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Why You'll Pay For Netflix — Even If You Don't Subscribe To Netflix

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the enforced-infrastructure-enhancement dept.

The Internet 292

Velcroman1 writes "At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, Netflix announced Super HD, an immersive theatrical video format that looks more lifelike than any Web stream, even competing with Blu-Ray discs. But there's a costly catch. To watch the high-definition, 1080p movies when they debut later this year, you'll need a specific Internet Service Provider. Those on Cablevision or Google Fiber are in; those served by Time Warner or a host of smaller providers will be out of luck. But regardless of whether you subscribe to Netflix, you may end up paying for it, said Fred Campbell, a former FCC legal adviser who now heads The Communications Liberty & Innovation Project think tank. 'Instead of raising the price of its own service to cover the additional costs, Netflix wants to offload its additional costs onto all Internet consumers,' Campbell said. 'That's good for Netflix and bad for everyone else in the Internet economy.'"

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Non-Event. Just silly... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661355)

Yes, they want to upgrade for fast low latency connections, and the people with Pentium IV machines will not see the benefit. Just like the people who were paying for dialup didn't see the benefit of pipe-size increases that were in place to accommodate DSL.

But while net neutrality doesn't allow them to charge for "Netflix" (which is as it should be), there is nothing stopping them from charging extra for the awesome bandwidth that will get to the customers, and to use that extra charge to pay for the infrastructure upgrades. These upgrades during low-Netflix-use times may benefit others.

Right now I pay $120 a month for 25Mbits, no cap. My friends pay $80 a month for 20 Mbits with a 250GB cap. So they already have everything they need in place already. Watching 10 movies a month and doing nothing else, you would blow through the cap and need the upgrade. Article's author is a troll.

Yawn (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661419)

I am not even interested in watching HD, why do they think I'll care about this? Most people I know are pretty happy streaming onto their laptop something that looks pretty low res. I see plenty of details on zombies already.

Re:Yawn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661569)

I partially agree. The Big Bang Theory looks fine on the DVDs. But, The Avengers was quite spectacular in HD. Not the same on the laptop as the big screen at full res.

Re:Yawn (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661689)

To really appreciate Kaley Cuoco's pokies you need fullHD.

Re:Yawn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661943)

Shes so hard to watch that I wish they'd added a blur filter over her when they added the canned laughter.

Re:Non-Event. Just silly... (4, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661959)

But while net neutrality doesn't allow them to charge for "Netflix" (which is as it should be), there is nothing stopping them from charging extra for the awesome bandwidth that will get to the customers, and to use that extra charge to pay for the infrastructure upgrades. These upgrades during low-Netflix-use times may benefit others.

Their point is that, from a market perspective, a service provider "buying in" to a service like this through upgrades exclusive to Netflix (probably in the way of CDN servers/bandwidth) don't pass that cost on to just the consumers using Netflix. And while there might be some benefit to increased bandwith between you and the CDN hub, there is no guarantee that it will do you any good should you be interested in content that isn't on that CDN. The internet isn't a flat ocean of content that you pay for a little pipe full of, placement matters bigtime when it comes to overall throughput and latency.

Not too long ago Netflix showed a discrepancy between ISPs breaking down somewhere at the 1.8/2.0 megabit realm. Despite service providers almost univerally offering faster "guaranteed" rates than that (3 MBit to 6Mbit, which can be demonstrated with a *regional* bandwidth test) the bandwidth to the Netflix content was markedly lower. Why? Not all 3Mbit/6Mbit/25Mbit pipes are created equal.

Re:Non-Event. Just silly... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42662007)

In Canada, you can get 250 MBit down (15 up) with a 1TB cap for $120. This is without netflix having a direct influence. The author is not just a troll, he's also an idiot.

US Only? (1)

Linktwo (2653953) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661387)

this one.. I don't want where i live.. any European ISP to do this?

Re:US Only? (0, Flamebait)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661657)

Yeah, god forbid any corporation spend money on infrastructure improvements, it's downright un-american. Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with these far right nothink-tanks, and who pays for their internet connection?

Re:US Only? (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661923)

Yeah, god forbid any corporation spend money on infrastructure improvements

RTFA. This is about a dedicated high speed connection only between the ISP and Netflix. If the ISP were competing in a free market, this would not be an issue, because Netflix customers could chose to pay more to use ISPs with the fast connection, and other customers would be free to take their business to a cheaper ISP. The problem is that most ISPs are defacto monopolies or duopolys and customers have little choice.

