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Time Warner Defends Comcast In Level 3 Dispute

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the discouragingly-finite-bandwidth dept.

The Internet 315

MojoKid writes "On December 21, the FCC will finally vote on adopting net neutrality rules. This may (or may not) have been caused by Comcast's spat with Level 3 after Level 3 won a big contract to handle Netflix's video streaming. Grind it all together, output it to Facebook and you get this campaign: 'Save the Internet: Stop Comcast from Blocking Netflix. Without strong net neutrality rules, companies like Comcast can demand fees from innovative companies like Netflix in an attempt to choke consumer freedom and coerce users to adopt its own video services instead.' Comcast insists that this has nothing to do with blocking the upstart Netflix's business but about how much of Level 3's traffic it must carry before they get to send Level 3 a bill. Level 3's traffic has greatly increased thanks to Netflix. On Thursday, Comcast's frienemy, Time Warner, issued a statement of support for Comcast that explained the pro-cable provider side of the fight."

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Double Dipping? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34432914)

Doesn't Netflix pay Comcast for bandwidth already? Why do I need to pay beyond my subscription when Netflix is already paying for the bandwidth?

Re:Double Dipping? (1)

Squiddie (1942230) | more than 3 years ago | (#34432938)

Because they need more money and they have a right to it because it's pro business to let them do what they want.

Re:Double Dipping? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34432990)

No, Netflix does not pay Comcast anything. That is the entire dispute.

Re:Double Dipping? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433168)

I pay comcast for access. Netflix pays level3 for access. If comcast didn't get netflix, i'd switch to one who does. How does this benefit comcasts users other than make netflix cost more?

Re:Double Dipping? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433224)

This isn't how it works.

Even if Comcast drops Level3 completely, you will still get Netflix - Level3 will just pass off the traffic to someone who does peer with Comcast. It'll be slower than if Level3 directly peered with Comcast, but it will still get there.

Netflix doesn't need to pay Comcast anything. Netflix is already paying Level3 to be their CDN. Level3 just now needs to pay for the bandwidth they're using.

Re:Double Dipping? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433296)

But why is Level3 using Comcast's bandwidth? Isn't it the other way around? It's Comcast's customers who requested the traffic!

Re:Double Dipping? (5, Insightful)

Danse (1026) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433360)

This isn't how it works.

Even if Comcast drops Level3 completely, you will still get Netflix - Level3 will just pass off the traffic to someone who does peer with Comcast. It'll be slower than if Level3 directly peered with Comcast, but it will still get there.

Netflix doesn't need to pay Comcast anything. Netflix is already paying Level3 to be their CDN. Level3 just now needs to pay for the bandwidth they're using.

Huh? Aren't Comcast's customers, the one's who are streaming Netflix, already paying for that bandwidth that they're using? This sounds like Comcast wanting to double-dip.

Re:Double Dipping? (2)

Kazymyr (190114) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433578)

Mod up. The end users are already paying Comcast for the bandwidth. Why should anyone else do it again?

Re:Double Dipping? (0)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433878)

Because that's not how the internet works? You have to pay something (be it money, or accepting traffic) to connect to any network. Doesn't matter if you're a retail customer, or a network operator customer. You want to connect to the Comcast network and move data through it, you have to compensate them in some way.

That's how it works for every single network operator on the planet... Why should Level3 get to connect to the network for free? If every network operator were required to let other network operators connect to them for free, where exactly is the revenue going to come from for ISPs that don't have any retail customers?

Re:Double Dipping? (2)

gorzek (647352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433584)

Yeah, Level3 should already be paying for the traffic they send to Comcast's network. That's usually how peering agreements work: you pay for traffic that you send to another network, but not traffic that you are receiving. Uploading costs money, downloading doesn't. It's why most broadband service is structured with low upstream bandwidth.

If Comcast doesn't like what Level3 is paying them to accept L3's traffic, they should renegotiate. It shouldn't matter if the upsurge in traffic is due to Netflix or streaming porn.

Re:Double Dipping? (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433928)

"Aren't Comcast's customers, the one's who are streaming Netflix, already paying for that bandwidth that they're using? This sounds like Comcast wanting to double-dip."

zactly. Unless Level3 is somehow using Comcast as a transit network, in which case Level3 needs more peers, and Comcast has a right to bitch. But, I doubt very much that's the case.

Re:Double Dipping? (3, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433766)

Netflix doesn't need to pay Comcast anything. Netflix is already paying Level3 to be their CDN. Level3 just now needs to pay for the bandwidth they're using.

Level 3 isn't using any of Comcast's bandwidth. Comcast's paying customers are requesting the videos from Netflix. Netflix pays for the bandwidth they are using from Level 3. Comcast's customers are paying for the bandwidth they are using from Comcast when the streaming video crosses their network.

What Comcast would like to do is get paid from their customers and from Level 3 for the same data. That, my friend, is called double dipping.

The bottom line is that if Comcast's customers found that Netflix was unacceptably slow, they would have to sign up with some other video-on-demand provider, and Comcast would like it to be them.

Re:Double Dipping? (2)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433910)

If Level3 isn't using any of Comcast's bandwidth, I guess they won't mind then if Comcast shuts down all interconnections to Level3's network. Level3 can connect to Comcast's network through a third party.

Comcast does not want to get paid twice for the same data. They want all people who connect to their network, regardless of who they are (cable customer or ISP customer), to compensate them in some way. That, my friend, is how the internet works. That is how every network provider in the world operates.

Re:Double Dipping? (1)

memyselfandeye (1849868) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433932)

I'm fairly sure this is a peering [wikimedia.org] issue as has been stated many times. If Level3 is cut out of the private exchange, you'll still get Netflix, it will just take normal 'longer' transit routes to your house instead a shorter route at their private exchange(s).

Why should Comcast have to foot the bill for power and equipment and maintenance so Level3 can send traffic to you faster? It's not like these are $99 Linksys routers we're talking here. With a near 1:1 ratio that might make sense, but I'm kinda thinking Comcast is actually not the bad guy here.

