Google, bad math, and telecom lobbying

Does Google really use 21 times more bandwidth than it pays for? The accusation is made in "Estimating Google's U.S. Consumer Internet Usage & Cost - 2007-2010" - a piece published on Thursday at a site richly supported by phone and cable companies. Initial comments from around the blogosphere are using words such as "stupid" and "moron" to describe the work and its author.

Skimming through the paper, the cliché of "Lies, damned lies, and statistics" never seemed to be more true. According to Ars Technica, author and "telecom shill" Scott Cleland estimates that Google and its subsidiaries used 16.5 percent of consumer broadband traffic in 2008, but paid less than one percent of consumer broadband costs. Some additional magic math generates the figure of a "subsidy" of $6.9 billion to Google to allege that Google "uses" 21 times as much bandwidth as it pays for.

Cleland's subsidiary is funded by broadband telecom, cable, and wireless companies, including AT&T, Comcast, Qwest, Sprint, Verizon, US Telecom Association, some token chamber of commerce representation, and the Manhattan Libertarian Party. 

Uh hmm.

Ars Technica says there are plenty of perfect valid reasons to be skeptical of net neutrality regulation, but using a "transparently bogus dishonest argument" fails to convince anybody and serves to remind everyone that large service providers want more cash from content providers like Google.

For more:
- Ars Technica calls out Scott Cleland math. Post.

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