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Google learns first hand the cost of calling for regulation in San Fran WiFi experiment

Verne Kpytoff of The San Francisco Chronicle has a precious article today about how "SF is stalling WiFi, Google Executive Charges."

It appears that Google Exec Chris Saaca, who oversees the Google/Earthlink contract to provide the City of San Francisco with free WiFi service, is complaining to the Chronicle that the city expects Google to share its ad revenue with the City and give them free laptops and other goodies in return for winning the WiFi contract. Apparently "free" WiFi service is not cheap enough for the "progressive" City of San Francisco.  

And where could this "progresive" City have gotten such an idea that Google should share its revenue with the City and subsidize the city's tech operations?

Could it be that the City's decisionmakers have been listening to Google's egalitrian Net Neutrality-for-all-broadband rhetoric and assumed that the Google meant what they said?

When Google promotes a "Socialized-Internet" vision of broadband where all broadband is regulated like a utility, and Google wants to provide broadband to this "progresive" city, why wouldn't the City view Google as a piggy bank for the purposes of redistributing wealth? Its common knowledge that Google is so rich that their founders have a party plane with king sized beds. Surely Google can afford to share some of that wealth with the City? Surely Google can understand that the net neutrality egalitarian ethos wasn't just for other companies, but that it also applies to Google?

I look forward to seeing how quickly Google learns from external stimuli like this San Fran arm-twisting. While Google has proven to be a slow political learner to date, they do eventually learn as evidenced by their recent decision to hire some former Republican Senators and start a political Action Committee after getting largely stuffed in Washington over the last year.

The real political lesson Google needs to learn from San Francisco, is that people listen to what you say and hold you accountable to it. Unlike Google, it appears San Francisco bureaucrats, do not have a double standard where they let Google broadband have a free pass when they routinely put telephone and cable companies through the wringer to "share" their coporate wealth.

Hopefully Google got a little taste of the danger of inviting the government into their business. It seems they still held onto the quaint notion that "we're from the government -- we are here to help you."

Maybe, just maybe, someone in Google corporate headquarters is conecting the dots that if you ask the government to regulate your competitors, someone in the government might start treating you as a regulated industry/entity who is expected to share their shareholders' wealth with the general citizenry.

What goes around, comes around...