Re:Double Dipping? (1)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433908)

That's right. The fallacy here is that Comcast calls it "Level 3's traffic". It's not Level 3's traffic, it's their own customers' traffic that they've already been paid for.

But who will win the case? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433540)

Who will win. Hmm...

Obviously it will be decided like any other case. Who has more money, Comcast, or Netflix?

Well crap, sucks to be society.

Re:Double Dipping? (2)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433118)

One concept may moving to a credit card type funding model.

If you charge the people who have less influence, or are more of a captive audience, in the deal, and then lower the prices or add perks to those who are not as much of a captive audience, then you get a lot more money through a large customer base. The people of the captive audience can't afford to buck the system, and the people who can don't know enough or care enough to.

Re:Double Dipping? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433176)

AFAIK Netflix isn't being charged, Level 3 is. They had a peering agreement with Comcast a while back and Comcast feels that Level 3 violated it by massively increasing the amount of traffic that was routed over the peering connection. It's pretty much your typical peering dispute, but since Netflix is involved it has slight elements of a net neutrality issue.

Re:Double Dipping? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433314)

That's the closest someone has come so far in this discussion, but it's not quite accurate. Comcast and Level3 had an agreement where basically they just swapped traffic for free. Each side sent approximately the same amount of traffic, so an even exchange seemed fair. Now that agreement is about to expire, and at the same time the numbers have changed significantly. Now Level 3 is sending significantly more traffic to Comcast than Comcast is sending back, so the previous "even swap" agreement no longer makes sense, since it's not, you know, even. Netflix and net neutrality really have nothing to do with any of this, and as much as it pains me to say this, I agree with Comcast (though I'll continue to pray that they die a slow death and then rot in hell for all eternity).

Re:Double Dipping? (1)

SaroDarksbane (1784314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433556)

If only I had mod points. More people need to see this and understand what's really going on here before the "OMG NET NEUTRALITIES!" bandwagon starts up in full.

Re:Double Dipping? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433656)

You're assuming a peering agreement where two parties swap traffic for free (a.k.a. settlement-free peering) is based on an "even swap". That ain't necessarily so. The peers may swap an uneven ratio of traffic for free as long as it's in their mutual interest, and ISPs do that all the time. As one of the parent posters noted, this traffic is requested by Comcast's users, and, as such, it *should* be in Comcast's best interest to forward that traffic to its paying customers. As another parent poster mentioned, Comcast would get this traffic via an alternative route anyway if they decided to de-peer with Level3. So, essentially, Comcast is just throwing a tantrum because they want to double-dip and people are calling them on it.

Re:Double Dipping? (1)

zzsmirkzz (974536) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433708)

. Now Level 3 is sending significantly more traffic to Comcast than Comcast is sending back

Yes, but they are sending it to Comcast's customers who requested it. It's not like the traffic is just being funneled through Comcast's network as a shortcut, Comcast is the end-point. It is their customers who are causing the increase in traffic, not Netflix/Level 3 - they are just the source. So instead of charging their customers more for their increased demand, Comcast is trying to charge Level 3 more for having data their customers desire. From my perspective it just seems backwards. Why should Level 3 have to pay Comcast to provide the data that Comcast's customers want and are paying Comcast to deliver? It's double-dipping, burning the candle from both ends, or however you want to put it and wrong.

Re:Double Dipping? (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433896)

So the solution is to have all Comcast users seed as many "Ubuntu Distributions" as possible. Equaling the bandwidth.

Re:Double Dipping? (5, Insightful)

theghost (156240) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433258)

It is double dipping, but not like you think.

I pay my ISP for bandwidth. ISPs want to charge Netflix for bandwidth too.

If i'm using more bandwidth now because of Netflix, that should be between me and my ISP, but ISPs don't want to mess with that relationship for fear of pissing off customers and spurring real competition in the marketplace. It's cheaper to buy legislation mandating your business model than to compete.

If we had real competition then net neutrality would be a non-issue because we could choose open networks over closed ones, but with the near-monopoly of the big operators in most markets, it's usually just a choice between their crappy service or another crappier, more expensive option.

Re:Double Dipping? (4, Informative)

dfgchgfxrjtdhgh.jjhv (951946) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433668)

You need to ask your government why there is a lack of competition in the ISP market in your country.

Network Neutrality is a non-issue used to cover up the real problem. It is only an issue at all in the USA.

Re:Double Dipping? (4, Interesting)

nharmon (97591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433536)

No, Netflix does not pay Comcast. They used to, in a sort of indirect way. Netflix used to pay Akamai, a content delivery network, to deliver streaming video to customers. Akamai does this by having data centers all over the place that can serve up content faster than anything centralized. And Akamai pays to link their data centers to Comcast so they can do this.

Well, here comes Level 3. Traditionally a backbone provider, they go to Netflix with a sweetheart deal on delivering content. Netflix dumps Akamai for them, and Level 3 realizes they lack the bandwidth to Comcast needed to deliver Netflix's streaming video. So they want additional links to Comcast, like Akamai had, only they don't want to pay for them. And why? Because they're a backbone provider, peer links should be free.

So Level 3, not wanting to pay Comcast (probably because those costs were not factored into what they charged Netflix), is playing the Network Neutrality card to provide CDN services under the guise of a backbone provider. But in reality Comcast isn't saying they are going to degrade Netflix traffic. But that they won't provide additional bandwidth for one service for free.

At the end of the day the customer is going to pay Comcast to deliver that content one way or another. Whether it is directly in the form of higher internet prices, or indirectly through Netflix in the form of higher subscription fees; I see very little difference.

Anyway, Comcast's letter to the FCC [comcast.com] is worth reading.

Re:Double Dipping? (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433634)

I think Comcast (and others) charging both ends of a transfer for the bandwidth is the issue here. Comcast customers have been sold plans that allow them to transfer a certain amount of data. Why is Comcast trying to charge both the senders and receivers for that data transfer?

