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Eric Schmidt only cares about you, dear reader

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March 19, 2010 – Comments (7) | RELATED TICKERS: GOOGL

What a load from Google's CEO here.

Here, Eric tries to pain broadband as the next great accomplishment, evoking the national highway system and other major infrastructure projects as models.

OK, some of what Eric writes is pretty funny. For instance, only a revisionist dreamer would try to pretend that the moonshot space program was much more than a panicked, low-tec response to the low-tech Russian rocketry that had Americans shivvering about a nonsensical spaceman gap. (Don't forget that while NASA was strapping men into tin cans, the Air Force was actually flying planes into space and landing them, until that funding was cut.) But hey, what was few billion when we've got digital watches and freeze-dried ice cream, plus monkey-size pressure suits to show for it?

Of course, what Eric doesn't tell you is that his comparison to other great infrastructure investments is also false. Eric and Google want that broadband infrastructure not to advance mankind, but because it would given them a vastly greater ability to put taxes on all of us, with revenue accruing directly to Google. It's only akin to the interstate highway system if you create an interstate highway system that routes a large percentage of traffic through Google's gas stations and diners and weigh stations, and they pay nothing for those franchises.

What do I mean, taxes? Well, first of all... Taxes. 'Eric would like nothing more than for this broadband infrastructure to be built with other people's money, such as yours. He'd also, of course, like to get some kind of legislation and policy set up that would compel the usual builders of this infrastructure (the telcos) to build it on their dime, so that Eric and Google can cry "Net Neutrality," and whine for the same access to such infrastructure as those who built and paid for it. Of course, "the same" in this case isn't the same at all, because with its market share and dominance, Google will get outsized benefit from the spending of other people's money.

Eric and Google have some pretty good experience in this field, like the way they tried to strongarm all online video providers into doing deals with YouTube by dragging their feet on rampant content theft, even though email makes a good case that Lil' Eric's Google knew perfectly well that YouTube's traffic depended greatly on rogue video uploads -- a practice that other emails indicate came straight from YouTube's founders..

"Let’s install broadband fiber as part of every federally-funded infrastructure project, from highways to mass transit. And let’s deploy broadband fiber to every library, school, community health center, and public housing facility in the U.S." sez Eric. And he means it. Because it's your tax dollars, your local bond issues, that pay for this stuff. Not Eric's.

So don't call Eric evil. Don't even call him greedy. He just wants to help you. That's why he took out an ad on the Washington post web page (next to the YouTube piracy story) to try and tell us how much he cares about us all. And if he and Sergey and Larry make another few hundred million dumping Google shares along the way, with the help of some nice taxpayer subsidies from folks like you, well, that's got nothing to do with it at all. Perish the thought.

7 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On March 21, 2010 at 2:04 AM, vtBrunson (51.09) wrote:

Did I miss something? when did Google "own" everything on the internet... "It's only akin to the interstate highway system if you create an interstate highway system that routes a large percentage of traffic through Google's gas stations and diners and weigh stations, and they pay nothing for those franchises."

No it's not... Google's model is not of "content provider" (charging consumers for what they want/need (gas)), rather they provide a medium for users to access content (whether it be email, news, documents, videos) 

Yes, they make money on the internet, and Yes they are a business, but "evil"... I mean, come on, can you fault 'em for "talking thier book?"  

Google would benefit if more people had access to high speed internet, but so would anyone else with an internet business... Geez, When did it become a sin to be a capitalist?

I'm sorry I'd rather complain about my taxes going to things like those rotten Banksters, Wall Street Crooks, Unnecessary Wars than complain about an innovative American company benefiting as a side effect of a federal program that might bring more positives than negatives to our society.

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#2) On March 21, 2010 at 10:48 AM, AbstractMotion (54.12) wrote:

Personally I think Google really wants to get the jump on the Internet TV market as best it can.  It's starting to push Google TV, and honestly it'd be a good fit for Google's Ad driven revenue model.  But if it's actually going to make a dent in the traditional broadcast base, there will need to be highly affordable and almost ubiquitous broadband nation wide.  I don't think it's really a net neutrality issue, net neutrality doesn't give Google the right to just imminent domain swathes of internet infrastructure as you seem to be implying.  It simply bars telcos from giving content providers a certain priority over one another, it actually keeps large companies from staking bandwidths claims.  Imagine if you could only access Walmart's website with your internet service, would that be fair to Amazon? Would the market actually be working then?

