(Page 2 of 2)
The tensions over peering arrangements is part of a much larger debate over Internet neutrality, the concept that all online traffic should be treated equally so service providers can't set up a system that gives special preference to their own content or websites willing to pay for privileged access.
The FCC's previous guidelines for so-called net neutrality were scrapped by a federal appeals court in January, requiring Wheeler to draw up new rules. Wheeler's initial blueprint for net neutrality raised fears that he was going to empower Internet service providers to charge for toll roads, a fear that Wheeler has sought to quell in his public statements.
Peering deals haven't been considered to be part of net neutrality, but Hastings is pushing for interconnection to become part of the equation.
Hastings' critics believe he is seizing an opportune time to publicly skewer Internet service providers in an attempt to eliminate all peering fees and boost Netflix's earnings. He has been escalating his attacks while Comcast has been trying to win government approval of its politically sensitive $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable, another major Internet service provider. Hastings is urging regulators to reject that deal on the grounds that it might make it even easier for Comcast to impose Internet tolls on content providers.
Former FCC Commissioner Michael Powell, now president of National Cable & Telecommunications Association, blasted Netflix and other unnamed Internet companies for trying to "move the goal posts" to suit their own interests. "They want to protect their profits by ensuring that the disproportionate impact caused by delivering traffic to their customers is spread across all broadband subscribers and not just those who actually use the service," Powell wrote in a blog post earlier this week.
© 2014 Associated Press under contract with NewsEdge. All rights reserved.
Posted: 2014-06-23 @ 4:22pm PT
There should NOT be "less" congested entry points. That's a bogus contention. Regardless of the number of entry points, any one of them must be upgraded as the ISP customer demands increase traffic through any connection point. To say that Netflix or any other large stream content provider (e.g. YouTube, Amazon Prime, Amazon Cloud, gaming sites, etc.) must pay when congestion appears is ludicrous. Congestion appears only when the ISP customer is requesting data. That's EXACTLY what the customer is paying for!
And to say that it cost Netflix less to pay Comcast and Verizon than what Netflix had been paying Cogent or Level 3, multiply that by: Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner, AT&T, and *EVERY OTHER ISP THAT WANTS A CUT OF NETFLIX* and I doubt it would ever be less than for a content company to simply pay their associated business costs alone. What a mafia racket!
And Powell is the cable horn boy of the industry, what else would he say? Michael Powell can go blow.
Posted: 2014-06-23 @ 7:14am PT
We don't need no stinkin' facts to write laws. That has been the stand of Congress since it told the EPA not to baseline the Environment. Fortunately, the FCC has found a loophole in Congress' desire to misinform the public about how things work. The FCC is baselining how the Internet works in the US. Once the FCC publishes findings of fact about the internet from server farm through trunk lines to ISPs and finally to homes and businesses the flat-earth society in the Congress can stop attending Prayer Breakfasts on the subject and start doing something about the last mile monopoly.
Posted: 2014-06-19 @ 11:09am PT
I support Netflix on this contention; as far as I know each subscriber to an ISP pays for a certain amount of upload/download speed which his/her usage of does not affect other subscribers to the same ISP. So the argument that cost is unfairly spread amount ISP subscriber does not hold.