Re:US Only? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661693)

Is netflix available in europe?

orly? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661391)

"Why you'll pay for geocacheing even if u don't access every single site cached." there, heading fixed.

Maybe if they spent some money on their infrastruc (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661397)

Maybe if they spent some money on their infrastructure this wouldn't be a problem. But they won't because they have been given a monopoly by the municipal governments.

Watch as I play the tiniest of violins in sorrow.

Infrastructure (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661399)

Netflix is encouraging my ISP to build out infrastructure, and I'm supposed to be upset that I have to pay for it? More bandwidth is good for everyone, and can be used for anything, not just Netflix. This is unequivocally good.

Re:Infrastructure (3, Insightful)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661449)

Meh, I'm happy with my 10 mbit download connection. It's my crappy upload speed that irritates the heck out of me and Netflix isn't doing squat for that.

Re:Infrastructure (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661641)

The only one who need lots of upload speed are content providers -- not consumers. You'll be fine at 10mbit you seeding pirate

Re:Infrastructure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661711)

Meh, I use a 20 gbit (up and down) to seed by stuff. Things are competitive in the private tracker world.

Re:Infrastructure (1)

dnahelicase (1594971) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661717)

The only one who need lots of upload speed are content providers -- not consumers. You'll be fine at 10mbit you seeding pirate

Sounds like he would be happy at 10 up, but he's 10 down, probably on the lowest rung cable connection, and probably only has 768k or 1 up.

Re:Infrastructure (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661723)

Any storage host in the cloud is a "content provider".

That could even be ME.

Membership in MY cloud might be VERY exclusive but it benefits from the same sort of symmetric bandwidth that any other cloud storage service does.

Re:Infrastructure (3, Insightful)

BLToday (1777712) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661757)

I need the upload speed so I can watch some Slingbox while on my lunch break at my desk.

Re:Infrastructure (3, Interesting)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661849)

The only one who need lots of upload speed are content providers -- not consumers. You'll be fine at 10mbit you seeding pirate

Not really a pirate, I just want to host my own website with images and MP3s (that I make...) which just can't happen with any of the upload speeds available to me.

So I have to pay for a webhost just to offer a decent experience. Horray, infrastructure!

Re:Infrastructure (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661961)

In this day and age, average joes are content providers. You may have heard of sites like Youtube and Facebook, where people often upload video. HD camcorders are becoming commonplace, and videoconferencing may become more commonplace once the internet stops sucking so much.

Re:Infrastructure (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661819)

> Meh, I'm happy with my 10 mbit download connection.

I don't think anyone would be happy with a 10 millibit connection. I think you're mistaken about your Internet speed.

Re:Infrastructure (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661491)

Yes, you should be upset. Your ISP should be making infrastructure upgrades and paying for it from the billions in profit that they have made by overcharging you for the crap service you already receive. Instead, you somehow think it's ok for them to make you pay for them to upgrade their service when they should have been doing it all along.

Re:Infrastructure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661495)

It's not just infastructure though, the OpenConnect program also has a component where the ISP builds a computer and Netflix manages it, pushes Netflix content to the machine and then the machine talks BGP to the ISP's network and hands the content out locally. So It's not that the ISP is building out infastructure, the ISP is having to spend money to provide a better experience for Netflix. It would seem that this would lower the amount of bandwidth the ISP needs to the internet but when we looked Netflix required 5 Gb of throughput to their caching server....so where's the savings?

Re:Infrastructure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661621)

It's not just infastructure though, the OpenConnect program also has a component where the ISP builds a computer and Netflix manages it, pushes Netflix content to the machine and then the machine talks BGP to the ISP's network and hands the content out locally. So It's not that the ISP is building out infastructure, the ISP is having to spend money to provide a better experience for Netflix. It would seem that this would lower the amount of bandwidth the ISP needs to the internet but when we looked Netflix required 5 Gb of throughput to their caching server....so where's the savings?

The "savings" is nicely identified in the "bonus" column for every Netflix executive...I mean, in case you were really wondering where it is.

And the caching server design likely does save bandwidth. It may be more difficult for you as an end user to see that, but for an ISP, the line between LAN and WAN varies, along with pricing models and costs.

Re:Infrastructure (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661649)

Because if you have any real amount of customers 5Gb is a fucking joke.

