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Netflix Stresses Net Neutrality and Regulated ISPs while Comcast Committed for Open Internet

Mar 21 2014, 7:58am CDT | by , in News | Technology News

Netflix Stresses Net Neutrality and Regulated ISPs while Comcast Committed for Open Internet
Comcast

Netflix didn’t necessarily make the right decision by signing the pact with Comcast. That is why today its CEO is stressing Internet neutrality and regulated ISPs. Comcast states in response that it has the stronger commitment to openness of the Internet than any other firm.

The Net-sphere is doing what it can for the world’s population. That is one fundamental reason why it must maintain its neutrality and impartiality in the face of any bias or prejudice. Especially when ISPs such as AT&T and Comcast do a weak job of implementing Net neutrality, steps must be taken to ensure a free cyberspace for everyone. 

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said, "The traditional form of net neutrality which was recently overturned by a Verizon lawsuit is important, but insufficient. This weak net neutrality isn't enough to protect an open, competitive Internet; a stronger form of net neutrality is required."

Once there is stronger and more secure Net neutrality in place such services as Netflix, YouTube or Skype will not have ISPs charge toll costs on their provision. In particular, Netflix has been facing issues lately. It charges its subscribers for services which it is unable to deliver with the quality and speed required. The essential problem is the big ISPs which charge astronomical amounts for the access to video streaming services.

Hastings further said, "Some major ISPs, like Cablevision, already practice strong net neutrality and for their broadband subscribers, the quality of Netflix and other streaming services is outstanding. But on other big ISPs, due to a lack of sufficient interconnectivity, Netflix performance has been constrained, subjecting consumers who pay a lot of money for high-speed Internet to high buffering rates, long wait times and poor video quality.

Some ISPs say that Netflix is unilaterally "dumping as much volume" (Verizon CFO) as it wants onto their networks. Netflix isn't "dumping" data; it's satisfying requests made by ISP customers who pay a lot of money for high speed Internet. Netflix doesn't send data unless members request a movie or TV show." 

Comcast has so far been a weak Net neutrality supporter. It crucially needs to shift its priorities to the opposing camp which Netflix is rooting for. And it looks like Comcast will be making the transition soon. At least a good change seems to be coming in the air soon. The open Internet depends on such platforms which can set an example for others businesses and firms which are online to follow suit. 

Netflix and Comcast may just come to a compromise where they meet halfway. After all, since the consumer is always right, these service networks will have to kowtow to the demands of the subscribers. If the clientele continues to receive substandard stuff they will simply switch to some other channel or venue. That is the law of supply and demand in today’s cutthroat economic times. 

The CEO of Netflix recently expressed his concerns regarding the ISPs with particular reference to Comcast. Maybe he is right and maybe he will be proven wrong as Comcast casts itself in a different mould. 

"Some big ISPs are extracting a toll because they can -- they effectively control access to millions of consumers and are willing to sacrifice the interests of their own customers to press Netflix and others to pay. Though they have the scale and power to do this, they should realize it is in their long term interest to back strong net neutrality. While in the short term Netflix will in cases reluctantly pay large ISPs to ensure a high quality member experience, we will continue to fight for the Internet the world needs and deserves," Netflix CEO said in the end.

Comcast issued the following statement in response to Netflix CEO's blog.

"There has been no company that has had a stronger commitment to openness of the Internet than Comcast. We supported the FCC’s Open Internet rules because they struck the appropriate balance between consumer protection and reasonable network management rights for ISPs. We are now the only ISP in the country that is bound by them.

The Open Internet rules never were designed to deal with peering and Internet interconnection, which have been an essential part of the growth of the Internet for two decades. Providers like Netflix have always paid for their interconnection to the Internet and have always had ample options to ensure that their customers receive an optimal performance through all ISPs at a fair price. We are happy that Comcast and Netflix were able to reach an amicable, market-based solution to our interconnection issues and believe that our agreement demonstrates the effectiveness of the market as a mechanism to deal with these matters."

 

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