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Google-Verizon Deal: How Does it Affect Your Net?

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The tech policy press has been abuzz for the past 18 hours over reports that Google and Verizon are close to reaching a deal on how to manage traffic over Verizon’s network. If a deal is reached, it could influence how the FCC and other regulators move forward on network neutrality.

I’ve discussed Net Neutrality  and NAR’s take on the issue in a previous post here.

The reported agreement would lay out network neutrality principles. The issue causing the most buzz is an apparent agreement between the parties to allow some content providers to get faster service if they are willing to pay a higher price. This concept is known as tiered pricing and would be similar to how cable tv works today where consumers pay higher prices for premium levels of service. In this deal, a Google owned service like Youtube could pay a premium to Verizon to gain priority in having its content delivered to Verizon customers.

This deal is allegedly being worked out separate from a larger set of talks underway between the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and several network operators over how to move forward after the recent federal appeals court decision involving Comcast upended the FCC’s ability to regulate broadband delivery. Reports from these talks are that while consensus has been reached on some smaller matters, no agreement has emerged on the big issues that are the most important.

Consumer advocates are concerned that private deals like the one allegedly being worked out between Google and Verizon will concentrate control of the Internet in the hands of a few large corporations. They suggest that this deal could ultimately impact how all Internet Service Providers direct traffic on their networks and whether consumers experience rising rates for broadband similar to those of cable television.

What are your thoughts about a potential Google/Verizon deal? How might this impact you in your real estate business? What , if anything, should the government be doing about it?

Melanie is the Senior Technology Policy Representative at the National Association of Realtors. That means she lobbies Congress and Federal Agencies on technology policy issues of importance to the real estate industry. In her pre-NAR life Melanie has been a practicing attorney and a software start-up executive. Like any native Californian, Melanie loves good wine and bountiful farmers markets.

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23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Nick Sweeney, DotLoop Social Media

    August 5, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    This can only be a bad thing. The Internet should never be controlled by a few large companies, but by the public. See my response: dotloop.com/blog/entry/has_google_turned_on_us

  2. Al Lorenz

    August 5, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    I think it’s too early to tell and there are not enough specifics out there yet.

    • Melanie

      August 5, 2010 at 4:48 pm

      Al–

      You may be right, this story has been evolving all day. As of 4PM ET, reports are that the FCC has called off its broad industry stakeholder talks aimed at brokering a deal on how to move forward on Internet regulation in a post Comcast world. Stay tuned…I’m sure there is more to come.

  3. Robert Drummer

    August 5, 2010 at 2:28 pm

  4. Nick Nymark

    August 5, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    I think it’s to early to tell as well. I will wait to see what new info comes out about this topic.

  5. Lani Rosales

    August 6, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Pardon my fancy French, but this deal is complete dog crap. If the FCC agrees to this, they’re going down a path otherwise known as the “slippery slope.”

  6. Benn Rosales

    August 6, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Google denies, but Apple denied their own ipad. I mean, really.

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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