Netflix to Pay Comcast in Speed-Boosting Deal

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

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. (More Netflix stories.)

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