Re:Double Dipping? (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433598)

Because that's how peering works. If you buy a connection from an ISP, or a socket in a datacenter, then you pay the upstream provider for bandwidth. They typically pay a big upstream provider for their connection. Sometimes, however, two networks will agree that it is mutually beneficial for them to be connected and so will agree to peer - i.e. neither pays the other for transit. The definition of a Tier 1 network is one that only has peering agreements, or agreements where others pay for transit (i.e. pays nothing for off-network traffic, and may be paid for it). A Tier 3 network is one that only has transit agreements (i.e. pays for all off-network traffic). A Tier 2 network is one somewhere in the middle, with a mixture of peering and transit agreements.

Typically, a peering agreement has an agreement that says that the amount of traffic flowing in one direction must be within some percentage of the amount flowing in the other direction. A lot of big ISPs have agreements like this, which are somewhere between a peering and a transit agreement - if the balance of traffic remains approximately equal, neither side pays, but if one side is sending more traffic to the other, then one side pays. Whether this counts as a peering or a transit agreement is largely based on which case is expected to be the most common.

In this case, L3 and Comcast have an agreement which regulates the amount of traffic that L3 can send to Comcast without paying. Recently, however, Netflix has moved from their previous network provider to L3. This has dramatically increased the amount of data that is flowing from L3 to Comcast, so L3 is liable to pay.

Normally, this would result in a fairly simple renegotiation of the peering or transit agreement, but because network neutrality is such a buzzwordy topic now, it's being spun as a network neutrality complaint, because Comcast operates a service that is vaguely similar to Netflix. All of the big networks and ISPs benefit from this, because it serves to muddy the waters surrounding network neutrality just as the FCC is about to rule on the issue, and detracts from the real issues at stake.

Presumably the aim is for L3 and Comcast to convince the FCC that this is what network neutrality means, and get them to impose network neutrality rules that require them to come to the same sort of transit agreement that they would normally have reached anyway. Then the FCC and the politicians can claim 'we did our part for network neutrality', ignorant voters are happy because their politician stood up for something that the media told them vaguely was important and in their interests, the ISPs are happy because there is no real regulation on network neutrality. The average customers and small businesses are fucked, but no one cares about them.

Peering Agreement (2)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34432954)

Don't they have some sort of peering agreement that covers this? Aren't they supposed to charge their peers, and their customers, more when their bandwidth usage goes up? Or am I missing something here? Obviously telcoms are greedy and will try to take whatever they can, but isn't there already a channel established for that?

Re:Peering Agreement (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433082)

Don't they have some sort of peering agreement that covers this? Aren't they supposed to charge their peers, and their customers, more when their bandwidth usage goes up? Or am I missing something here? Obviously telcoms are greedy and will try to take whatever they can, but isn't there already a channel established for that?

Nope. You've got the gist of it.
Comcast and Level3 had a settlement free peering agreement based on a roughly 1:1 traffic exchange. Level3 now wants to send 5:1 more traffic to Comcast, meaning their settlement free peering agreement is no longer valid. Comcast is just trying to negotiate a new peering agreement.

Funnily enough, Level3 was in Comcast's EXACT position back in 2005 with Cogent. Cogent wanted to send more traffic than Level3 was sending, and Level3 said "Nope, no more settlement free agreement. Get out your wallet!"

Comcast has peering agreements with other CDN's, and Level3 wants to leverage their old peering agreement to bust into the CDN market here. They are trying to pass the cost of increasing their CDN presence off to Comcast and Comcast's customers rather than paying for it themselves.

If anything, consumers should be pissed at Level3, not Comcast, because this will directly increase Comcast's operating costs... and we all know those costs are passed on to the consumer.

Re:Peering Agreement (3, Informative)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433454)

If anything, consumers should be pissed at Level3, not Comcast, because this will directly increase Comcast's operating costs... and we all know those costs are passed on to the consumer.

Why will this increase Comcast's operating costs? It's not going to affect Comcast's customers Netflix usage, so their overall traffic won't go up, it'll just be coming from a different peer.

Re:Peering Agreement (1)

dfgchgfxrjtdhgh.jjhv (951946) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433726)

That different peer might pay them.

Re:Peering Agreement (1)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433684)

Except that this is content that was requested by Comcast's customers, who are already paying Comcast for the traffic. My understanding is that peering agreements are for sending information through a network to someone else's network.

ie. If I drive from New York to New Hampshire, and pass through Vermont. There would be an agreement between New York and Vermont (and/or Vermont and New Hampshire) for allowing me to pass through, while New Hampshire's costs would be covered by their citizens and businesses.

There may be more to this that I haven't seen, but I've read several articles about this in the last couple of days and nobody's shown any evidence that this has anything to do with content or actual peering. Comcast just wants to be paid twice for the same traffic. Time Warner is backing them because they want in on the double payments if this works.

Re:Peering Agreement (4, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433706)

The difference is that Cogent was sending traffic across Level 3's network, when in this case Level 3 is sending traffic to Comcast.

If Level 3 and Comcast were peers in between two other endpoints, I could understand this. But that's not the case, Comcast is one of the end points. Doesn't Comcast owe their customers the ability to receive the traffic they want?

Also, it's not like Level 3 is suddenly going to quintuple traffic to Comcast and everything else stays the same. The fact that Netflix movies are going to be served from Level 3 means they are not being served by someone else, which should free up some of the ports they are so worried about.

Re:Peering Agreement (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433132)

Yes, they do. AFAIK, Level 3 struck a deal with Netflix that substantially increased their traffic on Comcast's network. Comcast looked at it, said "If you're going to send us 10x the traffic that we send you, then we're not peering anymore - you've got to make up the difference", and Level 3 started whining about how the evil, evil Comcast wasn't rolling over and letting them abuse their peering relationship.

(Don't get me wrong, Comcast *is* evil. Just not in this particular instance.)

In other words, anyone complaining about this is being a complete idiot. Yes, there are peering agreements, and this is the way they work, and have worked, for years.

