(Catching up on posts I didn’t get a chance to comment on in June).
Last Friday evening, a senior Eircom executive (John McKeon, director of Eircom Wholesale) made an audacious pitch. Speaking at the annual Ibec telecoms ball, he told the crowd of telecoms bosses that it was time to look again at how Ireland’s broadband roll-out was funded.
His proposal: that Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook and other large web content providers should co-pay for infrastructure costs.
The pitch is not a new one. For many years, the US telecoms and cable giants have been calling for some form of “contribution” from content-providers toward their costs. The most oft-used rationale is that Google and Yahoo are getting a “free ride” off their infrastructure.
Whether it’s landline providers or wireless providers, these companies are going to need to get it through their thick skulls that no-one wants their services to just maintain an empty pipe. The reason we pay for our landline broadband and mobile broadband is to access the content that Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and others are producing or syndicating. Eircom (and other carriers) want to double-dip – they want the customers to pay for the lines and for content companies to pay for the content to be delivered. Here’s a big fucking clue you morons, if Google et al refuse to pay (as they should), then the customers will not want to pay for your lines and you’re double-fucked.
I can understand a politician not understanding the vagaries here but for the Eircom executive to fail to understand the economics of the world smacks of greed, of stupidity and of outright incompetence. And that goes double for O2, Three, BT, Orange, Virgin and other internet service provisioners.