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The FCC won't allow net neutrality to regulate the way companies like Netflix connect to the Internet

Netflix was hoping for an end to internet tolls by calling to expand the scope of net neutrality, but the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) isn't having any of it. 
 
According to National Journal, the FCC denied Netflix's call to expand net neutrality so that it covered companies and their methods of connecting to the internet. 
 
More specifically, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings wanted the FCC to regulate the way companies like Netflix connect to the internet so that they wouldn't have to pay tolls to other companies (like Comcast, for example) to make sure its video gets to customers quickly and without any issues. 
 
"Peering and interconnection are not under consideration in the Open Internet proceeding, but we are monitoring the issues involved to see if any action is needed in any other context," said an FCC spokesperson.
 
Netflix agreed last month to pay Comcast 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. 
 
But Netflix wanted this to be a one-time deal until it managed to push laws in place that eliminated these tolls. 


Having to pay Comcast means Netflix could end up having to pay tolls to other providers like Verizon and AT&T -- and there's no way these tolls come cheap. The streaming company already pays high prices for content licensing from content providers, and having this extra fee on the table (and potentially from many big cable companies) would really put a damper on Netflix's cash flow. 

"Some big [Internet service providers] are extracting a toll because they can—they effectively control access to millions of consumers and are willing to sacrifice the interests of their own customers to press Netflix and others to pay," said Hastings. 
 
"If this kind of leverage is effective against Netflix, which is pretty large, imagine the plight of smaller services today and in the future."

Big cable got even bigger this year when Comcast acquired Time Warner Cable (TWC) in February for $45.2 billion USD. Comcast has about 25 percent share of the broadband market while TWC controls around 12 percent. As far as the subscription cable TV market goes, Comcast currently controls roughly 19 percent and TWC controls around 9 percent. Together, the pair would control about a third of the markets (37 percent of broadband; 28 percent of cable TV). 

Source: National Journal



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RE: So then what will net neutrality protect?
By bsd228 on 4/1/2014 4:49:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's just that even though the Netflix service wants to use a far greater proportion of throughput than other traffic, Comcast is treating Netflix the same as all other traffic. That doesn't work out well for Netflix, especially since they flipped a switch this year which tries to push out everything at ~1080p, which in this case made everyone's service degrade because the pipes didn't get any bigger.


Let's not ignore what this is really about. Comcast had their own netflix type service and would rather you use it rather than netflix. That's the entire store here, people.

There's an inherent fault in letting ISPs be content servers. Net neutrality was the means to keep them behaving properly.


RE: So then what will net neutrality protect?
By karimtemple on 4/1/2014 5:31:53 PM , Rating: 1
Says "let's not ignore what this is really about," ignores everything previously said. lol.

I am an avid Netflix supporter -- a fan -- and a fervent hater of the way telecom is done here. I hate this stuff as much as anyone. But we need to face facts here, too. Comcast is not blocking anything, and they're not charging for anything that's crazy to charge for. Netflix needed more throughput than they were previously paying for, so they paid more for more. It's actually a pretty straightforward situation.


By bsd228 on 4/1/2014 7:44:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I am an avid Netflix supporter -- a fan -- and a fervent hater of the way telecom is done here. I hate this stuff as much as anyone. But we need to face facts here, too. Comcast is not blocking anything, and they're not charging for anything that's crazy to charge for. Netflix needed more throughput than they were previously paying for, so they paid more for more. It's actually a pretty straightforward situation.


Comcast's history definitely includes blocking of traffic.


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