Re:Peering Agreement (5, Informative)

RingDev (879105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433182)

Peering agreements are what we typically see at back bone and transport level connections.

The bandwidth going either way is roughly even.

For example, if Level 3 wanted to get packets to an AT&T customer, and Comcast owned a network between those two points, Level 3 and Charter could have a peering agreement so that Level 3 could send data over Comcast's network and vice-verse. If Comcast is sending a lot more data out for transport over Comcast's network than Comcast is sending back, then there may be a fee included.

That's all fine and good. But, in this case, Level 3 isn't sending data to AT&T customers. They are sending data to Comcast's customers. Customers that requested the data. Level 3, being proactive for Netflix, is trying to get a direct connection to Comcast's network to reduce backbone data transfers. Even if this agreement falls apart, Level 3 will still be routing the data to Netflix, but it will be coming over an existing back bone connection. It will offer worse performance for Comcast's customers, and it would waste more bandwidth on the back bone.

This is a pretty clear case of Comcast taking two dips from the coffers. Once from the users who are paying for data to be transferred to them via Comcast's network, and again from Level 3 that is providing the requested data to Comcast.

-Rick

Re:Peering Agreement (2)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433264)

Good summary.

It also seems pretty obvious that Comcast is trying to protect its TV/Movie business. They figure if customers are not watching HBO or USA or whatever, but instead watching netflix, then Comcast will try to charge extra for the privilege. Their TV/Movie business may collapse but they can still collect fees off the streaming netflix business.

Re:Peering Agreement (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433354)

That's all fine and good. But, in this case, Level 3 isn't sending data to AT&T customers. They are sending data to Comcast's customers.

Two points:

1) Comcast almost certainly has multiple business units operating with their own budgets. It's pretty likely that one of the BUs is for Comcast's backbone, while another is for their residential customers.

2) CDNs (and Level 3 is acting as a CDN here) usually pay ISPs to host their servers locally. They usually do this with one ISP per geographical region, and other ISPs will still use the server. So it is very much a case where the CDN needs to pay to transport data across the network to other ISPs customers.

Re:Peering Agreement (1)

dmayle (200765) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433912)

I'm glad you've got the points, because this is the first intelligent response I've yet seen on the subject.

To add my two cents, Comcast's argument is with regards to Level 3 as a CDN, and how other CDNs are paying access fees.

Let's think about that for a moment... At some point an ISP like Comcast had the brilliant (if morally repugnant) idea of charging CDNs access to their customers. Since a CDN makes money off of reaching customers, their service is only valuable if they can reach the customers, which puts them in a bind. They have to pay, and the CDNs customers pay because they wish to provide their clients a better experience.

Let's look at that last one again to see how truly evil Comcast is in this scenario. Comcast has customers who pay them for net access. Instead of opening their arms to CDNs, which are a FREE way to get better service for their customers, they've decided to make CDNs pay to make service better for Comcast's customers.

This means that Comcast is introducing barriers to improving the service of their own services. Why? Because they can. I'm a locked-in Comcast customer, and I really wish I had any options.

Re:Peering Agreement (3, Informative)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433200)

If you have been following the details of this, yes they have existing agreements but they go like this..

If I provide content, and your users are consuming it, I don't pay you, your customers do as they are the content consumers. We work together making sure the pipes between us are big enough to keep up with demand without charge.

Comcast has changed it to:

If your content is really really popular and we need bigger connections between us, I am going to charge you for the larger connections on my side, because I am not charging enough for what my customers are consuming.

Re:Peering Agreement (1)

Zeek40 (1017978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433406)

If your content is really really popular and we need bigger connections between us, I am going to charge you for the larger connections on my side, because most of my customers have no alternative to my service, the government isn't regulating my monopoly, and my second Yacht still wasn't big enough.

I think that's a little more accurate.

Re:Peering Agreement (1)

Erioll (229536) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433442)

It depends on who's lying. Level 3 said they wanted the additional fee for video. Comcast says it's just an imbalance in the amount of data in their existing peering agreement, REGARDLESS of the type of traffic.

Personally, I'm more willing to believe Comcast here. Imbalances can happen for a huge number of different reasons. This one is obvious: they're going to be taking on a HUGE amount of extra data from Level 3 specifically because of Netflix.

Think of it this way, if roughly the same amount of data is going back and forth, they both can say "it's about even, so we're not going to charge each other." But if suddenly a LOT more is going one way than the other, then they can start charging more. It's no different than me going to my ISP and saying "I'm going to increase the amount I'm uploading by 10x, but you'll still charge the same right? You mean you want to charge me more now? But YOU are requesting a bit from me still! What do you mean no?" That's what Level 3 is doing by the sounds of it.

Re:Peering Agreement (3, Interesting)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433792)

Did Comcast become transit free when I was not looking? Nope they still buy transit L3 should grow a pair and cancel there settlement free peering with Comcast, worst case is they end up with an imbalance with another transit free provider. Right now comcast is not paying for the bandwidth L3 should grow a pair and make them pay for those bits even it's to att or similar. Time Warner is in the same boat. Look at it more as Comcast needs to find some source of packets to send to L3 to get the ratio's back inline if they want to play with the big boys. Take a look at there network http://www.robtex.com/as/as7922.html [robtex.com] Comcast is an obvious bad actor they like many of the cable co's chew through AS numbers because they don't want to have a backbone they do want everybody to do the hard work for them.

Re:Peering Agreement (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433218)

They do very likely have an agreement but traffic patterns change over time. And when you are Comcast or Cox or someone who probably has more end users than large sites versus Level 3 or Google which has more large sites than users, you end up with a significant traffic imbalance. But Level 3 is (I believe) the largest carrier of Internet traffic, there will likely be a lot of stuff that people wish to access that will come out of their network. It is like the original AT&T argument that kicked off the whole 'net neutrality' discussion years ago where it sounds like they really have an issue with rates on the customer side but want to try to charge the content providers instead. At least that is the way this thing always ends up looking to me. It doesn't seem likely that Level 3 needs Comcast's network for a lot of transit traffic and the claim that it isn't Netflix is partially a smokescreen IMHO.

