Actions may speak louder than words, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to talk about your actions either: Google just explained how Google Fiber does peering — a clear stab at the big competitors that prefer paid peering deals.

Image courtesy of Google
photo: Google

Google  used its Google Fiber internet access business Wednesday to chime in on the continuing debate around peering and internet fast lanes, and guess what: the company doesn’t use either. Fiber, which is slowly expanding its footprint, doesn’t have “any deals to prioritize (some content companies’) video ‘packets’ over others or otherwise discriminate among Internet traffic,” according to a blog post published Wednesday afternoon.

Google also said it doesn’t charge for peering, and instead invites content providers and content delivery networks to colocate within their facilities to get their content closer to the end user. Google identified Akamai and Netflix as two companies that make use of colocation; Netflix has for some time tried to partner with ISPs and place its own OpenConnect caching appliances within the ISPs’ networks.

From the blog post:

“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. For example, because Netflix colocated their servers along our network, their customers can access full 1080p HD and, for those who own a 4K TV, Netflix in Ultra HD 4K. It’s good for us because it saves us money (it’s easier to transport video traffic from a local server than it is to transport it thousands of miles). But most importantly, we do this because it gives Fiber users the fastest, most direct route to their content.”

Of course, this was more than Google gloating about how fast Fiber is. The post also comes at a time where Netflix sees itself pressured to strike paid peering deals with companies like Comcast and Verizon to improve an otherwise subpar video streaming experience for the customers of those ISPs.

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  1. ISP that works in the best interest of its customers? I can get behind that.

    1. Except for the fact that Google Fiber doesn’t have your best interest in mind when they are performing deep packet inspection against your traffic to better serve up relevant ads (or sharing information with the government).

      1. I don’t care if they sell my browsing data to advertising companies. I use adblockers just for that reason.
        I also always surf in protected mode & don’t use flash for anything so Fiber is the best for me.

  2. I work as a fiber splicer and Time warner, ATT, Verizon, etc all use fiber networks. They just are too fucking cheap to ACTUALLY put light through it. I splice for all of them daily they have brand new networks ready to go but use 25 year old routes that are breaking and have high DB losses, thus resulting in shitty internet and crap TV.

  3. Jack N Fran Farrell Wednesday, May 21, 2014

    Consider the best interests of its customers first. Of course Google engineered it system with space for peering. No doubt, bad engineering could make space in ISPs facilities hard and expensive to use. Should ISPs charge others for their engineering incompetence. Only an ISP getting paid cost plus interest on its investments could conceive of that.

    1. I have absolutely no idea what you are trying to say.

      1. I think he refers to the way that some ISPs inflate co-location costs with full actuarially justifiable costs plus interest added as ‘rent’. The marginal cost for adding a rack is just the meterable electricity used and the initial interconnect cost for wire.cable.
        They do not pay back to the co-located provider any of the network efficiency gains.

        Google charges zero, justifying a zero charge as a reasonable quid-pro-quo of costs versus gains

        1. I wonder if we can get someone who actually knows what they are talking about to write for GigaOm about this.

          Peering has nothing to do with colocation. It has to do with direct exchange of traffic covered by customer and self-originated routes. A cost of colocation for peering is nominal. You go into TelX, Equinix or other similiar well connected locations, get a rack or two ( $2k/mo ) and terminate your circuits into that location. After that you run interconnects to other people who are in the same location paying only for cross-connects ($150/mo). I pay for 1st, you pay for 2nd, I pay for 3rd, etc. If the links get congested, we simply add more links ( and I can push terrabits of traffic with the gear in two racks ). Hello, gobs of traffic that can pass between the two networks directly, without relying on transit for a very very very small cost.

          Colocation that is being talked about is NetFlix renting *space* and *power* inside the network so it can originate traffic directly from there. It has NOTHING to do with peering. In fact, it is a standard customer relationship. They get *power*, *space*, and *transit*. I certainly hope that NetFlix gets charged for being a customer of Comcast.

          1. I certainly hope that Comcast gets charged for being a customer of Netflix. How many subscribers do you think Comcast would lose to its competition if Netflix turned off the tap to Comcast? Peering is win-win for both companies, which is why it has been free.

            1. Isn’t that just the problem in the US? People can’t leave because they have nowhere else to go for Internet. So comcast keeps its desperate customers and nothing changes

            2. That’s because you are confused. If Comcast bought power and space and transit from NetFlix then Comcast woudl pay NetFlix.

  4. asdlfn asdi;fnasio;jf Wednesday, May 21, 2014

    Now if only they’d bring fiber to more than 12 people.

    1. True. This is all BS, as Google will “build out” to reach maybe 15% of the USA by the year 2525 maybe…

      1. Not if they bought their way in starting with Time Warner. If Netflix was smart they would be looking at doing the same thing.

    2. True. Google Fiber is a hobby. Would be great if they turned it into a focus, possibly a spin-off in partnership with some large media companies.

  5. google own half the internet…. no need to charge anything

  6. Take my money!

  7. Help us Google Fiber, you’re our only hope!

    1. Google-Wan Kenobi

  8. franklinflowerbasket Wednesday, May 21, 2014

    Now if we can simply get that over to the Dallas, TX area that would be great!

  9. Google is a content provider! Hello, anyone hear of YouTube? Google fiber would shot them selves in the foot if they charged. GigaOm shouldn’t that be part of the story? Funny that they even made a statement. Stirring up trouble for themselves in this political climate.

  10. Google is a content provider first, then an ISP. Anyone heard of YouTube? Google would shoot it self in the foot if it started charging for peering. Not really a story other than it was ill conceived to say anything. Other ISPs are only offering more ports closer to the edge for faster speeds. Line cards start at 80k, +fiber, +labor, +cooling. The cost is enormous, and when your at the edge it is multiplied by many edge locations. Why would any for profit company expect to have another company provide that for free?

    1. And Comcast isn’t a content provider? Time Warner isn’t? Comcast is conducting disgusting protection racket behavior, and pocketing ridiculous profits so it’s nice that Google is confirming that they’re not going to indulge in the same evil practices.

    2. The “other company” does not provide that for free. The “other company” gets paid by their customers to provide that service (access to the content providers).

    3. @Matt, i’m not sure if you’re trolling. but in case you’re being serious, They’re not providing that content for free, we, the consumers are paying for it already. If i pay you money to deliver me dunkin donuts that i paid for, you better deliver me dunkin donuts and not try to charge them a fee too, because i already paid you, dumbass.

    4. You’re right! Just like we tax pizza delivery drivers 50% of their income for using our roads! I mean, yeah, you already paid for the roads… but we figure we can get even more money if we charge people who use the roads insane fees just for using the roads.

      This ain’t a free ride.

      1. Is the internet a public utility that gives equal access to everyone? It should be.

    5. Back in the early 2000s Google was purchasing dark fiber all around the country. See, fiber that had been rolling out since the 1970s but a lot of it was more or less abandoned by the late ’90s due to overbuilding. I seem to recall that something like five percent of the fiber laid in the USA in 1997 was actually lit.

      1. Correct, that’s why the bottom fell out of the fiber market and the big suppliers like JDS Uniphase and Nortel tanked.

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