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Print 45 comment(s) - last by sgestwicki.. on Feb 28 at 3:13 PM

While it's not clear how much Netflix is paying Comcast, the new deal will span several years

Comcast recently cemented its dominance as the top broadband provider in the U.S. after its planned acquisition of Time Warner Cable (TWC). And with a customer base that large, Netflix doesn't want to miss out.
 
According to Comcast, Netflix has agreed to pay the big cable provider to ensure that its movies and TV shows stream easily without traffic jams on Comcast's broadband network. 
 
While it's not clear how much Netflix is paying Comcast, the new deal will span several years and Comcast said it would connect to Netflix's servers at data centers operated by other companies. 
 
This means a less-congested streaming experience for Netflix customers using Comcast cable connections, and Comcast gets to collect fees for providing the service.
 
Before this agreement, Netflix wanted to connect its own specialized servers to the networks of big cable providers in order to improve streaming. But Netflix didn't want to pay for such connections, and big cable like Comcast wanted fees because they'd be carrying Netflix's heavy traffic.  

So Netflix traditionally used middle companies for connections, but it had to pay these middlemen to do so anyway. There were also traffic congestion problems with this route, which slowed connections for customers. Netflix likely thought it made more sense to just give in and pay the big cable company (Comcast) for direct connections to its broadband network, and to ensure that Netflix content is delivered smoothly. 
 
This is a big step between big cable and internet streaming companies, as it means Netflix is more likely to offer similar deals with other major cable companies. 
 
Comcast, which acquired TWC earlier this month for $45.2 billion, serves 32 million households in the U.S. With the company having such a dominant position in the U.S. cable market, it could be a good idea for Netflix to jump onboard and please both current and potential customers with better service. 
 
Netflix has over 30 million subscribers in the U.S. 

Source: Comcast



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I swear
By jjlj on 2/24/2014 10:13:02 AM , Rating: 5
This is double dipping.

On one hand I'm ok with this because it means potentially better quality streaming. SO I darn well better get a stream in 1080 with DD 5.1 all the time.

On the other hand I'm paying Comcast for internet access and I expect to get access to anything on the internet at the best possible speed available. If you're selling 50mbps connections to everyone why the ... should I get penalized for accessing content that everyone else is accessing too? I am paying a reasonable price for broadband.

I wish they, ISP's, would stop trying to be content providers.

Oh well, we'll all end up paying more in the end because of this and there's nothing we can do to stop it, especially if Netflix has already agreed to the payments.




RE: I swear
By jjlj on 2/24/2014 10:16:20 AM , Rating: 3
I just had a thought. Should I call Comcast when my Netflix show doesn't stream in Super HD?


RE: I swear
By Motoman on 2/24/2014 10:46:15 AM , Rating: 4
No...you should call your elected representatives.

When ISPs got caught throttling traffic in the past, it was illegal because of Net Neutrality.

With Net Neutrality out of the way now, it's perfectly legal for them to throttle whatever they want - or just block it.

The one and only hope the internet has for survival is the re-enactment of Net Neutrality - with teeth.

Any resolution other than the 100% guarantee that ALL content will be served without prejudice or preference by ALL ISPs at ALL times is a horrific abuse of the peoples of all nations. Welcome to the Great Paywall of Amerika.


RE: I swear
By TheDoc9 on 2/24/2014 10:56:15 AM , Rating: 5
It took less than a week for Comcast to take advantage of their net-neutrality win. All of the false promises of not raising prices, not throttling or blocking were just bold face lies.


RE: I swear
By Motoman on 2/24/2014 10:58:44 AM , Rating: 2
And look at who was doing the lying. The very fact that anyone on DT even reads the posts those horribly deficient trolls post is stupefying to me.


RE: I swear
By Cypherdude1 on 2/25/14, Rating: -1
RE: I swear
By jjlj on 2/25/2014 11:08:16 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Even then, the video quality during prime time was very poor. The picture was very pixelated and I was only viewing it on a 24" screen!


Were you using a browser to view it? If so the video and sound quality is limited. I recently installed windows 8 and downloaded the netflix app. I can tell you that you will be impressed with the picture and sound quality, on content that can stream at HD or better when using the netflix app. Even at prime time I was streaming at 5mbps which is good enough for their super hd.


RE: I swear
By Milliamp on 2/24/14, Rating: -1
RE: I swear
By Milliamp on 2/24/2014 11:33:19 AM , Rating: 2
>When ISPs got caught throttling traffic in the past, it was illegal because of Net Neutrality.

I want to add that this simply is not true. Net neutrality was shot down and was never actually passed into law. Take a look at attempted regulation under the net neutrality wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality_in_the...

Comcast was smacked down for filtering/resetting bittorrent without net neutrality so if anything it even further brings into question the necessity of the new law.

If Google fiber were to start blocking Yahoo search engine today without Net neutrality it's still illegal and they would still get sued for it.


RE: I swear
By Milliamp on 2/24/2014 11:33:20 AM , Rating: 2
>When ISPs got caught throttling traffic in the past, it was illegal because of Net Neutrality.

