Uncommon Wisdom

Apr 30 2010   1:22PM GMT

Google’s “un-neutrality” crops up in FCC net neutrality comments

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

The debates on net neutrality have been interesting in that Google, once a rabid net neutrality advocate, has been relatively well-behaved. The reason may be that in FCC filings and other papers, we’re starting to see comment on the notion that Google’s “un-neutrality” may be more rampant than that of ISPs, and questions of search neutrality have appeared.

Search engines like Google form the window on the Web, and their ranking algorithms and the way they can be gamed or bought would have enormous impact on what is found. One could argue that Google has already discriminated based on applications, traffic type, etc.

The fact that ISPs have commented on this relative to the net neutrality NPRM puts the FCC on notice that an industry that’s freed from ISP dominance is likely to be dominated instead by somebody like Google, for whom there is no applicable regulatory framework.

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