Google Fiber stands behind Netflix in broadband battle grounds

Google Netflix
At least Google Fiber users won't have to worry about Netflix buffering

The new FCC net neutrality decision is kicking up old arguments about whether internet service providers should be allowed to charge for paid prioritization. While most ISPs would rally for the end of net neutrality, Google Fiber says it wants to protect equal internet access.

In a chest-beating blog post, the Google Fiber team wrote it doesn't charge its customers or content providers for buffer-free video delivery.

Instead, the Fiber division invited all content providers to hook up their networks directly to Google's in a process known as peering. Peering gives viewers a more direct connection to online videos, letting them see them quicker and with higher quality.

"This doesn't involve any deals to prioritize their video 'packets' over others or otherwise discriminate among internet traffic - we don't do that," the Fiber team wrote.

Although the blog post doesn't call out any specific companies, we can quickly think of a few ISPs that would love to charge for faster content delivery.

The free expressway

To highlight what free peering can do, the Fiber team looked at Netflix as an example of a company that has servers inside Fiber facilities so users can send video requests faster.

Without peering, a user clicking on a Netflix video would have to wait for the signal to travel from their home through their ISP and to the nearest Netflix center, a round trip that might be hundreds or thousands of miles long.

Netflix isn't the only service that Google Fiber gives free server space to; it's partnered with YouTube and Akamai to make everyone's video journey shorter and faster.

A small fish in a big pond

It's a bold statement coming from an ISP as young as Google Fiber, but it's questionable how much of an impact its free peering service can have since Google's internet service is still very limited.

Even if the service tries to be progressive, most Americans will never get the benefits unless they live one of the few metropolitan areas with Google Fiber is up and running.

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.