I want to add that this simply is not true. Net neutrality was shot down and was never actually passed into law. Take a look at attempted regulation under the net neutrality wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality_in_the...

Comcast was smacked down for filtering/resetting bittorrent without net neutrality so if anything it even further brings into question the necessity of the new law.

If Google fiber were to start blocking Yahoo search engine today without Net neutrality it's still illegal and they would still get sued for it.


RE: I swear
By room200 on 2/24/2014 8:06:11 PM , Rating: 2
I would think that YOU would be all for this. They own it, you want it, so you pay what they ask. Isn't that what you "freemarket" people always tout? Oh, I get it; if the free market hurts YOU, then you need the gubment.


RE: I swear
By brasstax on 2/25/2014 1:52:51 AM , Rating: 2
Except Comcast doesn't own it in the traditional sense. Their monopoly is enforced by governments, attaching strings to their product that wouldn't normally exist.

In this sense, government is part of the problem, but it's arguably a necessary problem.

Do you think "freemarket" Americans are hypocrites if they complain the price of a stamp at the Post Office? In some ways, Comcast is a similar entity.


RE: I swear
By sgestwicki on 2/28/2014 3:07:56 PM , Rating: 2
I don't want all the bits on a network being treated equally. That completely eliminates any attempt at quality of service with the exception of bigger more expensive pipes. I think everyone should agree that voice over IP traffic should be given a higher priority than bit torrent or some other download traffic.


RE: I swear
By tayb on 2/24/2014 10:52:00 AM , Rating: 3
Call your representatives and demand net neutrality. This is what happens without net neutrality. Online services that threaten core businesses of broadband providers are relegated to slow network paths... unless they pay up. When Netflix pays up YOU will pay up.

The inevitable outcome of an internet without net neutrality is the same outcome we currently have with television. Pay for internet packages that include fast access to certain things and slow access to others. Pay more for faster access to more things. It hasn't taken long for Verizon and Comcast to start throttling and it will only get worse.

This is going to destroy the internet. We need to demand that broadband providers be classified as common carriers and treat all traffic equally.


RE: I swear
By sgestwicki on 2/28/2014 3:13:41 PM , Rating: 2
A much better idea than net neutrality is competition. Comcast has lost millions of subscribers in the north east to Verizon FIOS because people are fed up with the company. Instead of sticking more government rules that run the risk of unintended consequences we should be demanding that the government sponsored monopolies be destroyed.


RE: I swear
By jimbojimbo on 2/24/2014 11:26:00 AM , Rating: 3
Also, in some cities Comcast has data caps and is constantly saying that it may be enabled in my city. If Netflix is paying for this Comcast better damn well not count my Netflix streaming data towards my caps!! That's total BS if they do.


RE: I swear
By jjlj on 2/25/2014 11:09:03 AM , Rating: 2
I agree!


RE: I swear
By FishTankX on 2/24/2014 12:34:02 PM , Rating: 2
You're not seeing the charges to Netflix because of throttling, I imagine it's because Netflix wants to directly connect it's servers into Comcast's network so you can bypass all of the links between Netflix's servers and Comcast's pipes. This will probably reduce Netflix's ISP bills as well because they don't have to pay any extra bandwidth charges to reach Comcast's customers. They'll be wired straight into their data centers and everyone will get buttery smooth connections without Comcast having to upgrade any of their outbound pipes.

Comcast just charges because they know this will generate oodles of traffic on their network, and I think Netflix and other streaming networks account for a major portion of world internet bandwidth consumption. This means Comcast will eventually need to upgrade it's pipes and boxes to keep up with demand.


RE: I swear
By Motoman on 2/24/2014 1:00:11 PM , Rating: 3
http://consumerist.com/2014/02/23/netflix-agrees-t...

You're missing the point. A content provider agreeing to pay an ISP for port-peering is a horrible precedent to set.


RE: I swear
By Concillian on 2/24/2014 1:28:45 PM , Rating: 3
Double dipping has been happening for years on cable/sat. We pay for cable TV channels. Those channels get money from the cable/sat companies, AND they get advertising revenue.

I wish as much as anyone else that the ISPs weren't content providers, but not gonna happen without strict government oversight... which has it's own pitfalls. There is no "good" alternative unless you assume either the government or large corporations to be altruistic... heh.


RE: I swear
By artemicion on 2/24/2014 8:10:00 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure enough details of the deal have been revealed to be outraged. It sounds like Netflix is paying Comcast for internet access, which *may* result in a superior quality connection between Netflix servers and end-users simply because you're eliminating possible bottlenecks in the routing if Netflix were going through some other service provider. If that were the case, who really cares.

If, on the other hand, Comcast were to throttle Netflix bandwidth to non-Comcast end-users, that would be troubling. But nothing suggests that is the case (so far) and frankly it'd be pretty stupid on Netflix's part if their contract with Comcast didn't have some sort of net neutrality clause.


RE: I swear
By jjlj on 2/25/2014 12:06:37 PM , Rating: 2
Well, a quick tracert revels that I hit 5 comcast routers before I leave comcast and I hit 3 Quest routers before I get to netflix.com. So There isn't a direct connection yet...


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