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Netflix Believes in Strong Net Neutrality, Explains Paying Comcast

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The landscape of Internet changed when Netflix agreed to pay Comcast in a peering agreement. CEO Reed Hastings published a blog post to explain his and the company?s views on net neutrality and why they pay an Internet Service Provider (ISP), which they feel should be better regulated.

Because it has to

According to the blog post, Netflix explained that strong net neutrality is critical, but will have to pay the toll to the large ISPs to maintain consumer experience. Hastings added in the post that when the company does so, they will just pay for interconnection. The Netflix CEO also said that the essence of net neutrality is not restricting or influencing the choices of consumers. Verizon?s lawsuit overturned the traditional form of net neutrality. However, Hastings said that it is still insufficient.

The Netflix CEO defined a strong net neutrality as preventing ISPs from charging for interconnection service such as YouTube, Skype or Netflix to deliver requested data by ISP residential subscribers. This also includes intermediaries like Akamai, Level 3 or Cogent. Instead, Hastings pointed out that these subscribers deserve sufficient network access without charge.

Netflix Sends Data Upon Customer?s Request

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Hastings further argued in the blog post, saying that some ISPs think that Netflix unilaterally dumps as much volume as it wants to the company?s networks. He defended that they are not dumping data, but rather satisfying customer requests who pay for high speed Internet. He said that the company does not provide data, unless requested by members, like a TV show or movie.

A Solution to Interconnection Issues

Comcast responded politely by saying that the company is committed to Internet openness. The company supported FCC?s Open Internet rules since they have struck an appropriate balance between reasonable ISP network management rights and consumer protection. Comcast claims that they are now the only ISP in the country bounded by these rules.

The company further said that the Open Internet rules were never designed to handle Internet interconnection and peering. While these two have been an essential part of the Internet for two decades, providers like Netflix have been paying for their interconnection with ample options for customers to achieve optimal performance through ISP. Comcast said that it is happy that Netflix and their company now have a solution for interconnection issues, which demonstrates the market?s effectiveness to deal with these matters.

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