is a gap in the market for an ISP that doesn’t have any blocks imposed on it. Do you think that supply will meet public demand for unrestrained access to the entire internet?

  • http://newmediatheory.net Lorenz Gude

    To re-frame a bit. I know what I don’t want – a cable TV situation where I have to pay a high fee for access and get heaps of stuff I don’t want and pay extra for the things I do want. And I am sure of the aspect of the Internet I think we the people own and that is the intellectual and artistic commons that has been around long enough to make its tremendous value apparent to all. The physical Internet? The backbones, routers, and ways to access it – wired, wireless, cell based? That costs someone money and has to be paid for one way or another. So currently I don’t mind paying my ISP bill, but I want no part of a system that wants to charge me different rates for Youtube traffic or Skype traffic or, especially, anything new. But what if YouTube wants to charge me for uploading my videos? I pay for server space on which to blog, but I am aware there are free alternatives. I use free VOIP all the time and it saves me about $50 a month in international phone bills. I like that but I know I am getting a deal that is almost certainly too good. (My ISP keeps trying to sell me a VOIP system that would cost me …about $50 a month. Gee!) One of the things that is going on here is that businesses – particularly phone companies – are trying to keep what has been a very profitable charging model. Right from the beginning of the 20th century when phones first became available they have charged the same way a railroad charges – as if electronic communication is like physical transport. They are even called carriers. It didn’t become obvious that electronic communication – voice, images, data, whatever, does not require significantly increasing amounts of cost as time and distance increase – as it does say in moving a cow from Kansas City to Caracas. But what would have happened if the rule was time only – 1 minute to Caracas cost the same as 1 minute to Aunt Minnie down the street. Obviously impossible for the early phone business but that is how the Internet works. And now we have a phone company and big Internet company – colluding, making a deal – which would find ways to reimpose something suspiciously like the railroad model of pricing on the Internet. I think what we see forming here is a cartel – to use a nice 19th century word.

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  • Arthur P. Johnson

    WHY IS GOOGLE DOING THIS? Try this one on:

    1. Verizon probably sells more Android phones than all the other carriers put together. Maybe they sell 80-90% of Android devices. Just guessing; feels right.

    2. iPhone coming to Verizon in January 2011.

    3. Will Verizon sell the iPhone harder than the latest Droid? Google sure hopes not.

    4. Verizon’s has Google by the short hairs now, effectively controlling Google’s bottom line. Google has no leverage I can think of to sway Verizon.

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  • Arthur P. Johnson

    Jeff, your house, your rules, and I understand why these trolls get under your skin — but what about replying to the rest of us who are actually speaking respectfully? APJ

    • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

      Arthur,
      I’m on vacation with my family. Also have huge projects at work and a book deadline. Priorities, I’m sure you understand. I respond as time allows but it sometimes doesn’t.

      • Arthur P. Johnson

        Jeff, fair enough — I’m in vacation myself, which is why I had time to chime in. Hope you’re relaxing and keeping your mind far away from Google-land. APJ

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  • http://vineyardvoice.org Patrick Phillips

    This is an opportunity to clarify the role of social media as a “brand badger” and as clear, social dissent. Jeff Jarvis is not just pointing to the potency of “crowd-sourcing” as a disruptive social force but to a moment of true “pamphleteering.” Through social media we can all multiply our dissent, clarify position and share actively in not so much “boycotting” but effectively choking Google-Verizon “Policy.” This essential question of net neutrality is a vital moment of net openness that must be grasped and shared widely now — and certainly not quibbled over.

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  • Rick Thomchick

    Call me a conspiracy theorist, but this seems like the beginning of a big corporate power grab to hog all our network bandwidth for their new-fangled cloud computing products and services.

    I have no doubt that Google, Verizon and every other company with something to gain can justify the “business need” to “prioritize” their packets over ours. It takes a lot of pipe to live-migrate a 5GB virtual machine across the country, and how could our YouTubing possibly be as important as their enterprise-class blahdiddyblahs?

    I read “open” as “open for business.” That may work fine for all the free-market fanatics out there but let’s remember that our tax dollars paid to have ARPANET created. Sure, this deal may seem to affect only cellular networks, but the proposed “controls” for the non-Schminternet Internet seem like a toothless facade, especially now that the FCC has basically de-fanged itself.

  • Lee

    I think we’re undervaluing what our role as simple “users” or “consumers” of the Internet is. We can choose to move onto the Information Superhighway (Jeff’s Schminternet in the coming days) or stick with the Information Dirt Track (the former Superhighway)….

    If we don’t move and don’t subscribe then it will fail.

