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Google to become official Starbucks ISP as critics claim net neutrality backpedal

post #1 of 85
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Starbucks is switching away from AT&T and instead going with Google for the provision of free Wi-Fi service throughout its popular chain of coffeeshops, but the search giant's latest move into Internet service provision comes as critics are crying foul and saying it is abandoning net neutrality principles.



The switch was announced yesterday, according to The Wall Street Journal, which noted that Google will partner with Internet middleman Level 3 Communications to offer Starbucks customers Internet service about 10 times faster than the T1 connections currently provided by AT&T. AT&T will still supply Starbucks stores with assorted business services, but Starbucks' customers will no longer have AT&T-branded Internet access.

AT&T reportedly offered to upgrade its service to match its competitor's speed, but that offer was turned down for unknown reasons.

The new service will show up in some stores in beginning next week, though the report does not detail which locations. Over the next 18 months, though, all 7,000 of Starbucks' coffeeshops across the United States will eventually switch to the Level 3/Google service.

Representatives from Level 3 say that its company will "do the network stuff," while Google "will do what it does best in that relationship." Terms of the deal between the three firms have not been disclosed.

The Starbucks deal represents yet another of Google's continuing moves into the Internet service segment. Already, the search giant has become a service provider in limited areas with Google Fiber, a fiber-optic Internet service. That service debuted in the Kansas City metro area last year, but Google has confirmed that it will soon expand to Austin Texas.

Its move into service provision has rattled some of the industry's larger players, leaving cable companies in areas where Google Fiber currently exists or will exist soon scrambling to bump up speeds for their own customers. As Google becomes a larger player in that segment, though, critics are claiming that the company is abandoning some of the principles that the company has long stood by.

The Terms of Service for Google Fiber explicitly inform users that they "should not host any type of server using [a] Google Fiber connection," use the service to provide a large number of people with Internet access, or to provide commercial services to third parties. Some users have complained that this clause violates the Federal Communication's Open Internet Order, which prohibits fixed broadband providers from blocking lawful content, applications, services, and non-harmful devices.

Responding to the FCC's request for comment on allegations that Google was violating Net Neutrality rules, Google said that its terms do not in fact violate the Open Internet order. In a letter to the FCC ? obtained by Wired ? Google explained:

Google Fiber?s server policy is an aspect of ?reasonable network management? that the Open Internet Order and Rules specifically permit. Mr. McClendon appears to allege that Google Fiber?s server policy violates the prohibitions against ?blocking? and/or ?unreasonable discrimination." The Order, however, provides an exception in both instances for ?reasonable network management.? As the Order explains, ?[a] network management practice is reasonable if it is appropriate and tailored to achieving a legitimate network management purpose, taking into account the particular network architecture and technology of the broadband Internet access service.?

Google Fiber?s server policy is prototypical ?reasonable network management,? with no discriminatory impact on any content, application, or service provider. The server policy has been established to account for the congestion management and network security needs of Google Fiber?s network architecture, particularly given that Google Fiber does not impose data caps on its users.



Blocking the hosting of servers on a network is standard policy among most Internet Service Providers, and usually for the very reasons Google cites in its explanation. Google's continued advocacy and activism in digital arenas, though, has made it a target of more critics, who claim that the server terms are just another violation of the company's motto: Don't Be Evil.

Responding further to the controversy, Google sent a comment to Ars Technica. The comment is as follows:

"Google is a strong supporter of the open Internet and our stance here hasn't changed. This is a standard practice of network management, and as we said in our filing, the policy does not prevent legal, noncommercial use of applications such as multi-player gaming, video-conferencing, and home security."

post #2 of 85
Yet another reason to avoid Starbucks.
I'm a Peet's fan.

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post #3 of 85
amazing how google has changed their position now they have to put their money where their mouth is...
post #4 of 85
FaceTime to mysteriously stop working at Starbucks...

