Google Fiber: The Deal That Keeps Getting Worse

landoIt’s no secret I’ve soured on Google Fiber, and I was pretty loud in saying that Provo wasn’t making a very good deal with the advertising giant for iProvo. They threw open access under the bus. They killed the prospect of public-private partnerships. They gave businesses the cold shoulder. Now they’re going one further: their boilerplate ToS bans running servers just like Comcast and CenturyLink.

This matters. It matters a lot. The point of a faster upload speed isn’t just to send pictures to Facebook faster. It would let you share content directly with other users. Most ISPs go with an asymmetrical connection precisely to dissuade you from creating content, preferring to drive you to content consumption that costs them less bandwidth. A symmetrical connection is supposed to facilitate this.

What should we expect to see? Will a small business be cut off because they decided to host their own mail server? Will a start-up be scrambling to move their site to a hosting company (with additional costs) because they setup a web server? Would someone’s home Minecraft server for their friends result in a disconnection of service? The history of other ISPs suggests that it will be enforced unevenly and without explanation.

Google seems to have a habit of altering the terms of the deal in ways that favor them. It’s much easier to just have your own hosting your can rely on. Picking up a cheap server using a HostGator Cyber Monday Deal 2016 coupon is a smarter, easier decision with less mental stress in the end. Provo, you’d going to start feeling a lot like Lando Calrissian, that the deal is getting worse all the time. Don’t let Darth Google get away with it. If you can.

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7 Responses to Google Fiber: The Deal That Keeps Getting Worse

  1. Kuy says:

    Instead of a “synchronous” or “asynchronous” connection you must have meant “symmetrical” and “asymmetrical”.

  2. BusyGeek says:

    “… preferring to drive you to content consumption that costs them less bandwidth.”: as you say, this applies to “most ISPs”. The problem is that Google isn’t “most ISPs”. When adapted for Google, your statement becomes “preferring to drive you to their ads-filled content consumption that fuels their revenue.” Nothing against a business looking after their interest but, man, this poisoning of the ToS stinks! And for what. Like there are these millions of users ready to serve TBs of their own contents. I bet that 99.9% of the users wouldn’t even know or care about the ability to host their own contents anyway.

    • Jesse says:

      That’s what bizarre. The number of people who would want to run servers is very, very small, but they are the vocal power users that can make or break your service’s reputation. It’s not like they want to run a server farm in their house. They just want to be able to play with applications over a WAN that’s as fast as their LAN. Personally, I’d love to deploy Owncloud on my 5.3TB NAS instead of relying on my webhost, let my friends stream my media collection with Plex, and have my mom’s and in-law’s PCs backing up to me using CrashPlan. If these were commercial uses, I’d get it, but they’re not. It won’t be too long before they’re fairly mainstream as home uses.

      • Jonathan Karras says:

        While I understand the issue being raised. I also see the need for folks like Google, Comcast, etc… to state that running servers is forbidden. Will they shut you down for being a small time offender I doubt it. Do they need language in their TOS to indicate the expected uses of the service and give them the ability to do something about abuse? Yes. Is there a good way to word things no not really without getting really wordy.

        To speak to your small business comment. They would need to sell a small business plan before that can be an issue, Then the TOS for them can be different a la Comcast’s.

        • Jesse says:

          If the issue is congestion, then implement a QoS policy for peak usage times and sell QoS services to those who want to bypass it. If the issue is bandwidth, clearly define the amount of transfer included with the account with clear and reasonable prices for overages. A blanket ban on ill-defined servers, while standard, it a really dumb way to handle either problem.

  3. Jarrod says:

    Provo threw open access under the bus way back with the Broadweave deal.

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