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Google Fiber now explicitly permits home servers

google-fiberby Jon Brodkin

Google Fiber’s terms of service caused some controversy in July when Google found itself defending the legality of a ban on servers. After a complaint, Google told the Federal Communications Commission that its clause stating that “you should not host any type of server using your Google Fiber connection” did not violate net neutrality rules because it was just “reasonable network management.”

At the time, Google told customers and reporters that its ban only applied to business servers and 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.” An FAQ on the Google Fiber site included that exception, but Google’s “Acceptable Use Policy” still read differently, banning “any type of server.” Google has now updated the policy to match the other, less-formal messaging it gave customers.

The new terms say that Google Fiber 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.”

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