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #5 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


The Terms of Service for Google Fiber explicitly inform users that they "should not host any type of server using [a] Google Fiber connection," use the service to provide a large number of people with Internet access, or to provide commercial services to third parties. Some users have complained that this clause violates the Federal Communication's Open Internet Order, which prohibits fixed broadband providers from blocking lawful content, applications, services, and non-harmful devices.

Blocking the hosting of servers on a network is standard policy among most Internet Service Providers, and usually for the very reasons Google cites in its explanation.

That's really all AI really had to say and they're absolutely correct. It's a standard policy for every ISP that I can think of. It's hardly an issue of "net neutrality".

Google has a discussion thread here where they explain it to their service users more clearly:
http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/fiber/-ixejP9yHj4
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post #6 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Its move into service provision has rattled some of the industry's larger players, leaving cable companies in areas where Google Fiber currently exists or will exist soon scrambling to bump up speeds for their own customers.

This is the only good thing Google has ever done.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #7 of 85

network neutrality never meant you can do anything you want

it just means ISP's can't block or throttle content from competitors

post #8 of 85

Can't wait to see how many people chime in to say they'll avoid Starbucks now. Go on, then. Let's hear it.

 

Is the Kool-Aid better than coffee? ;-)

post #9 of 85
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Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

amazing how google has changed their position now they have to put their money where their mouth is...

The thing now is can Google make any money being an ISP.  That's where the rubber meets the road.

post #10 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

Can't wait to see how many people chime in to say they'll avoid Starbucks now. Go on, then. Let's hear it.

 

Is the Kool-Aid better than coffee? ;-)

I don't go to Starbucks as much as I used to since I'm not a coffee achiever and since I got my Breville tea maker, I make better tea at home and i make it the way I want to and have a LOT more choices.  So it doesn't really matter to me.

post #11 of 85

As long as it's FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, i don't care.  I don't want to give Google a dime of my money.  They don't deserve it.

post #12 of 85

Failbucks.  Google certainly doesn't need to know when I stop for coffee, nor who I interact with when I do.  Which I suspect is what this is all about: Data mining Starbucks users for ad tracking purposes, then shoveling that data wholesale to the NSA as fast as they can.

 

More and more, I find I'm leaving WiFi off and sticking to LTE (which oftentimes is faster than WiFi anyway).

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

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   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

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post #13 of 85
I really do not want Google to know when I used Passbook to pay for my teas at Starbucks. Also, does this mean I will be served ads by Google whenever I am in or near a Starbucks that has designated a favorite?
post #14 of 85
Since Snowden outed NSA for spying on all US, Google admitted they scan the content of all communications using their network components and cache web pages. Now, if not already done by ATT, every communication using Starbucks will be processed and tracked.

Enjoy you're no privacy.
post #15 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


That's really all AI really had to say and they're absolutely correct. It's a standard policy for every ISP that I can think of. It's hardly an issue of "net neutrality".

Google has a discussion thread here where they explain it to their service users more clearly:
http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/fiber/-ixejP9yHj4

I was seriously confused by the net neutrality claims. Every ISP I have been with disallowed customers from using their bandwidth for serving data (e.g. web server).

post #16 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post

I really do not want Google to know when I used Passbook to pay for my teas at Starbucks. Also, does this mean I will be served ads by Google whenever I am in or near a Starbucks that has designated a favorite?

ATT already did that, monetizing your data and location even if Google wasn't.
http://adworks.att.com/

Ads aren't evil. Many of us just don't care for them despite the fact we appreciate the valuable and free services we get that the advertisers pay for in our stead.
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post #17 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

The thing now is can Google make any money being an ISP.  That's where the rubber meets the road.

Of course they can. Whether they charge Starbucks for the service or not, they'll be harvesting boatloads of information they can sell to advertisers.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
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post #18 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Of course they can. Whether they charge Starbucks for the service or not, they'll be harvesting boatloads of information they can sell to advertisers.

