[News] Comcast extorts Netflix, VZ and AT&T plan to follow suit.

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#1
So maybe you've heard that Netflix has agreed to pay Comcast to ensure its content is delivered to customers "with less slowdowns" than previously.
Comcast Corporation and Netflix, Inc. today announced a mutually beneficial interconnection agreement that will provide Comcast’s US broadband customers with a high-quality Netflix video experience for years to come. Working collaboratively over many months, the companies have established a more direct connection between Netflix and Comcast, similar to other networks, that’s already delivering an even better user experience to consumers, while also allowing for future growth in Netflix traffic. Netflix receives no preferential network treatment under the multi-year agreement, terms of which are not being disclosed*.
Unsurprisingly, Verizon's CEO is now talking about how they are negotiating the terms of Netflix's surrender similar upcoming peering agreement.
I would expect that we would [make a deal with Netflix]. I'm not here to pre-announce and I'm not here to change my hand at the negotiating table, but I think there's a good opportunity here. Both [Netflix CEO] Reed [Hastings] and I have talked about it and we think it's in both of our interests.
Ooo, and it looks like AT&T is also now in negotiations for the same sort of agreement.
We’re in discussions with Netflix to establish a more direct connection between our networks, similar to agreements we have with others, so that AT&T broadband customers who use Netflix can enjoy an even better video experience.
I guess we will get to tell our progeny that we were around when it all started, at least.

--Patrick
*"We promise everything we just said is true, and you can even verify it against this self-signed certificate."
 
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#3
Boy, net neutrality being smashed to pieces last month sure didn't take long to rear it's ugly ramifications encrusted head.
 
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#5
Yes. Lets let them also get rid of land lines in favor of wireless so they have an even better reason to limit data usage.
 
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#7
The FCC is rewriting the rules so they should be fine in court while providing net neutrality. We'll see what happens.

I would be surprised if netflix didn't get an exclusive agreement, meaning that being first to the post, they will prevent Apple, Amazon and other streaming providers from getting the "premium" bandwidth netflix will get regardless of the deal offered.
 
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#9
I would be surprised if netflix didn't get an exclusive agreement, meaning that being first to the post, they will prevent Apple, Amazon and other streaming providers from getting the "premium" bandwidth netflix will get regardless of the deal offered.
There's a loooong history of entities who scrabble and fight and claw and scratch their way to get into "the club" only to turn right around and scrabble and fight and claw and scratch to try and shut the door behind them to make sure nobody else can come in after them.

--Patrick
 
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#11
This is not an issue of net neutrality.

http://blog.streamingmedia.com/2014...etflix-comcast-deal-getting-basics-wrong.html

TL;DR: Netflix has decided to bypass third-party content distribution networks like Akamai and Level 3 in favor of putting their servers directly in Comcast's network. They have basically cut out the middleman who used to run the network through which all of their streaming passed between the Netflix servers and the Comcast servers. This has nothing to do with content.
 
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#12
Soooo...they're totally surrounded by Comcast, but they're not owned by Comcast? Or are they only putting some servers inside of CC's network?

--Patrick
 
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#13
Soooo...they're totally surrounded by Comcast, but they're not owned by Comcast? Or are they only putting some servers inside of CC's network?

--Patrick
Previously, Netflix delivered their data to Akamai (and/or other third-party CDNs), who then delivered it to Comcast. These CDNs take data from content providers, consolidate it into one big pipe, and then distribute it to the ISPs, who deliver it to the customers' homes. In this arrangement, Netflix paid Akamai a distribution charge, who would take a cut, and pay Comcast for the access to their customers. Instead, Netflix has simply decided to build their own CDN and pipe their stuff directly into Comcast, paying them instead of the CDN. End result - data gets from Netflix to Comcast without the middleman, and Netflix pays less than they previously were because of reduced overhead. These new servers would only serve content to Comcast customers. They already have similar deals with many other smaller ISPs.

Of course, it could come to pass that Comcast decides to throttle Netflix for anti-competitive reasons, but that would find them in violation of their contract and would expose them to massive litigation, and nobody wants that.
 

figmentPez

Staff member
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#14
This is not an issue of net neutrality.

http://blog.streamingmedia.com/2014...etflix-comcast-deal-getting-basics-wrong.html

TL;DR: Netflix has decided to bypass third-party content distribution networks like Akamai and Level 3 in favor of putting their servers directly in Comcast's network. They have basically cut out the middleman who used to run the network through which all of their streaming passed between the Netflix servers and the Comcast servers. This has nothing to do with content.
That's assuming that they had the choice to not make this move. If they had the choice between "put your servers directly on our network, or we'll throttle your bandwidth", that's still an issue of net neutrality. We don't know that there wasn't pressure put on Netflix forcing them into this deal. The history of cable companies having already tried to charage Netflix extra for prefferential treatment suggests to me that there was at least some amount of arm twisting involved in this.
 