Re:Infrastructure (2)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661703)

So It's not that the ISP is building out infastructure, the ISP is having to spend money to provide a better experience for Netflix.

The ISP is spending money providing a better experience for its users. That's a good thing. Anyone who watches an HD video from my ISPs caching proxy doesn't have to download it over the pipe to the public internet. Without a cache you'd be looking at 10Gb/s to Netflix instead of 5Gb/s. I clearly benefit from that cache existing.

Re:Infrastructure (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661873)

It's not just infastructure though, the OpenConnect program also has a component where the ISP builds a computer and Netflix manages it, pushes Netflix content to the machine and then the machine talks BGP to the ISP's network and hands the content out locally. So It's not that the ISP is building out infastructure, the ISP is having to spend money to provide a better experience for Netflix. It would seem that this would lower the amount of bandwidth the ISP needs to the internet but when we looked Netflix required 5 Gb of throughput to their caching server....so where's the savings?

If they only need 5 gbit of throughput to the caching server, that sounds like a win for any ISP of significant size -- that's only about 1600 customers with a 3mbit stream, surely an ISP with 100K customers sees more than 1.6% of their customers streaming a movie during prime time.

Re:Infrastructure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661521)

Netflix is encouraging your ISP to build out infrastructure. Your ISP will take this as a cue to negotiate deals with Netflix to make them exempt from these requirements (noting that certain major ISPs are owned by the studios which control the content they're streaming anyway) or to otherwise give them "exclusive" deals. Failure to accept those deals will result in Netflix's library suddenly shrinking, the ISP's captive userbase being unable to access Netflix at any appreciable speeds, or some combination of the two. Your ISP will pat itself on the back for this brilliant money-saving ploy in the form of high-level executive bonuses, paid for by increasing your rates with they money they saved.

At no point in this process will your precious infrastructure be improved in the slightest bit.

I agree we should applaud Netflix (1)

elucido (870205) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661565)

More companies should do stuff like this. This is ultimately the solution.

If you want SuperHD rivaling or beating BlueRay then you better upgrade your Internet.

Re:Infrastructure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661971)

Most ISPs are already paid to build out infrastructure. Why wouldn't people be upset to pay twice?

Re:Infrastructure (2)

Chuckstar (799005) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661975)

Netflix is encouraging your ISP to build out infrastructure that only helps Netflix. It's not enough for your ISP to have nice high bandwidth. They also need to peer with Netflix at facilities where Netflix specifies the peering arrangement.

Re:Infrastructure (1)

msheekhah (903443) | about a year and a half ago | (#42662001)

Yes on every part of that. Even the signature.

Re:Infrastructure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42662011)

Not when netflix pretends the infrastructure belongs to them, you will be relegated 2cnd class traffic shaped bandwith for your youtubes.

Re:Infrastructure (1, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year and a half ago | (#42662013)

Netflix is encouraging my ISP to build out infrastructure

No they are not.

More bandwidth is good for everyone, and can be used for anything, not just Netflix.

Please RTFA. That is NOT what this is about. This is about Netflix insisting that ISPs build a dedicated high speed pipe only between the ISP and Netflix. It benefits only Netflix customers.

Nearly the worst story ever. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661421)

This is more neo-con style stories that want to allow ISPs to charge as they see fit.
Total BS. It should not even be on this site.

Re:Nearly the worst story ever. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661469)

It should not even be on this site.

If all you're going to do is blather about politics in the hopes of starting yet another bout of pointless and mindless tit-for-tat then neither should you. There's more than enough of that tripe here already.

Re:Nearly the worst story ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661545)

This is nothing but anti-net neutrality FUD.
No, I refuse to RTFA, but whoever this is is just trying to make the argument for your ISP to charge Netflix protection money.

Re:Nearly the worst story ever. (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661593)

Robber Baron shills should be pointed out for what they are. That activity is neither pointless nor mindless.

Time Warner abuses the customer and acts like they are above the market and then whine when someone else decides to treat their customer better.

Whatever problems TWC has are all self inflicted.

so (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661447)

netflix is big enough now to be evil. welcome to the club, fuckers.

Not what they are doing (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661451)

All of these cable companies want to charge Netflix for using their bandwidth. Netflix has responded by saying, essentially, that to use their highest bandwidth services on your network, you'll have to let us connect directly to your network. Netflix will still provide all of the servers and other equipment. Comcast, Time Warner, and whoever else only need to give them a location to tie into their network. I, as a customer, am already paying Comcast, Time Warner, and whoever else for that bandwidth. There is no extra cost for anyone else, because no extra infrastructure is required.