It's a shame you've never been able to understand they don't sell your data to advertisers. I don't think most people would have such a hard time with the concept. They instead sell their knowledge, placing the ads for the companies based on what Google thinks you'd be interested in. They're not always right by a long shot.

If they sold the data they wouldn't be needed any longer. 1hmm.gif
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post #19 of 85

'Be evil.'

post #20 of 85
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Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


ATT already did that, monetizing your data and location even if Google wasn't.
http://adworks.att.com/

Ads aren't evil. Many of us just don't care for them despite the fact we appreciate the valuable and free services we get that the advertisers pay for in our stead.

 

Very few people in this forum or other forums would complain about Google & ads if Google and Apple weren't competitors. Few complained about Google's ads prior to Android.  But people feel they need to justify their position (on both sides) by painting the competition as evil. 

 

It's pretty much high school, you're either at the nerd table or the cool kid table.

post #21 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Negafox View Post

I was seriously confused by the net neutrality claims. Every ISP I have been with disallowed customers from using their bandwidth for serving data (e.g. web server).

Comcast provides web server usage when purchasing their business internet package. Of course, they also include Google AdWords credit on most of their hosted servers. I read their business acceptable use rules, http://www.comcast.com/corporate/customers/policies/highspeedinternetaup.html, and it didn't have the sentence about hosting a server outside your premises network like the non-business rules state. Of course, it might be buried somewhere or you have to use one of their servers.

 

Even so, everyone knows Google will be harvesting data from the connection and that's all that matters.

post #22 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Failbucks.  Google certainly doesn't need to know when I stop for coffee, nor who I interact with when I do.  Which I suspect is what this is all about: Data mining Starbucks users for ad tracking purposes, then shoveling that data wholesale to the NSA as fast as they can.

More and more, I find I'm leaving WiFi off and sticking to LTE (which oftentimes is faster than WiFi anyway).

Then it's your service provider collecting location and usage data from you to use for advertising and marketing purposes. ATT and Verizon both do so you know. Again, ads aren't evil anyway IMO.
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post #23 of 85
Shouldn't the title of this article really be "Critics Incorrectly Claim Google has Backpedalled on Net Neutrality". With a subtitle, "Critics clearly don't understand how every personal use ISP has operated for well over a decade but conveniently ignored that fact for the purpose of stirring up anti-Google sentiment."

Of course, that wouldn't serve to rile up the Google critics to get them to click on the link and create more ad impressions. The irony being that the business model everyone so fears about with Google (collecting data to support internet advertising) is the very thing that keeps AI free for all of us to read...and then post our comments about how evil Google's busines model is.
post #24 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

Comcast provides web server usage when purchasing their business internet package. Of course, they also include Google AdWords credit on most of their hosted servers. I read their business acceptable use rules, http://www.comcast.com/corporate/customers/policies/highspeedinternetaup.html, and it didn't have the sentence about hosting a server outside your premises network like the non-business rules state. Of course, it might be buried somewhere or you have to use one of their servers.

Even so, everyone knows Google will be harvesting data from the connection and that's all that matters.

Then welcome to Comcast and their monetizing of user data for ad delivery.
http://www.comcastaddelivery.com/privacy
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post #25 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Shouldn't the title of this article really be "Critics Incorrectly Claim Google has Backpedalled on Net Neutrality". With a subtitle, "Critics clearly don't understand how every personal use ISP has operated for well over a decade but conveniently ignored that fact for the purpose of stirring up anti-Google sentiment."

Of course, that wouldn't serve to rile up the Google critics to get them to click on the link and create more ad impressions. The irony being that the business model everyone so fears about with Google (collecting data to support internet advertising) is the very thing that keeps AI free for all of us to read...and then post our comments about how evil Google's busines model is.

 

How dare you, using common sense in this place.  Begone, evildoer!

post #26 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

It's a standard policy for every ISP that I can think of. It's hardly an issue of "net neutrality".

