If Google was throttling traffic to its competitors -- or to anyone, for that matter -- then it would be violating Net neutrality. If it were offering only tiered services with access to a handful of websites rather than the entire Internet, then it would be in violation of Net neutrality. If it were outright blocking or censoring certain sites, protocols, or services, then again it would be in violation to its stated position on Net neutrality. But Google is doing none of these things, and I fervently hope it never does. Should that come to pass, I'll be the first one with the torch and pitchfork.
That said, having a TOS that prevents a Google Fiber user from running a colo in their house seems to me to be a perfectly reasonable stance. Google Fiber is designed to deliver content to the home, not to a business, much the same as consumer-grade cable and DSL. Most consumer-grade Internet service is far too slow for business use, or it suffers high or irregular latency that makes running a business through that circuit a nonstarter. Thus, the ISPs typically also offer a business-class service that has ostensibly higher and more consistent performance, static IP addresses, and outage service priority. That's why business-class circuits are more expensive -- because businesses are expected to consume more bandwidth on a consistent basis.
I wouldn't expect the USPS to deliver a cargo load of freight for the price of a stamp, and we shouldn't expect ISPs to deliver business-grade bandwidth and services for the price of a DSL connection.
The bandwidth provided by Google Fiber is more than enough to run a small to medium-sized business. It's more bandwidth per user than even the largest companies could acquire not too long ago. However, it's still a consumer-grade service, and it should be viewed as such. There are no static IPs, for instance.
If anything needs to change here, it should be Google's TOS. While I've seen no evidence of Google putting the kibosh on someone's Slingbox or sending a cease-and-desist to a Minecraft server host, I could very well imagine the company wanting to chat with a "home" user who is filling up a gigabyte pipe in one or both directions 24/7.
Instead of ruling out "any type of server," Google's terms perhaps should clarify that running servers for business use or high-volume nonbusiness purposes is forbidden. Those wishing to use Google Fiber for those ends should contact Google and/or wait for the business-class offering to become a reality.
Until then, I won't wring my hands about it. Instead, I'll wait not so patiently for Google to head to my area, or at least kickstart my ISP into providing even one-tenth of Google's service for the same money.
This story, "No, Google Fiber doesn't violate Net neutrality," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Paul Venezia's The Deep End blog at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.