'Sending network pays' may have been the lion that didn't roar at WCIT, but the telco effort to "get Google to pay" for network investment goes on in France where the operators appear to be acting in concert to force a net neutrality busting content payment deal. By I.D. Scales.
As is usual in murky, secretive (and just plain arcane) world of peering, there's a lack of clear information and nobody is officially talking about what's going on, but it appears that the French operators, led by France Telecom/Orange, have been refusing to expand interconnect capacity to Google's Youtube as demand has risen. There's a distinct possibility that they are holding out for some sort sending network pays content payment from Google before the pipes are rodded.
Right now detail is non-existent.
What we do know is that Youtube users in France have been experiencing mounting difficulty getting their video to run reliably on all networks at different times of the day and in different locations, especially across Iliad/Free.
According to Dave Burstein of DSL Prime, all the signs point towards an impending clash of the titans and a catastrophic stand-off between the French telcos and Google (and presumably some other US content players) where the users, who already pay their ISPs plenty to access Youtube, become the big losers as a game of corporate chicken is played out with each side hoping the users will blame the other for the impasse.
Google's recent bad press in Europe over corporate taxation and privacy has no doubt strengthened a telco belief that they can win any PR and political battle that might ensue.
Burstein claims that the French networks' action may have more or less been sanctioned by the French regulator approving a sender pays charging plan "leaving no doubt that this is a neutrality dispute" rather than just a plain old peering squabble.
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