 

That said, I do think a lot of what Google says/does is largely bullshit.  It's a company that makes it's bread by recording every aspect of your browsing habits that it can and it essentially feels it has a right to index and store anything that's been digitized and put up on the internet at some point.  They're like the Brains from Futurama, constantly trying to catalog and control all the information in the universe.   The funny thing being that they actually produce very little internally at this point and their entire revenue stream is still dependent on advertising and their search engine.  Most of their recent products have either come as a result of acquisitions or been modifications to existing open source software.  I would expect some further friction between Google and the FSF in the future though.

 

I guess what really surprises me in all this is that they didn't acquire Sun last year.  It seems like an acquisition that would have worked heavily in their favor, especially given some of the markets they're expanding into and Sun's control of the Java platform, as well as OpenOffice.  I suppose it does go to show you that even with his price tag, Larry Ellison is a damn good businessman.

 

 

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#3) On March 22, 2010 at 3:19 PM, jdlech (< 20) wrote:

VTBrunson misses the point.  Google does not want to provide the content any more than the state of Ohio wanted to provide all the gas stations, C-stores, and garages.  Google wants the government to pay for the internet infrastructure with tax payer money, and then let Google charge us for the use.  It's like the state of Ohio having taxpayer dollars build Interstate 80 and then sticking toll booths all over the place.  Essentially holding all interstate traffic for ransom.

Yeah, Ohio has some great schools, public works and whatnot, but it's all paid for by everyone living west of Ohio along I-80; who never see a dime of value for those hundreds of millions of dollars of interstate commerce lost to the state of Ohio.

Google would do exactly the same thing, only this time there won't be any value returned to the taxpayers.

And yeah, Ohio did eventually build tourist traps all along I-80 and charges all the businesses rent.  Still not providing the services, but charging for the extra lucrative location.  Give Google a few years to figure that one out too.

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#4) On March 24, 2010 at 1:47 PM, vtBrunson (51.09) wrote:

Actually you dont seem to understand the internet:

Google wants the government to pay for the internet infrastructure with tax payer money, and then let Google charge us for the use. 

Please explain how Google specifically does this...I have never gotten a bill from google. (I however have gotten a receipts from gas stations)... 

A better analogy is google owning realestate near where an interstate was going to be built and it charging businesses for billboard space. If you are going to use analogies they should at least make sense.

 

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#5) On March 25, 2010 at 10:10 PM, TDRH (99.76) wrote:

If this broadband system could be used to replace the inefficiencies of the post office it might be worth it.   Forced to go to one at lunch yesterday and felt that I needed a partial lobotomy afterwards. 

Not a stockholder of Google, or a champion of this ambition, but as the cost of the technology continues to fall, why would we not want to have a nationwide system?    The internet and cell technology/competition eliminated the cost of long distance phone calls.  What if we could eliminate or reduce the cost of maintaining antiquated cable lines and telephone lines and be constantly connected?   I have nothing to hide, in truth it is inevitable.   Those players already vested like Google will benefit greatly, but it is the nature of the beast. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#6) On April 01, 2010 at 7:53 AM, TMFBent (99.83) wrote:

but as the cost of the technology continues to fall, why would we not want to have a nationwide system?

You're missing the point. The cost of technology to roll this out is still very expensive, which is why Google wants YOU (and telcos) to pay for it, so that they can route your calls over infrastructure they didn't pay for, and capture much of the value chain.

Google is about as evil as it gets, but because they hand out a cookie to people while they're taking their wallets, everyone thinks they're great.

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#7) On April 03, 2010 at 12:51 AM, vtBrunson (51.09) wrote:

The online porn industry would also benefit... more people on the internet means more people downloading porn.  So would companies offering online curriculum (University of Phoenix).  and Hulu, and Skype, or Microsoft...

Guess I fail to see how google is somehow the gatekeeper of the internet or the sole beneficiary if more people are online.  Or how if given internet access people would be forced to use google applications. (But it sounds like you got an axe to grind with Google, and since they are "as evil as it gets"  sounds like there is no pleasing you)

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