back to article Orange boasts: We made Google PAY US for traffic

France Telecom-Orange is making a wad of cash from Google, the company's CEO boasted in an interview with French media yesterday. Talking to BFM Business TV, CEO Stephane Richard didn't give an exact figure on the payments made to France Telecom-Orange by the search giant for delivery of its content, beyond admitting that its …


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  1. Rams
    Thumb Up

    Somes paquets are more equal than others


    But now, I'm waiting to see the Newspeak showing in google translate.

  2. Swarthy

    I was going to...

    I was going to make an Animal Farm reference in this comment, but the article beat me to it in the last paragraph...

    <--I should have expected as much from El Reg.

  3. SuperTim

    That's great...Orange

    until Google suddenly stops paying you and puts up a "sorry, Orange users cannot access this content" sign. Watch the customer base melt away.

    1. Mike007

      Re: That's great...Orange

      google can probably deliver the content for free anyway over peering links to france telecom's upstreams, however they are still paying infrastructure and delivery costs, and delivering locally to france costs requires them to purchase capacity from providers and interconnect locally, they likely have connections to all the local IXs for local traffic delivery.

      If they can peer with an ISP 10Gbit ports in a couple of datacentres directly on a major providers core network, they can probably get similar pricing as their IX capacity or peering capacity to their upstreams if it even exists locally, so if it costs around the same but performs better to those users then it makes perfect sense, it makes even more sense when you're talking a few million on budgets of billions...

    2. Frank 2

      Re: That's great...Orange

      I'm not sure you understand -

      Google pay Orange for fast connections.

      Google stop paying, Google stop getting fast connections.

      Have I missed something?

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: That's great...Orange

        Orange's business side Equant operate an internet backbone, Google appears to simply connecting to it which makes sense as it operates its own data centres.

  4. R 11

    Don't see what the big deal is

    So Google run lots fiber connecting their network to ISPs. There's a mutual benefit there.

    Google don't have tons of fiber in Africa, and there's a dominant ISP. The two need each other.

    Google could either roll fiber and install servers like they have elsewhere with their CDN, or they could pay the ISP directly. In this case they chose the latter.

    If someone like Comcast in the UK, or BT in the UK were to ask for cash from Google, I'd imagine the response will be along the lines of sure, but you'll be hauling all the Google traffic over your internet backbone rather than having us deliver it to your doorstep.

    The good thing about this is that it's a sign Google internally realize they are not too big to fail, and that they could be replaced as a dominant content provider on the internet.

  5. My Alter Ego

    Reduce customer data usage.

    Does that mean that data downloaded from Google doesn't count towards a customer's usage, seeing as it's already been paid for? Thought not.

  6. MrXavia

    it is the customer who pays for access, google should not be paying to get its data priority...

    1. Fibbles

      That's what I was thinking...

      If Google et al are paying ISPs to deliver their content to me, what am I paying my ISP for? It seems rather like paying for stamps to send a letter, only to find out the postman still demanded COD at the other end.

      1. Adam Connelly

        I see it slightly differently to that.

        The way I see it is that Google aren't "really" paying Orange to deliver their content to users, what they're paying for is for Orange to deliver their content to users faster than other content is delivered. It's a perception thing. Joe public goes onto YouTube and views a video. The video starts playing immediately and doesn't stop to buffer or anything like that. He then goes to some competitor site and chooses some other video. This time the video takes half a minute to load, and stops every few minutes to buffer.

        Since your average person doesn't have a clue how any of this works, they're not going to say, "Google is paying for an unfair advantage over site X," they're going to say, "I always watch videos on YouTube because it's fast. That other site is slow."

        I'm not sure how this really fits into your stamps example though ;-)

        1. David Hicks

          Re: I see it slightly differently to that.

          It's a sucky perception thing, and shame on Google for getting involved.

          I pay my ISP to deliver packets to me as fast as it can, if they feel the need to demand more money for said service then they can ask me, not selectively ask people trying to get my eyeball-time to pay to get access to me. I am the customer, not the fecking product.

          I'm so tired of being the product.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meh. It's business.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Chris_Maresca

    Peering agreements vs depeering

    Why is this surprising? Google is exactly like any other large network operator, it negotiates peering agreements with other networks. When there is a traffic imbalance, peering agreements often move from settlement-free peering to depeering, where one network pays another to carry the excess traffic.

    It's not odd, new or bad. It's the way all networks have operated since the beginning of networks, although internet traffic was often not imbalanced between networks, so settlement-free peering was the norm for a long time. However, that has not been the case for a while, people have been paying for various forms of depeering for at least 10 years, either through edge-caching, via telco-run carrier hotels or simply paying for fatter pipes/cache co-location directly to telco-owned ISPs...

    I'm not surprised France Telecom/Orange are making money from Google. They are a virtual monopoly in France, both on the bulk carrier and ISP sides, and probably in carrier hotel as well. They are also a major mobile carrier in globally (another form of ISP these days) and probably have a dominant position in most of Francophone Africa.

    I'd be shocked if France Telecom/Orange were not making millions from Google through selling them fat pipes (dark & live) and co-location at their network edges, never mind datacenter space...

  10. TomS_


    I don't think this is Google paying FT/O to deliver their data with any kind of priority, it just sounds like settlement based peering to me.

    Not all incumbent telcos will peer for free, because if they peer with one network for free, then they'll have to peer with all the others for free as well. But the incumbent rarely gives anything away for free, so everyone pays to connect, no exceptions.

    I am informed this is quite common, particularly in Europe.

    1. mathew42

      Paying for peering common in Australia

      Paying for peering in Australia is very common and is substantially controlled by Telstra, Optus/SingTel, MCI and Telecom NZ.


  11. Neoc
    Thumb Down

    "All of this makes a mockery of net neutrality"

    Er... no, it doesn't. Every time Traffic crosses a network, someone pays (or gets paid) for it. Sometimes the fee is a flat fee for a period, sometimes it's calculated by bandwidth. If Google places a connection directly into an ISP's network then *as per everyone else* they would be paying the ISP for pushing traffic into their network. Now replace "Google" and "ISP" with any two other internet-ready companies. Nothing to see here; how else do you think the rest of the Internet works?

    Now, if Google were paying the ISP to give PRIORITY to their traffic over the ISP's network; *then* it would be a mockery of Net Neutrality. But the fact that Google is moving their network's output closer to the consumers is not newsworthy and certainly not against Net Neutrality.

  12. Rampant Spaniel

    So how is this different from how any other data center operates? Google is a net creator of data, simply it sends more than it receives. Orange is a 'last mile' provider, virtually all companies in a similar position of being the last link in the chain charge. Large ISP's will peer with each other for no charge assuming a rough balance in traffic because it is in their interest to do so. There are also public peering exchanges which are used by a variety of companies (last mile providers and data centers) but virtually all dc's which are carrier independent pay for transit from isp's for at least some of their routes. It may not be direct to the last mile but at that level they are just pushing that further down the chain.

    Google paying orange is nothing huge. Some isp's may take the position that it is more beneficial to invite google to peer directly or cache on network for a better user experience than risk scaring google off by charging to do so but paying for egress is hardly new.

  13. -tim
    Black Helicopters

    Delivery for which packets?

    Would this be part of Google's "connect the world" program where they throw lots of cash at places with 3rd world infrastructure (like Egypt, a few SE Asian countries and Kansas City) in a hope for an improvement for everyone? I was wondering if Eric Schmidt would announce N Korea would be the next Google Fiber area.

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