Just one question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34432958)

Why do we need cable providers for the internet? Why not -- at least in areas where government laid down the cable, or paid to have it laid -- have the government manage the cable as a utility?

Re:Just one question (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433560)

Because that would result in an "OMG teh Soshulistz" response from a lot of pro-business sources. Where I live in Seattle, I've got basically 3 choices of internet provider plus dial-up. Unfortunately, they all suck. Latency is a joke and googling for it earlier this morning and I couldn't find anybody that's operating locally that's able to provide decent latency.

Service for cablemodems probably has gotten better since I ditched them quite a few years ago, but at that point they were actually going backwards in terms of actual service. Service was getting both slower and less reliable. DSL is getting faster, but at a much slower rate. And FiOS isn't available at all as far as I can tell, suspiciously enough they won't even tell you if there in a rough geographic area without asking for a specific address. Until recently they couldn't even locate my address let alone provide service.

A municipal ISP as a utility or Google coming in with their service is about the only way that any of the telecoms are going to care enough to make any effort at improving service. What's particularly embarrassing is that we've got it quite good compared with most of the country.

Re:Just one question (1)

Dredd13 (14750) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433736)

Can you name some of these places where the gov't actually paid to lay the cable or did it themselves?

Incentivized others to do it? Sure, but I'm not aware of many, if any, places where the gov't itself actually owned or directly paid for the outside plant.

Re:Just one question (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433870)

Because the cable companies will sue the local government for competing with the service it wasn't providing in the area and buy some politicians to make state laws passed that prohibit municipalities from providing internet service to its citizens. This literally has happened.

How is bill formed? (1, Funny)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 3 years ago | (#34432978)

How much Intarweb must cary befoer send Intarweb teh bill?

Re:How is bill formed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433290)

How much Intarweb must cary befoer send Intarweb teh bill?

THey need to do way instain compay. Who kill der inninet, cause der inninet wess profit able. IT was on the news this mrorning, a compay in US killed its favorit streemer. They are taking the one streemer back to torrent, to lady to use my pary are with its users who lost deir streems ; i am truely sorry for their lots.

Re:How is bill formed? (1)

BiggoronSword (1135013) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433480)

mod++

name your poison (1)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 3 years ago | (#34432986)

corporate censorship or government censorship. either way, the best years of the network are gone.. say good bye to peer freedom.

Re:name your poison (0)

The Hatchet (1766306) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433164)

Well, it wouldn't have to be either if the FCC stayed the fuck out of content and only worked on making sure business didn't fuck over consumers by censoring data and overcharging to eliminate competition. Sadly, It seems it will be one or the other, and both are extreme. But business is going about it far more slowly that the FCC takeover will this month if it isn't stopped in time.

RTFA, moron. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433216)

RTFA, moron. This is about the FTC making sure businesses don't fuck over consumers.

And when they DO try, you go all "FCC takeover!!!".

Re:RTFA, moron. (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433940)

Right, because this article isn't about the FCC voting on this on the 21st of December. Except that it is. Regardless, I fail to understand why the FCC is attempting this. It seems to me that a similar FCC attempt was struck down by a federal appeals court in April. I think someone needs to explain to the FCC that they lack authority in this area.

Re:name your poison (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433180)

Pretty much.

I think people who put faith in corporations are fools. But likewise I think people who put faith in government are fools too. Either way you're getting squashed by a powerful organization that considers you an ant of no importance. The CEOs are trying to screw you, but so too are the Congresscritters. You're like an old abused dildo.

I'm a believer in net neutrality, but... (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433004)

In the end, I think the campaign's name is going to work against them. I'm a Comcast customer, I'm a Netflix customer, and I've had no trouble watching Netflix' streaming video.

Thing is, I understand what the underlying issue is (wrt net neutrality) - but the average person certainly won't in any detail. All they're going to say is "What do you mean, stop them from blocking Netflix? I'm having no trouble streaming Netflix over my Comcast cable, so it must not be a problem!"

Re:I'm a believer in net neutrality, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433400)

I'm a Comcast customer, I'm a Netflix customer, and I've had LOTS of trouble watching Netflix' streaming video. It took a while to figure out that if I disabled HD then movies would play without stuttering/stalling. The non-HD version is usually clear as mud. I have watched plenty of HD content from other providers without a problem. Coincidence?

A solution (1)

turkeyfish (950384) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433478)

As consumers of information we can not have a system in which certain players can create choke points on the internet to deny access and distort democracy. At the same time it is obvious that nothing in life is free and that one must accept that some kind of payment is required to build and maintain the physical infrastructure that makes such connectivity possible.

The government needs to establish simple rules regarding the exact nature of what these fees can be based on a universal formula for all in terms of proportion of available bandwidth consumed/provided. These rules can not be based on the nature of the content or all hope for democracy and a rational market is lost as each player conjures up new ways to game the system. As long as corporations and individuals understand the fee structure and that they are not allowed to unilaterally change it, the market can get about the business of letting different players work within the fee structure to most efficiently and competitively provide services/bandwidth. This would bring a level of stability to the market, essential to developing systems architectures and services. Otherwise, other countries with far more progressive governmental policies concerning the internet like Korea, Japan and increasingly Europe and China are going to move so quickly ahead of us in terms of dominating the internet that petty conflicts like that between Comcast and Level 3 will be largely irrelevant.

While we dither over who is going to pay what to whom for Netflix services, Korea for example is moving to systems that will provide its end users the ability to download the entire Netflix movie library in minutes for about $20/month for end users, making anything these two companies are doing essentially irrelevant to the forefront of technological change, competivness, or benefit and therefore meaningless.

If America wants to be competitive in internet mediated business, then it needs policies that increase the number of software and hardware engineers and developers and decreases the number of lawyers, greedy corporate executives and their lobbyists, and paid-for politicians. Otherwise, we are lost.

