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Net neutrality is one of the biggest topics on the web right now, and lest anyone thing it's being overstated, see the spat between Netflix and Comcast. In short, Netflix inked a multi-year agreement with Comcast to ensure that its traffic is pumped into homes at the fastest speed possible to avoid buffering, low quality video, dropouts, and other undesirable effects of slowed connections. Not long after, Netlfix announced it was increasing its subscription by $1 for new subscribers. In other words, it's the customers that ultimately foot the bill when big companies fight, which is why it's refreshing to see Google take a different approach.
In a blog post this week, Google talked about the behind-the-scenes efforts at Google Fiber and how it's working with, not against, content providers to minimize buffering. Whereas Comcast took a hard line approach to the situation and essentially told Netflix to pay up or shut up, Google said it isn't charging for unfettered access into Google Fiber homes.
"We give companies like Netflix and Akamai free access to space and power in our facilities and they provide their own content servers," Google explains. "We don’t make money from peering or colocation; since people usually only stream one video at a time, video traffic doesn’t bog down or change the way we manage our network in any meaningful way — so why not help enable it?
"But we also don’t charge because it’s really a win-win-win situation. It’s good for content providers because they can deliver really high-quality streaming video to their customers," Google added.
Having Google as your ally is a pretty big deal, but will it be enough to sway other ISPs to follow suit? Don't hold your breath.