Getting Too Big

Posted on Sunday 22 January 2006

Great size often brings about arrogance. SBC is getting a bit too big for it’s britches. You might not know this, but SBC just recently acquired it’s former parent company, AT&T. Most recently, SBC has been trying to turn its ISP services into a new profit center. Unfortunately, the way they’re trying to do this is by asking large websites, in this case Google, to pay fees to get sufficient broadband to their site for customers on SBC’s ISP network.

Google’s response is perfect. Google’s Barry Schnitt told Networking Pipeline’s Paul Kapustka in an email: “Google is not discussing sharing of the costs of broadband networks with any carrier. We believe consumers are already paying to support broadband access to the Internet through subscription fees and, as a result, consumers should have the freedom to use this connection without limitations.” You can see the Networking Pipeline article here.

Given, what SBC and the other large ISPs charge for broadband services, I’d have to agree. Thuggish behavior by the large ISPs should be punished, and there should be federal legislation which prevents such strong arm tactics. If the Baby Bells and other large ISPs want to be more profitable, maybe they should look at cutting their costs, and streamlining their operations, rather than trying to get paid twice for the services they’ve provided.

Doc Searls has an article on this, as does the Washington Post. And from last October, TechDirt’s article foreshadows the whole issue.


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