You forgot one link (2, Informative)

geegel (1587009) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433006)

... the one saying that Level 3's claims are complete bullshit and they have nothing to do with net neutrality

Here it is [techdirt.com]

Re:You forgot one link (2)

jmichaelg (148257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433492)

The link you provide is, by it's own admission, speculative. After much blather the post resolves to:

If this is true, and the details do line up, it's rather stunning (and incredibly braindead) that Comcast would make such a demand right now, just as the merger is close to approval. You would think that someone in management would recognize the sort of backlash such a demand would bring. Of course, again, I'm wondering if there are more details here. I wasn't aware of an online movie offering from Level 3, and I'm wondering if Level 3 was actually trying to do something more involved rather than just letting users access online content through existing connections. I'm sure the details will come out soon enough...

followed by an update that links to another post that parrots Comcast's press release claiming the dispute is a peering issue. In short, the link you provide adds nothing to the discussion.

Re:You forgot one link (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433596)

IANACCIE, but how can this just be about peering?

My understanding is that peering focuses more on what network is going to serve as the middle-man to transfer data from one part of the world to the other; this is distinctly different from the L3/Comcast situation where Comcast is the end-point(and the endpoint for an asymmetric network at that). The traffic is meant for Comcast users, so Comcast has to accept it so that their users can get what they're requesting. Why would L3 need to pay for traffic Comcast asked for in the first place?

Geotargetting (1)

56ker (566853) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433012)

There is already geotargeted of videos online done on commercial grounds. If different types of traffic get "throttled" it'll only make it harder on the users of any high-bandwidth activity whether video, gaming or anything else where the ISPs are likely to be costed more than these consumers are paying. For example I used to be able to watch The Daily Show on the Comedy Channel's website from the UK. Since they sold the rights to E4, that isn't possible without going through a proxy.

Re:Geotargetting (1)

56ker (566853) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433030)

Sorry that should read geotargeting not geogtargeted. I blame it on the wife watching TV next to me taking my mind off my train of thought!

encrypted proxy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433028)

Can't this kind of thing be gotten around by using an encrypted proxy? Then Comcast can't tell which packets are from netflix as opposed to anything else.

In fact, why aren't we doing that in general, for everything? Many more such services would pop up, it would solve the "AT&T snooping on your packets" problem, the "This video not available in your geographic area" problem, the "throttling P2P" problem, and presumably a bunch of future problems as well.

The internet should just deliver your packets. There is no legislative solution to that. The only solution is to enforce it at a technical level.

Pay for traffic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433036)

Level 3 should absolutely pay for all this traffic they are forcing on poor Comcast. You would think that it's Comcast's own users who are requesting this traffic, and which they pay a monthly fee for, but no Level 3 is rudely raping Comcast and forcing it to take all this traffic without consent.

Conflict of interest (5, Interesting)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433050)

So long as the majority of broadband is offered by corporations that have 'content generation' as a part of their business model, there will never be a real chance for net neutrality. The conflict of interest there is just too strong a force.

Back in the '90s, electricity deregulation was a big topic; I recall that the state of Maine ended up differentiating between the electricity providers and the electricity carriers--while before, there had been two monopolies (a biopoly?) serving different areas of the state, there was, afterwards, a number of smaller generating companies (content generation) and a couple of larger companies that provided and maintained the transmission and delivery equipment (broadband providers).

As my parenthetical notes indicate, I think that the same model could be effectively used--or, rather, ought to be enforced--for the current debate. Differentiate the providers of the connection from the providers of the content, and much of the impetus for the anti-neutrality standpoint will go away.

Re:Conflict of interest (1)

The Hatchet (1766306) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433196)

Exactly.

Re:Conflict of interest (1)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433922)

(a biopoly?)

Duopoly. HTH

Stupid Summary (3, Interesting)

pavon (30274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433070)

The L3/Comcast issue became public after the December 21 net neutrality vote was announced, so no it didn't cause it. Secondly, from everything we've heard the net neutrality rules to be proposed will not effect on the L3/Comcast dispute as it is between network operators, and does not discriminate based on content type or source.

Hannah montana (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433072)

"Grind it all together, output it to Facebook and you get this campaign: 'Save the Internet: Stop Comcast from Blocking Netflix"
Hannah montana references on /.??

Is it really a peering issue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433104)

This has been stated before, but is this really a peering issue? If Comcast's customers are requesting the data, and its customers are paying for connections, why should Comcast be able to charge someone for providing the data to Comcast?

If L3 was using Comcast's network to send data to another, non-Comcast network, I could see this being a peering issue dispute, but it sounds like the latter is the case.

Re:Is it really a peering issue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433654)

This would rightly be called "double dipping". If Comcast customers are the ones receiving the data, then they are the ones that should be paying for it. You are right, a peering agreement is generally formed only to help offset the costs of pass-thru data, which makes sense because the transfer of that data does not benefit Comcast at all. However, we have Comcast customers consuming the data in question. Comcast obviously is not charging their customers enough to cover their own data usage. That is called bad bad business sense.
 
I predict Comcast goes bankrupt or sells out in the next 5 years if this is how they choose to do business.

Double Dipping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433106)

Cable companies like to bill everyone twice. Example

Subscriber and advertiser both have to pay for service.
Subscriber and Hosting company/networks have to peer/carry traffic

The bottom line is get out of the internet / network operator business if you don't want to deliver on your promise of 12mb for $50 a month. If you can't offer that DON'T. Don't blame everyone else
for BUYING a service and using it.

The only thing worse is banks, who get paid 5 five ways and still can't keep their heads above water.

the big cable co's all help each other also I thin (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433126)

the big cable co's all help each other also I think they try to use stuff like cable labs and indemand to make it look like a 3rd party is doing the stuff they do.

Why should comcast charge them for something... (2)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433150)

...I am paying Comcast for already?

