Netflix Agrees to Pay Comcast to End Traffic Jam
February 24, 2014 10:00 AM
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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.
, 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.
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.
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RE: I swear
2/24/2014 11:24:21 AM
Yeah but that's not what was happening. If I have a 3 meg connection to the Internet and need 4 but refuse to pay for 4 is my ISP throttling me or am I just refusing to pay to upgrade my service?
They were trying to sell circuits or colocation to Netflix but Netflix was insisting Comcast should provide it for free. When Netflix agreed to pay some of the costs they made a deal.
This is not the same thing as having a bunch of stateful packet inspection devices sitting on the Comcast network looking for Netflix traffic and shitting on it and there is no part of the net neutrality law that says carriers MUST provide circuits for free to a specific set of companies.
How would you legislate which companies are illegal for providers to charge for connectivity? Does the Internet vote on them or something?
As long as Netflix is paying some amount less than Comcasts cost it would be extremely hard to argue the agreement should be illegal and be on solid footing.
Almost none of the people I see talking about net neutrality online understand it in fact a majority of its supporters don't which is why it's dangerous to pass law based only on how many people say they support it.
I am not saying it shouldn't be against the law to do things like forge bittorrent reset packets but it's extremely hard to actually write legislation with teeth that doesn't have a HUGE amount of unintended consequences. The root of the problem is of course almost none of the people talking about it understand any of it.
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