October 16, 2013
Google Fiber Permits Home Servers
By Tammy Marie Rose
TMCnet Contributing Writer
Back in July, Google Fiber's terms of service created a surge of controversy. After a complaint was made to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC (News - Alert)), Google found itself defending its ban on servers.
Google asserted that its clause – which states, "You should not host any type of server using your Google (News - Alert) Fiber connection" – did not violate net neutrality rules because it was just "reasonable network management."
In July Google told the media and its customers that its ban applied only to business servers. It explained that the "use of applications such as multi-player gaming, video-conferencing, home security and others which may include server capabilities but are being used for legal and non-commercial purposes are acceptable and encouraged." Google Fiber’s site did include this exception, however: Google’s Use Policy read that it banned “any type of server." Google has since updated the Policy site.
Google Fiber’s new policies state that customers are not allowed to "operate servers for commercial purposes. However, personal, non-commercial use of servers that complies with this AUP is acceptable, including using virtual private networks (VPN) to access services in your home and using hardware or applications that include server capabilities for uses like multi-player gaming, video-conferencing, and home security."
Google made these term of service changes just last week. The changes took place at the same time that a family in Provo, Utah held a protest against the no server policy. Google has stated several times that it did allow personal servers on fiber, but putting it in the terms reassures customers that they have the option.
Last week Google posted guidance to small business owners in a blog. In the post the company explained that Fiber at this time has no option for small businesses because Google, "chose to bring Fiber to homes first."
Businesses that are home-based are able to use Google Fiber, but they must comply with all of the terms of service. Google says that “a small business product is in the future."
Google Fiber provides an Internet connection speed of one gigabit per second for both download and upload. This is roughly 100 times faster access than what most Americans have.
Edited by Alisen Downey
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