Time Warner CABLE (1)

FliesLikeABrick (943848) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433238)

Time Warner != Time Warner Cable != Time Warner Telecom

This is about Time Warner Cable, whereas the vague term Time Warner is often used to refer to Time Warner Cable and/or Time Warner Telecom which are separate companies. (granted, the does the same thing)

That said, having another company say that what Comcast is doing is unfortunate. Comcast is trying to bully L3 into settlement-based peering, but it is Comcast's end traffic (as an eyeball network, not a transit provider) that is causing this imbalance. If you ask me, Comcast should be the one paying L3 as a customer (like they probably were at some point).

What Flavor Of Neutral? (2)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433250)

Based on my admittedly limited understanding:

Backbone providers work on the assumption that data goes both ways: I don't charge you for shoving ten lumps of data down my tubes because you don't charge me for shoving what might be nine, might be eleven lumps of data down yours. We're all doing roughly the same thing so it all comes out in the wash.

When someone turns around and says, "Don't worry, I'll keep taking your ten lumps of data for free. Now here are the five hundred I'd like you to keep carrying for free, too. Oh, and by the way, yes I do charge the generator of all those lumps a hell of a lot for my transporting them to and dumping them on your tubes." then it's somewhat understandable to think the relationship's gone a bit one sided.

When Netflix is using fully 20% of prime time US bandwidth (source [pcmag.com] ) and Level 3 are happily billing Netflix for the right to put that on the net, it's pretty understandable the other companies who have to shoulder what's become a very one sided relationship for free are a little touchy.

In this case, I'm tempted to agree it's not about stomping competition, not about charging one source more or less for a better or worse service, it's about whether the fundamental model for the backbone is being abused.

I'm for network neutrality. But isn't there also a degree to which neutral also means the neutral flow back and forth, not all of the data going one way with one company charging for it and expecting the others to just suck it up?

Re:What Flavor Of Neutral? (5, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433542)

Except you're missing one thing here: the traffic isn't crossing Comcast's network on it's way to some other network, it's on it's way to Comcast subscribers and was requested by those subscribers. Backbone providers carry other people's traffic (eg. carrier X handling traffic originating on network A and destined for network B because A and B both have connections to X but don't have a direct connection with each other). Comcast doesn't connect other networks to the backbone, it only connects it's own subscribers. If those subscribers are incurring bandwidth costs, Comcast ought to be billing them for it. In fact it is, I'm fairly sure Comcast sends every subscriber a bill every month for their connection and turns that connection off if the bill isn't paid. If Comcast wants Level 3 to pay, then what's that bill to the subscribers for?

Re:What Flavor Of Neutral? (2)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433588)

That would be true except that each and every one of those five hundred lumps of data Level 3 puts on Comcast's network is because one of Comcast's customers requested it.

The only time balance is properly considered is when the agreement includes transit. So Comcast would be right to object if Level 3 said "here's 500 lumps of data, hand them to AT&T please", but that's not the case, they're saying "Here's the 500 lumps of data your customers requested".

Comcast will inevitably always be a data sink, they mostly serve content consumers.

Makes Sense (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433260)

I usually back up my friends in a bar fight too, even if we've had minor disagreements in the past. The difference is, of course, that me and my friends don't walk around punching people in the face for shits and giggles...or for cash.

Re:Makes Sense (1)

sideslash (1865434) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433532)

Yeah. And when a friend of mine soils his Depends, I am happy to loan him a clean pair. Past disagreements don't matter.

(j/k, but would that be more or less weird than you getting into bar fights?)

Re:Makes Sense (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433880)

but would that be more or less weird than you getting into bar fights?

Honestly? It depends on which fight you're talking about. I've been in some damn strange situations in my lifetime. I won't deny that.

Clearly I need to adjust my agreement with Comcast (4, Insightful)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433346)

Comcast sends way more traffic to my home network than my home network sends to Comcast. Clearly they should start paying me for using up my network bandwidth.

Re:Clearly I need to adjust my agreement with Comc (1)

franciscohs (1003004) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433632)

mod up!, thats exactly what I think. Since when is L3 sending traffic to Comcast?, unless it's a DDoS attack or something (sending large amounts of unrequested trafic). They way I see it, Comcast (it's users) is requesting this huge amount of traffic to be sent to them, so they should pay for the bandwidth.

Not Netflix trafic but customer traffic. (1, Insightful)

Teun (17872) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433462)

This isn't Neflix' traffic, it's the traffic of Comcast customers.

And those customers are paying Comcast to transit whatever data they want, not because it's today Netflix and tomorrow YouTube.

So I would see it as a breach of contract between Comcast and their customers when they try to levy toll on individual suppliers to their customers.

Free Market? (1)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433506)

There seems to be something terribly wrong with the US ISP market (I am not American), such that consumers can't/won't leave Comcast for another ISP, because they want Netflix.

If the market was free, wouldn't this problem fix itself?

(OTOH, I do think regulation mandating net neutrality would be a good thing, for other issues)

Who owns the internet? (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433510)

Seriously? Who?

Can't operate the business? get out of business! (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433512)

All these ISPs are out there to make money. We get it. But they are also in the business of providing internet access to their customers. If they block or limit access to certain points on the internet, they are failing in their business agreement and their mission. They are an ISP, not a OCPISP (Only Certain Parts of the Internet Service Provider).

The way I see it, if you can't do something right, you shouldn't do it. AT&T apparently got in over their heads with iPhone and the problem is only getting worse with the various UMPCs with phone service capability. They want to sell a lot! They just don't want to deliver on their promises. The FTC and the FCC need to come down on these companies hard. If I offered to perform a service and ended up making excuses about why I can't do it, I couldn't stay in business for long. But as these companies often have regional monopolies and large contracts, it's not so easy to simply not do business with them. (I have a friend who is sick to death of his iPhone and AT&T's decreasing quality of service and wants to get off AT&T, but literally everyone else in his family uses AT&T... to leave AT&T would be to disconnect from his family and/or offend many people close to him.)

