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Report: Google Unaffected By Telecom Pricing System

The prospect of telecom companies charging Web companies for faster content delivery over their pipes will not significantly affect Google, says a new report from Cowen and Company. Arnie Berman, a Cowen analyst, said Google investors need not fear, because Google's core business--Web search--doesn't command a meaningful amount of bandwidth. However, a song downloaded from iTunes consumes 150 to 200 times the bandwidth of a Google search, while a "Lost" episode consumes about 9,000 times more than a Google search, he said. That may be, but if you thought about it, Google probably performs more than 200 times as many searches per iTunes download per second. Berman said a tiered pricing system would be a bigger burden to heavier bandwidth users like Apple Computer, Yahoo, MySpace, and YouTube, which would have to raise their prices for downloads--or accept the prospect of slower service and possibly, customer dissatisfaction. Berman's report pointed out that Congress is likely moving away from passage of a net neutrality law that would mandate that telecom companies charge a flat rate for bandwidth usage, despite the lobbying efforts of media giants like Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Apple, and Disney.

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