eWeek.com's GoogleWatch column had an interesting bit last week about net neutrality in the European wireless industry:
"European cell phone giant Vodafone Group is using a new, more powerful content filter, which may be cause for alarm for Google.
What Vodafone's rolling out now in theory lets it collect from Google the same kind of user fee recently proposed by U.S. wired broadband network owners. These companies argue that Google's such a heavily used feature, it's choking off their bandwidth. So Google should pay them something, perhaps based on how much of the pipe its customers take up.
The new wrinkle here is Vodafone is a cell phone operator, a type of business rarely heard from on this issue of Net neutrality. . . . So just how Vodafone will behave going forward is somewhat uncharted and very interesting territory.
Vodafone says it'll never use the filters to charge Google or others fees, and to think so is reading too much into the situation. The firm is simply using the filters to block kids from seeing porn and other illicit material. . . ."
Is what's sauce for the goose sauce for the gander? (I had to check the exact wording of that aphorism; instead of getting up to pull my Bartlett's off the bookshelf, I simply googled "goose sauce gander.") If recent reports are accurate, Google may have the opportunity to decide if it wants to practice what it preaches. Investor's Business Daily had a good piece about the possibility of Google, EarthLink, eBay
and other "new media" companies building their own broadband wireless
networks. This is the type of third pipe that might go a long way towards providing a business solution to the network neutrality dilemma. Preston Gralla at Techwire had a couple of entries
on his blog (here and here) talking about the same topic. He's a big supporter of the idea.