The nation’s premier supporter of network neutralityÃ¢â?¬â??because it supposedly would protect the Internet for the “little guy”Ã¢â?¬â??maintains more than 450,000 web servers in 25 locations across the country. And even that estimate was a “best guess” in a fascinating report about Google’s ambitions in The New York Times June 14. The article, by John Markoff and Saul Hansell, examines a huge data center Google has quietly set up in The Dalles, Ore., and provides an illuminating look at how Google, along with Microsoft and Yahoo, are rapidly expanding their own Internet operations. It deserves reading by anyone with an opinion on network neutrality. “And odd as it may seem, the barren desert land surrounding the Columbia along the Oregon-Washington border Ã¢â?¬â?? at the intersection of cheap electricity and readily accessible data networking Ã¢â?¬â?? is the backdrop for a multibillion-dollar face-off among Google, Microsoft and Yahoo that will determine dominance in the online world in the years ahead,” the authors write.
Steven Titch served as a policy analyst at Reason Foundation from 2004 to 2013.