This article is an AMAZING non-biased technical overview of paid peering and describes the kinds of deals that go unseen by most to make content delivery efficient.  It comes at an interesting time, when the FCC is about to rule on net neutrality on December 21.

Will we have the FCC ruling out the ability for a content provider like Netflix to pay for delivery to subscribers?  What would the marketplace be like if more people had a choice of their broadband ISP?  I have two broadband ISPs to choose from.  AT&T (not a huge fan) and Charter (not a fan).  Do you have more than two choices presently? Just one?

What impact might net neutrality rules have on you?

Missing from the article above is the a clear description of the fact that google and a few other large companies have their own large networks, because they are huge in volume.  So they get their delivery costs down by building their own networks.

Companies usually pay for bandwidth, sold in “megabits per second.”   So…

If Sprint charges netflix $5 per Mbps, and Netflix knows that it delivers on average 1000 Mbps to comcast subscribers, then Netflix has an interest in striking a deal with comcast to build a dedicated wire straight from netflix to comcast and pay $2 for it.  Saves Netflix a ton of money by bypassing the middle man ISP (Sprint).

Google doesn’t want Comcast to be able to charge Netflix for fast access, though.  If Comcast can’t charge for fast access, that means Google’s rates for its own traffic are far cheaper than any competitor can match.

Google’s network infrastructure cost is subsidised (paid for) by its adwords and other advertising revenue from other parts of its business, ironically, also paid for by content creators like netflix and other service providers (not google) so google is in effect extracting revenue from its eventual competitors to build out its own network so that it can, eventually, undercut its competitors in offering content.

If Google truly wants to “do no evil” and stand behind those words, it needs to make sure that the small guy can purchase comparable footing to what google has rolled out (using the small guy’s own advertising dollars, no less).