Google accused of turning its back on net neutrality

A Wall Street Journal report questions Google’s commitment to net neutrality, but the search company calls the article "confused" and "hyperbolic," CNET reports. The problem with defining net neutrality so the government can regulate it is similar to the problem of defining obscenity so the government can ban it: You know it when you see it. That shorthand didn’t work very well for the U.S. Supreme Court, and it’s not working well for Google, either, as a report in the Dec. 15 edition of the Wall Street Journal made clear. The article said Google "has approached major cable and phone companies" with a plan to "place Google servers directly within the network of the service providers," in apparent violation of the company’s long-standing exhortations that net neutrality means everything-must-be-treated-equally. Google promptly replied to the Journal in a post Sunday evening by Richard Whitt, its Washington telecom counsel. Whitt dubbed the Journal story "confused" and "hyperbolic," and offered this elaboration: "Google has offered to ‘co-locate’ caching servers within broadband providers’ own facilities; this reduces the provider’s bandwidth costs since the same video wouldn’t have to be transmitted multiple times. We’ve always said that broadband providers can engage in activities like co-location and caching, so long as they do so on a non-discriminatory basis…"

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