You're hardly an authority. This is common practice for ISPs that want to up-sell customers to a costly "business" plan to be able to operate a server (e.g., linking a personalized domain name to a static IP associated with a personal mail server.) An argument that's often used by ISPs for the hefty price barrier is that it reduces the impact of spambots, but we all know how effective that is. Another argument is the limited availability of IPv4 addresses, but with IPv6 available that's not an excuse either.

 

Google's server policy has the intended consequence of placing a formidable obstacle in the way of customers that would like to operate their own personal mail server, thus coercing the average consumer into using a hosted mail service instead (like gmail.com) that provides companies like Google and the government with more privacy-invasion opportunities.


Edited by Cpsro - 8/1/13 at 1:19pm
post #27 of 85

I wonder if this means Apple will discontinue their AppStore freebies program with SBux...?
I've picked up quite a few songs and apps in this manner; I'd hate to see it discontinued.
 

post #28 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

The thing now is can Google make any money being an ISP.  That's where the rubber meets the road.

 

This gives them the ability to harvest far more data about what people do online than ever before.  So likely yes.

 
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post #29 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

 

Very few people in this forum or other forums would complain about Google & ads if Google and Apple weren't competitors. Few complained about Google's ads prior to Android.  But people feel they need to justify their position (on both sides) by painting the competition as evil. 

The competition between Apple and Google has certainly increased awareness, but some of us have always avoided Google services (e.g. gmail) whenever possible and practical. This is not "high school" behavior. It's about our right to privacy and an open Internet.

post #30 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Yet another reason to avoid Starbucks.
I'm a Peet's fan.

Peet's coffee is terrible in my opinion. Both Starbucks and Peet's roast their coffee to dark. They do this so that it masks the defects in the coffee since they buy the cheapest coffee they can find, and also to make the coffee always taste the same even when it is sourced from completely different growing regions. Charcoal always tastes the same. It's no wonder people dump so much sugar and milk in their coffee. They have to dilute the bitterness somehow. At least Starbucks recently introduced their lighter roast Blonde. I haven't tried it but it has to be better than their standard roast.

 

I haven't been in a Starbucks for years, but as I recall you either had to be on an AT&T device or sign into your AT&T account to get free Wifi. I think you were also able to buy some time if you didn't qualify for free access. I wonder if you will have to have Google account now? In another article I read that there will be no time limit for Starbucks customers. I'm curious how the logistics of this implementation will be administered.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #31 of 85
Claims made by corporations about their lofty moral principles are only useful as PR until they cost too much. Then they are discarded and rationalized away.
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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post #32 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

You're hardly an authority. This is common practice for ISPs that want to up-sell customers to a costly "business" plan to be able to operate a server (e.g., linking a personalized domain name to a static IP.)

 

Google's server policy has the intended consequence of placing a formidable obstacle in the way of customers that would like to operate their own personal mail server, thus coercing the average consumer into using a hosted mail service instead (like gmail.com) that provides companies like Google and the government with more privacy-invasion opportunities.

The standard industry practice of only providing dynamic DHCP IP addresses is because it makes better use of the available IP's, cuts support costs, since there is no user access to the routing configurations, and allows asynchronous bandwidth. A consumer Internet account is not designed for commercial use such as running a mail server. Most mail servers will not even accept mail from a server that doesn't have reverse look up so are planning to run a DNS server as well and get an Arin account and have your cable company register your IP address with them? They won't do it.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #33 of 85
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Originally Posted by drblank View Post

As long as it's FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE, i don't care.  I don't want to give Google a dime of my money.  They don't deserve it.

As in free for Google to track your every click?
post #34 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

You're hardly an authority. This is common practice for ISPs that want to up-sell customers to a costly "business" plan to be able to operate a server (e.g., linking a personalized domain name to a static IP.)

 

Google's server policy has the intended consequence of placing a formidable obstacle in the way of customers that would like to operate their own personal mail server, thus coercing the average consumer into using a hosted mail service instead (like gmail.com) that provides companies like Google and the government with more privacy-invasion opportunities.

