Netflix to Pay Comcast in Speed-Boosting Deal
Video service will have direct route to cable company's servers
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Feb 23, 2014 5:39 PM CST
This Jan. 29, 2010, file photo shows Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos, Calif.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

(Newser) – If you're a Comcast user, a better Netflix experience may be on its way. After a year of wrangling, Netflix has agreed to pay Comcast for "direct access" to the cable provider's servers, the Wall Street Journal reports. Netflix had been using go-betweens like Cogent Communications to reach Comcast's networks, but heavy use meant the system was slowing down. The deal "basically means that the deterioration in performance for consumers that we've been seeing will reverse," a Netflix rep tells the Los Angeles Times.

The video-streaming service had initially resisted paying for access to providers' servers, but the Comcast deal may pave the way to similar arrangements between Netflix and other providers, including Verizon and AT&T. Amid concerns over net neutrality, Comcast says Netflix won't be getting "preferential network treatment under the multi-year agreement." Companies like Google and Facebook already pay for direct access to providers, the Journal notes.

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Feb 24, 2014 10:25 PM CST
Feb 24, 2014 3:03 AM CST
This is exactly the slippery slope the rural telecommunications acts meant to avoid happening. The fear (expectation) was rural exchanges would charge for running calls through their exchange, in effect holding a person trying to place a phone call in a "pay me too or your call doesn't get through" situation. If all the telephone exchanges in the country started doing that, eventually it could cost $100 to make a land-line phone call from L.A. to N.Y. just to pay for the various exchanges adding their fees for passing the calls through their exchange The country needs a national broadband program. If we had let corporations build/own the nation's Interstate highway/road system eventually the same thing would've happened, toll-roads every mile or so & toll-fees of thousands of dollars to drive coast-to-coast through all the toll roads. Take a look at how corporate America telecom is handling the 'build-out' of high-speed Internet here they are doing the standard corporate America thing, spending as little as possible & looking to maximize their profits in what little broadband they've invested in already. So now is Comcast going to use this extra fee (profit really) to invest in building out more high-speed Internet? Probably not. But I'm sure there are some executives working for Comcast going to be getting big bonus checks now for managing to nickel/dime (screw) Netflix. And the long-term result for Netflix subscribers? You guys really think Netflix is going to be nice guys & just eat that fee from Comcast? Think again. Your rates are almost certainly going up as a result of this "deal". Want to know why Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, & Romania average around 50 Megabit Internet speeds across their countries? They had national broadband programs that put the wiring in place before letting the greedy corporate guys start milking it for fortunes. Get a clue U.S. gov't. Wait for Google to do it for you, 50 years from now rural areas here will be paying $100/month for 3 Megabit DSL which will only be available in large urban areas near those rural areas (or rural areas Google wired up because no one else wanted to pull cable in those areas).
Feb 24, 2014 12:41 AM CST
Legalized extortion. Thanks, lobbyists! I was wondering where all my cable money was going.