Comcast & Netflix. Tolls, Fees, & Net Neutrality

The New York Times is reporting that Comcast, in a huge move, is charging Level 3, (the company responsible for the process of actually getting Netflix movies and television shows transmitted) huge fees due to the amount of traffic they've generated.

From the article:

Level 3 Communications, a central partner in the Netflix online movie service, accused Comcast on Monday of charging a new fee that puts Internet video companies at a competitive disadvantage.
Level 3, which helps to deliver Netflix’s streaming movies, said Comcast had effectively erected a tollbooth that “threatens the open Internet,” and indicated that it would seek government intervention. Comcast quickly denied that the clash had anything to do with network neutrality, instead calling it “a simple commercial dispute.”

This brings up a huge set of issues dealing with Net Neutrality, for as one can see, this puts Netflix at a huge competitive disadvantage and allows Comcast to easily move ahead with their own streaming services (at lower prices).

Please support Netflix and support Net Neutrality! I love Netflix streaming and I know you do too. This is a threat to Netflix, Netflix Watch Instant streaming, and the Internet as a whole. If we want the Internet to continue being a place where companies like Netflix can still exist, we must hope that Comcast retracts these fees.

1 comment:

Ethan said...

Comcast is right, this has nothing to do with Net Neutrality. Level 3 is attempting to abuse their existing peering agreement (as long as traffic stays fairly even, no fees) with Comcast by increasing the amount of traffic they pull across Level 3's network without paying more for it.

Some more info worth considering: http://www.digitalsociety.org/2010/11/level-3-outbid-akamai-on-netflix-by-reselling-stolen-bandwidth/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=level-3-outbid-akamai-on-netflix-by-reselling-stolen-bandwidth

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