    I think to an extent that we’re already doing this. The present battleground that is the Media Companies -vs- the Pirates shows that user power in not accepting flawed models is not insignificant; I actually believe pirates are necessary in the greater scheme of things in order to get the industry to move into the 21st Century. After all, I want music and movies on a device *I* choose and to have it available at the same time as the rest of the world….I’m willing to pay but of course I don’t live in a certain geographical location and therefore feel like I’m a 2nd Class Citizen. And I reject that treatment.

    This agreement is inconclusive for me right now but I’ve always had the feeling that Google is somewhere between Good and Evil on the slider (in my head).

    Trust No One and you’ll never be let down!

  • r4ltman

    i listened to the last twit ep, i have listened as well since twig 001, most interesting thing usually in the week, as an appreciator of linguistics, i made this in appreciation of the subject, it’s all kinda tongue in cheek.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7363567@N05/4900089315/lightbox/

  • http://manusferrea.com Bradley Martin aka Manus Ferrea

    Jeff,

    I think the net neutrality battle was lost with the death of Independent ISPs. From 1995 to 2005 we had choices. Now we have a dualopoly (pick Verizon/AT&T or your cable company). What we are seeing today is the result of a battle long lost. If you’ll recall, the Time Warner AOL merger wasn’t allowed until Time Warner opened it’s cable Internet access to EarthLink; now where’s EarthLink?

    The Next Gen Broadband initiatives continue to get little traction. What happened to Broadband Over Powerline? 4G – WiMax? Sprint has little love from the media and tech community. AT&T and Verizon have yet to launch their LTE initiatives. Why?

    A Last-Mile replacement has yet to really get any tractions. And I don’t see a new company dropping vast amounts of CapEx to get right of way access to construct and deploy new copper/fiber access to every home across any municipality…

    However, I don’t think you need to fear a divided Internet. The Internet will survive… The divided Bulletin Board Services of the early 90s collapsed under the weight and freedom of the Internet; it is a resilient network and people will continue to gravitate by whatever means needed (i.e. jailbreak/hacks) to get to a free and open Internet (“…you can’t stop the signal. Everything goes somewhere.”)

    To me the message or cause to define Net Neutrality should be simplified to “the ability to connect to the Internet across a variety of carriers agnostic of the technology by which we send and receive data.” and I know that’s a bit simplified, but the jailbreaks/hacks and a competitive environment will drive out the rest of the “restrictions” like bit throttling or unreasonable “QoS” controls prioritizing packets…

    …But that Last Mile, Jeff… that’s the real issue with Net Neutrality…

    Without real competition, Net Neutrality will remain buried in the graves of the Independent ISPs… Control is in the hands of the dualopoly… And without real competition, we are at their mercy.

    So why did Google sign a deal with Verizon… It’s not a fun answer; but even Google must capitulate to the might of the dualopoly…

    -Bradley Martin
    -Sr. Network Vendor Manager; EarthLink 1996 – 2007
    -manusferrea.com

    • http://manusferrea.com Bradley Martin aka Manus Ferrea

      Yes I noticed the misspelling of dualopoly – it should be duopoly… kick me … :-)

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  • http://www.timcomp.com Alex Autrey

    I completely agree with you Jeff and I hope we do get some form an Internet Bill of Rights soon but it would need to be very specific to allow for the internet to be as free an possible.

    Not an easy thing in any article with out allowing latitude for push back in the other direction.

  • Yong Jerzak

    It’s simple GREED!!! Verizon on the wired side: Fios landline service. Google: Google TV !!!!! !!!!!!! Wireless: verizon cell phone; Google: android~~~~~~~~~ So, Google is confident on the wireless side. Poise to go on a new front, Google TV. Verizon is considered the biggest wireless service. Verizon Fios is competing with Comcast, Dish, etc. Right?

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  • LOGGER

    Simple. If it is bad at any or all levels the stock price will plunge. The leveling process is always at work.

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  • J. Smith

    Most ironic commercial ever?

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  • http://nyprojektledelse.blogspot.com/ Peter G. Harboe

    Mr Jarvis, I respect most of your comment and your book Do-As-Google-Does inspired me to start a blog.
    But I do not agree with your post this time
    If the internet is going to be available for low-income users and improve conditions in the third world, the upper-class services like apps for mobile devices, streaming TV and radio will have to be premium priced.
    (For further input please see Der Spiegel this week)

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  • Brian Chrisman

    Please, please stop with the schminternet already. I’m an avid follower of TWIG & think that you, Gina, and Leo are about as good as it gets. Someone must be encouraging you to keep the schminternet schtick going – but, please, ask Leo, ask Gina – it sucks.

    Love the show & you. Keep up the great work.

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