The Comcast and Netflix battle continues with Netflix accusing the cable provider of withholding the necessary service until Netflix pays up, and Comcast saying that Netflix is distorting the truth.
In a blog post by Ken Florance, vice president of content delivery at Netflix, he mentioned that Netflix was forced to sign a recent interconnection deal with Comcast because it would be the only way for Netflix to provide reliable streaming services to its customers who were on Comcast.
Florance said that: ?Comcast only handles Netflix traffic in that last mile, while Netflix manages the bulk of content delivery through its own content delivery system?. He also mentioned that:? Comcast is not charging Netflix for transit service. It is charging Netflix for access to its subscribers. Comcast also charges its subscribers for access to Internet content providers like Netflix. In this way, Comcast is double dipping by getting both its subscribers and Internet content providers to pay for access to each other?.
In response to this, Comcast?s Jennifer Khoury, senior vice president of corporate and digital communications, said that: ?Netflix’s argument is a House of Cards. Netflix’s decision to reroute its Internet traffic was all about improving Netflix’s business model. While it’s understandable for Netflix to try to make all Internet users pay for its costs of doing business (as opposed to just their customers), the company should at least be honest about its cost-shifting strategy.?
This latest confrontation between the two companies comes at a time when the FCC is trying to consider new net neutrality rules. As of right now, interconnection deals are not yet part of the discussion but could be highlighted in the future.
Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings is a firm believer that there is a need for stronger net neutrality rules and that it would end the need for interconnection deals. Hastings mentioned that Comcast supported a weaker version of net neutrality but Khoury argued that ?no ISP in the country has been a stronger supporter of the Open Internet than Comcast.?
All of these things have yet to be resolved and if Comcast really is double dipping, then the losers of this whole ordeal would be us, the consumers. A lot of things are still up in the air but these kinds of arguments can help spotlight things that are wrong with how content is being provided to the users, and if they are addressed correctly, then, it will be a major win for all consumers as prices could be lowered for the same level of service.
Photo Source: Netflix official website