Netflix Secures Dedicated Fat Pipe From Comcast In Industry First Deal

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News Posted: Mon, Feb 24 2014 9:40 AM
In what had been a standoff between Netflix and Comcast -- one in which subscribers of both companies were caught in the crossfire -- Netflix was the first to blink by agreeing to pay the ISP for faster speeds. The two media giants inked a multi-year deal that should ensure less buffering and higher quality Netflix streams to Comcast subscribers.

Customer complaints from Comcast subscribers regarding poor quality Netflix streams during peak hours reached a fever pitch in recent weeks. Anecdotal evidence around the web suggested Comcast was throttling Netflix traffic. It was an issue of which company should be paying for the increased demand for bandwidth, though some also surmised Comcast was using the recent net neutrality ruling in its favor to prevent subscribers from ditching cable TV service in favor of Netflix.

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According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Comcast has agreed to treat all online traffic equally as part of the deal with Netflix, meaning it will no longer throttle traffic and give its own video preferential treatment. The deal is said to run through 2017 and would apply to Time Warner Cable if the merger goes through.

Subscribers will benefit from this deal in the short term, though it's a complicated issue. Some analysts believe Netflix will ultimately pass on the cost of the deal to its subscribers. In addition, Netflix just set a dangerous precedent by giving in to Comcast's demands and paying a fee to have its traffic treated equally.
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I understand the desire to avoid stuff like throttling connections, but when you want higher speeds (as a consumer) from an ISP what do you do? You pay for it.

Businesses are consumers too. If you want diversity in offerings, then you just created demand for it. Now why can companies operate independent of natural consumer demand? I wonder....

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scolaner replied on Mon, Feb 24 2014 11:10 AM

This is total BS on Comcast's part. I understand why Netflix did what it did, but Paul's right to say that this is a dangerous precedent. This is EXACTLY what net neutrality is designed to prevent.

And Comcast saying that now that it has one big deal with one big fish, it will keep everything equal is...an empty promise at best. That's like getting punched in the face by an abusive person and that person assuring you that he won't punch you in the face anymore.

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sevags replied on Mon, Feb 24 2014 12:08 PM

Well the shit has hit the fan. Big ISPs win. Customers lose.

How can Netflix make a deal with comcast?! Now every ISP is going to demand money or throttle Netflix (if they aren't doing so already). Why should Netflix have to pay for the extra bandwidth? What about other streaming services like Hulu, pandora, HBO Go? What about Steam??? Why should these and other web based companies not have to pay for good bandwidth?

I really hate what our country has become, how our government runs the country and treats it's citizens, and what kind of ridiculous power companies have. Net neutrality, spying, broken patent system, ridiculous freedom sucking laws like not being able to film police that we pay with our taxes, should I keep going? I'm starting to dislike this country more and more every day and big ISP's are not helping.

I just cancelled my Netflix subscription. Sorry Netflix but you deserve it.

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RWilliams replied on Mon, Feb 24 2014 12:59 PM

Horrible progression. That's all I can say. Depressing.

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dnw1962 replied on Mon, Feb 24 2014 11:07 PM

I think you guys got this wrong. At first I thought as you did that Netflix caved and paid. But it seems what they really did is more like changing ISPs. They had been paying to another company for backbone level access. Now that access will be provided directly by Comcast and cut the other company out of the equation. Based on Netflix's ever increasing bandwidth needs this may actually save them money.

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