CNET News Video: Daily Debrief: Google's one-step, two-step over Net neutrality
Google reaffirmed its stance on Net neutrality but amplified on its intention to "co-locate" caching servers within broadband providers' facilities. On the CNET News Daily Debrief, Charles Cooper and Declan McCullagh explain the lingering ambiguity that continues to cloak the issue.
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>> Is Google backing away from net neutrality. The Wall
Street Journal says yes, Google says, well, not so fast.
Welcome to CNET News Daily Debrief, I'm Charlie Cooper
here with my colleague, CNET New's very own Declan
McCullagh. And if I may quote from your story today,
neutrality, it's a little bit like obscenity. You know
it when you see it, but there's apparently some
>> It's difficult to define.
>> What's going on with this latest curfuffle
>> Well, the Journal in a story on Monday's edition says
that Google is -- let's quote exactly -- approached
major cable and phone companies with a proposal to
create a fast-lane for its own content. And Google
responded yesterday evening, even before this actually
hit the streets, saying no, all we're doing is going to
try to put some servers in the network centers for, say,
Comcast, et cetera, so we can cache content faster, it
benefits everyone, including the broad band providers.
>> And Google's long-standing position has been that
Internet traffic should be treated equally.
>> Exactly. So this is part -- part of the problem.
Net neutrality is a vague concept, sure, we can all
agree blocks sites is bad. But when it comes down to
more -- the stuff that's in the gray area, it becomes
kind of difficult. Let's look at a Google blog post
from February, 2008. It said some major broad band
service providers are threatened to act as gatekeepers
playing favorites with certainly content providers.
What they're describing is essentially what they want to
do now. They want to play favorites with certain
content providers, that is YouTube, a Google property.
So then those properties can have much better, much
faster connections with AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast.
>> Well they were centralized -- [ Multiple voices
>> Will they be just centralizing the caching?
>> I -- if I were -- I'm planning this and the articles
are pretty vague, you've put it in every major data
>> Let's talk about the politics of it. Net neutrality
is by largely supported by Democrats in congress. A new
administration is coming in, a new congress is coming
in. What's the likelihood that you'll see a bill passed
one way or the other.
>> The best answer is it probably depends on the outcome
of the Comcast appeal of the FCC, really. The FCC slept
on Comcast on net neutrality grounds saying you can't
[Inaudible] Comcast says you don't have the authority to
do that. It's before a federal appeals court in
Washington D. C.. And if the appeals court says
actually Comcast, sorry, you lose, the FCC has all the
power it needs. Then that takes away some -- takes some
of the winds out of the sails for the net neutrality
crowd. But if it goes the other way then I can see
congress moving pretty swiftly an Obama administration
FCC, staff by Obama appointees egging him on.
>> And Google has lobbied on behalf of passing some kind
of legislation in a new session.
>> To be fair to Google, they have not been as vocal
about it recently. Maybe it's because the FCC has
stepped in, maybe it's because they're fighting a lot of
other Washington battles. But their official position
was and is we want net neutrality legislation,
regulation, something to keep broad band providers in
>> And Eric Schmidt, the CEO, is an advisor to the Obama
campaign, or had been -- now we can say the Obama
>> Yeah, there's a close relationship. At least
>> Cool. Thanks [Inaudible] -- on behalf of CNET News,
I'm Charlie Cooper.