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Google possibly changing net neutrality stance in FCC response

updated 02:53 pm EDT, Wed July 31, 2013

Google defends Fiber server complaint with 'industry standard' response

Google has seemingly changed its mind over net neutrality, based on a response to a complaint made to the FCC. The search giant believes that it can ban servers from its Google Fiber service as it is something practiced by other Internet Service Providers, and does not go against the net neutrality rules that it has championed in the past.

The initial complaint, filed in 2012 with the FCC by Douglas McClendon, resulted in the commission requesting Google's rationale behind its Google Fiber Terms of Service, reports Wired. The terms ban any and all "servers" from being hosted through Fiber connections, with the rule in place due to the company wanting to operate a business-class service permitting them. While it could be that the terms intend that users cannot host their own public webserver, it also effectively prevents the use of other kinds of servers, including game servers, media servers, remote SSH connections to a home computer, or even using an IP camera.

Google's response to the complaint advises that its "server policy is consistent with policies of many major providers in the industry," citing the server policies of AT&T, Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox, and Verizon as proof of this. It also states that the server policy is also fine in terms of the Open Internet Order, due to it being under the "reasonable network management" aspect of the code, and that it does not discriminate on "any content, application, or service provider."

Though it is reported that Google employees are responding in support forums for the service, saying that it is not meant for small-scale servers, the response is relatively hypocritical compared to what Google has fought for in the past. One example cited by Wired is Google's "friend of the court" brief in November, where it claimed the policing of net neutrality by the FCC allowed Sling to continue to operate, though the latest response to the FCC's questioning seemingly goes against that sentiment.




by MacNN Staff

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