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#15
Comcast currently has a deal in place with the FCC to follow the Open Web standards until 2018 (this was part of getting approval for their acquisition of NBC Universal), even though the standards were recently struck down in court. So while Comcast could very well have not bothered updating the infrastructure on their end where they connect with Cogent, which would detriment Netflix, they were most likely not doing any kind of packet shaping.
 
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#16
Comcast currently has a deal in place with the FCC to follow the Open Web standards until 2018 (this was part of getting approval for their acquisition of NBC Universal), even though the standards were recently struck down in court. So while Comcast could very well have not bothered updating the infrastructure on their end where they connect with Cogent, which would detriment Netflix, they were most likely not doing any kind of packet shaping.
Wait, Comcast has NBC?

Then why the hell does NBC's website have shitty buffering so much when I'm a Comcast customer?
 

Necronic

Staff member
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#18
Its worth remembering that this cuts both ways. Netflix can decide to decline a "priority" deal with a company like Verizon, and do so publicly (stating that the terms aren't affordable), making Verizon look like the bad guy. This could then encourage people to switch ISPs. It only really works in cities with multiple options, which isn't a lot of them, but its something.
 
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#19
Level 3, a company similar to Cogent, is weighing in on it now too.


Some ISPs, however, have refused to augment their networks UNLESS the content providers they connect to agree to pay them to do so. Viewed in the light most favorable to these ISPs, they want content suppliers to pay not only for their own increased costs of supplying more robust Internet content, but also for any increased network costs of the ISPs too. This is not only unreasonable on its face, but it is entirely inconsistent with published reports indicating that returns on invested capital for ISPs are excellent, and are expected to improve even further, driving considerable additional growth in economic profits. More cynically, these ISPs simply view these arbitrary tolls as new sources of revenue for their last mile bottleneck monopolies or as a way to unfairly discriminate against content that competes with the content the ISPs themselves supply.
 
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#20
The way it's worded there, it almost sounds like the ISPs are setting up their own TSA-style checkpoints.

--Patrick
 
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#22
Even if a number of web hosts were to do this, I have to wonder if it'd make any difference unless someone came in with a counter-offer of money to the shitheads we let run our country.
 
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#23
Even if a number of web hosts were to do this, I have to wonder if it'd make any difference unless someone came in with a counter-offer of money to the shitheads we let run our country.
I'm hopeful that the plan is that the FCC will get the message (especially with all the other tech companies handing in their opinions[PDF]) that if they okay these sorts of payments, the tech companies may make extra-special-sure that if any web requests are going to get delayed, that it will probably start with the ones going to the FCC's internal IP block.

--Patrick
 
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#26
Apparently the phone calls against this were so heavy in volume that the FCC shut off their damn phones.

How dare people try to have a voice in how their government functions. :rolleyes:
 
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#27
Apparently the phone calls against this were so heavy in volume that the FCC shut off their damn phones.
Yes. I believe they announced that they would prefer that any of this be sent to them via email.
So many Americans have called the FCC that an automated message now asks them to email “open Internet” comments to a new inbox instead.
source

--Patrick
 
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#28
Yes. I believe they announced that they would prefer that any of this be sent to them via email.

source

--Patrick
Fuck that, they made the form so difficult to fill out it was super irritating. Lets keep shutting down their phone service, maybe they'll get the hint this isn't going away.
 
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#29
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#31
It'll never happen, not with how quickly file sizes are increasing and how much of our infrastructure depends on net access at this point, especially if wireless starts getting faster. Hell, I don't even see Comcast existing in 10 years unless they perform some serious infrastructure upgrades because using your wireless plan will just make more sense. Cable only makes sense right now because people want to stream stuff to their TV and PC and don't have a better option with Wireless.
 
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#32
It'll never happen, not with how quickly file sizes are increasing and how much of our infrastructure depends on net access at this point
That's almost like saying, "Gas will never go above $1/gal." It all depends on how much demand there is, and how much the people who supply that demand want to take advantage of it.

--Patrick
 
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#33
4k and 3D 1080p streaming will suck up more bandwidth.

They will introduce tiered levels just so they can charge 2-3 times more for the unlimited plan.
 
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