 

This has been common practice since we moved past dial-up ISPs. Every ISP I've ever had since then, including the big boys and local mom-and-pop shops, have had similar provisions. The assumption is that a server operating on their network is going to utilize more network resources and therefore should pay more to use those resources.

Now, you can argue that in today's world, your personal mail server uses far less bandwidth than your teenager downloading video all day. And you'd be absolutely correct. But that wouldn't change the fact that it's very common practice for ISPs (and TV servicve providers, phone service providers, etc, etc...this has been common since long before Google even existed) to delinate what's "personal" use and what's "business" use and charge different rates. It's not perfect, they can't really tell if your personal mail server is really just personal or if you are running a business with it. So they simply say "no servers" or "no static IP addresses" or other similarly coarse methods for delineating personal vs business.

Perhaps it's not fair to someone such as yourself who is operating a purely for personal use mail server, but that also makes you very much an outlier of the general population and you can't expect businesses to jump through hoops to satisfy 0.001% of their customer base. We accept that Apple has dumbed down OS X to address the needs of the masses, why would we expect anything better of an ISP.
post #35 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Peet's coffee is terrible in my opinion. Both Starbucks and Peet's roast their coffee to dark.

That is your opinion, of course. Peet's is the original and IMHO still the best by far. Peet's is best enjoyed black. Sugar and cream are for lesser coffees (and in robusta coffee for sure!)

Starbucks' Pikes Peak is the only one that comes close to Peet's.

It is unfortunate that Peet's has often chosen to serve Sumatra for the coffee-of-the-day, which is IMHO hideous. If your experience is based on Sumatra, try another. One of the most distinctive and popular coffees is Garuda Blend.

post #36 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Peet's coffee is terrible in my opinion. Both Starbucks and Peet's roast their coffee to dark.

Absolutely agree. I've never understood the attraction.
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post #37 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Peet's coffee is terrible in my opinion. Both Starbucks and Peet's roast their coffee to dark.

One of the most distinctive and popular coffees is Garuda Blend.

I never drink blends. Single origin is the only way to go for me. I only drink micro-lots, preferably shade grown above 1400 meter on west facing slopes of a volcano near the coast with onshore prevailing wind.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #38 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

 

How dare you, using common sense in this place.  Begone, evildoer!

 

I'm not sure how to interpret "evildoer" accusations from someone whose post count is 666. LOL
post #39 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Perhaps it's not fair to someone such as yourself who is operating a purely for personal use mail server, but that also makes you very much an outlier of the general population and you can't expect businesses to jump through hoops to satisfy 0.001% of their customer base. We accept that Apple has dumbed down OS X to address the needs of the masses, why would we expect anything better of an ISP.

We can't expect ISPs to jump through easy hoops when they can so easily squeeze big money from businesses just because the government won't enforce an open Internet.

 

If ISPs didn't restrict the Internet, I'm confident we'd see some easy turnkey solutions for Jane and Joe Consumer to host their own personal mail and web services.

post #40 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

You're hardly an authority. This is common practice for ISPs that want to up-sell customers to a costly "business" plan to be able to operate a server (e.g., linking a personalized domain name to a static IP associated with a personal mail server.) An argument that's often used by ISPs for the hefty price barrier is that it reduces the impact of spambots, but we all know how effective that is. Another argument is the limited availability of IPv4 addresses, but with IPv6 available that's not an excuse either.

Google's server policy has the intended consequence of placing a formidable obstacle in the way of customers that would like to operate their own personal mail server, thus coercing the average consumer into using a hosted mail service instead (like gmail.com) that provides companies like Google and the government with more privacy-invasion opportunities.

Wouldn't it be better to list several ISP's that don't' put any limits on the use of consumer data connections for commercial server purposes? Otherwise you've done nothing to disprove what I said.1confused.gif
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