It's past time for the government to represent the people.

SLASHDOT MODES: JUST STOP IT! (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433528)

Please stop posting this! The same basic thing has been posted 3 days in a row, and every time all the +5 comments are the ones correcting it. Just stop. I'm tired of having friends say "We gotta cancel our Comcast, they are blocking NetFlix" and having to explain that the FCC is not voting to stop Comcast, and Comcast is not violating Network Neutrality. This was a simple peering dispute between two companies.

Re:SLASHDOT MODES: JUST STOP IT! (2)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433586)

Or, you could just explain how bad Comcast sucks in general and they will still cancel it.

May take - in a weird way... (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433592)

If you imagine there is a great big interstate highway designed by the government that's called the Internet, and people like to drive on it, and order packages to be delivered to their homes by trucks using it we have a place to start.

This Internet didn't go everywhere, and to get on it, people needed a driveway from their garage to the onramps, so ISPs sprung up that provide those for people, for a price. Now some of the ISPs wanted to get the access fees from a lot more people, but the Internet was too far away, so they agreed to extend the Internet buy building a new portion from pre-existing part to where they needed it. Of course it had to be just as accessible to other traffic on the Internet as all the pre-existing stuff, because they have pretty good traffic control that automatically attempts to route traffic around congestion and damage. And for a while, things continued on.

Then some of the ISPs decided to get more money from their customers and said "Hey, give us more money per month, and we'll enlarge your driveway, maybe even make it two lanes and smooth enough to drag race on.". A while after that they decided for some reason (congestion, insufficient driveways, pure greed, whatever) that the existing traffic was too much for their resources to handle so they started making new rules. You can't drive anything larger than a subcompact, and No more trips than 2 per day, and if more than 6 delivery trucks come up your driveway per month, we're going to yank your driveway...

Move a bit further in time, and now the the ISP is getting pissed that some other ISP or delivery company is sending lots of big trucks over the portion of the Internet they built. Is it going to their customers, or someplace else on the Internet? My point is this, I don't F-N care! You joined the game of share the internet and get paid by your subscribers, you can't just decide to charge the traffic that goes over the backbone, and if it goes to your subscribers, they are responsible for it. So get your hypocritical greedy mitts off the traffic, and try to actually make your customers happy with your 'service'.

OK Comcast... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433608)

Comcast insists that this has nothing to do with blocking the upstart Netflix's business but about how much of Level 3's traffic it must carry before they get to send Level 3 a bill

OK Comcast, as one of your customers you send me a hell of a lot more traffic than I send you. When do I get to send you a bill?

Level 3 is not sending Data to Compcast (1)

lp_bugman (623152) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433704)

We the comcast clients are Pulling/Requesting the data to be downloaded.
Once this is understood is very clear that Level 3 is (or any other) should pay any fee for data Comcast customers are requesting.
It be a an other story if Level 3/Netflix was sending unrequested data on their own.

One could argue that if some were to pay a fee for using bandwidth it should be Comcast as you can say Comcast network is requesting very large amounts of bandwidth from Level3.

Cut all traffic to Comcast that isn't Netflix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34433734)

Level3 should just put through Netflix data, and NOTHING ELSE. I wouldn't want to work in Comcast support offices when they start doing that. I guarantee that it will cut down on the peer traffic, and drive Comcast customers to other providers.

Comcast is either right or nuts (2)

jmichaelg (148257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433794)

I can see one way Comcast has it right and if it's not that way, then Comcast's argument suggests something they really don't want to say.

Netflix feeds data to level 3 which distributes it out to its servers spread across the land. The stream then is handed off to Comcast for delivery to consumers. Comcast would have a valid point if the network looked like this:
Netflix -> L3 Los Gatos ->Comcast ->L3 Server ->Comcast ->user

In which case L3 would be using Comcast's network to keep its distributed servers current and Comcast's complaint would be justified.

The alternative picture, and what most of us presume is correct is looks like this:
Netflix-> L3 Los Gatos -> L3 fiber network -> L3 Server ->Comast ->user

In which case Comcast is on the receiving end and according to Comcast, they should be paid by L3 since more data flows their way than vice-versa. However, if that's true, then Comcast should pay me since more data flows to my PC from Comcast than vice versa.

So Comcast, do you owe me money?

If L3 pays Comcast, then Comcast pays me to watch Netflix movies.

I don't understand. (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433796)

It's not like Level 3 is holding Comcast down and forcing data into them. Although that's an interesting mental picture.

Level 3/Netflix is providing a service that Comcast customers are buying. The traffic wouldn't exist if Comcast customers weren't using it. One of the reasons for choosing Comcast is that they advertise big tubes and fast throughput. In marketing terms, Netflix is an enabler for Comcast.

I've never really understood why the various broadband ISPs advertise huge download speeds and then .... they don't want you to make use of it. I mean, WTF? So my pr0n website updates in 1/125 of a second instead of 1/8 of a second. This is not a reason to pay for big tubes. Big downloads are a reason to pay for big tubes. And besides a few geeks torrenting Nervous Nematode, (or whatever the next Ubuntu will be called) just about the only LEGAL use by non-geeks for all that bandwidth is Video on Demand. Why block the very reason for your existence? It doesn't make any damn sense.

Fix the problem in hardware (1)

Marrow (195242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433800)

The question is whether the movie is on a server outside Comcast's network or on a server Inside Comcast's network. Why can't they act like grown-ups and decide on a division of costs for "co-locating" a movie server inside the comcast network? Netflix does not even offer "Live" content. How much would the hardware and electricity for a file-server cost? The entire library does not have to be on the server either; just the titles in the instant queue for people who subscribe to comcast. The netflix website could start copying it to the cache machine as soon as you put in into your instant queue.

Here we go Liberterians/Conservatives (1)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 3 years ago | (#34433938)

You're the ones who are so staunchly anti-net neutrality because you think it's about a government takeover of the 'net or some such paranoid nuttery.
This is just the beginning. I guarantee it.

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