Re:Not what they are doing (1)

postbigbang (761081) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661885)

The cable companies want this revenue for themselves. And make no mistake: multiple concurrent streams will start to crater their infrastructure. The more you buy from non-CDN networks, the more dicey it will get. They'll try to upgrade you to an advanced tier of service, then show you what kind of "deal" they can offer you instead.

We've seen this sort of thing plenty of times before. Video on demand is kind of ok, but it's compressed like crazy. If you think compresses kinda-nice HD is going to suck the air out of the NOC, wait until you see what 4K (ultra-high-def) will take.

The argument is a stretch. (5, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661459)

Basically they are arguing, the new service from Netflix requires lots of investments and upgrades to the network, and they will pass it on to all the customers because FCC prohibits charging more for Netflix customers alone, even if they are the only ones benefiting by these upgrades.

To me it is a stretch. The ISPs are not fools. If the Netflix customers want special high speed access, they will be forced to cough extra cash for that privilege. And that money will upgrade the network for all customers. They may not be able to tack on a "fee for being a netflix customer". But they surely will tack on a fee for "50 Mbps service with guaranteed network latency of less than 200 millisecond" or whatever is the technical spec.

Re:The argument is a stretch. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661763)

So...we don't like net neutrality after all? I'm confused.

Re:The argument is a stretch. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661953)

I believe that charging different prices for different bandwith/latency levels was always acceptable, and never considered part of network neutrality legislation.

Charging different prices based on whether or not you wanted to access Google, vs Yahoo, very much WAS something that ISP's would be prevented from doing under network neutrality legislation, but that is very different than this.

If you want to hit netflix, and everything that netflix serves up requires a 50mbit connection in order to work well, the ISP charging you more for the 50 mbits (than, say 10 mbits) is not the same as charging extra for netflix.

Re:The argument is a stretch. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661785)

even if they are the only ones benefiting by these upgrades.

Little miss "I only read my granddaughters emails and dont download any of them there interwebs" gets to see the 20 megapixel photos that much faster. Not that she downloads them, of course.

Re:The argument is a stretch. (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661901)

Basically they are arguing, the new service from Netflix requires lots of investments and upgrades to the network, and they will pass it on to all the customers because FCC prohibits charging more for Netflix customers alone, even if they are the only ones benefiting by these upgrades.

To me it is a stretch. The ISPs are not fools. If the Netflix customers want special high speed access, they will be forced to cough extra cash for that privilege. And that money will upgrade the network for all customers. They may not be able to tack on a "fee for being a netflix customer". But they surely will tack on a fee for "50 Mbps service with guaranteed network latency of less than 200 millisecond" or whatever is the technical spec.

I thought Netflix was agreeing to deliver the content to the peering point of the ISP's choice - the only cost to the ISP is a port on their border gateway and a cheap peering interconnect.

Re:The argument is a stretch. (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661987)

I thought Netflix was agreeing to deliver the content to the peering point of the ISP's choice - the only cost to the ISP is a port on their border gateway and a cheap peering interconnect.

I can't be bothered to find out, but I assumed this was part of the peering dance that has been going on for two decades or whatever between all players on the internet.

Basically the network engineering dept knows its universally a win to peer for "free" as much as possible with as many other people as possible rather than pay for transit. However the MBAs on both sides of a peering arrangement love to dance around with daydreams of bonuses in their heads of getting the other guy to purchase transit instead of freely peer. So historically you've always had idiotic showdowns (slowdowns?) and dumb marketing tricks (we only peer with other tier 1 providers... whats a tier 1 provider? Well its anyone we either a) want to peer with or b) couldn't get to pay us for transit, that's the def of a tier 1 provider).

Re:The argument is a stretch. (1)

steppin_razor_LA (236684) | about a year and a half ago | (#42662003)

Well said.

I call bullshit. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661465)

This is the same old story, cable companies want content providers to pay them to reach their customers.

Shill (deliberately?) misunderstanding CDNs.. (5, Informative)

nweaver (113078) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661479)

The 1080p Netflix service is only available when the ISP allows Netflix to deploy CDN (Content Delivery Network) nodes in the ISP's network.

Now true this is unfair to those ISPs who don't allow Netflix to deploy CDN nodes, but in general, CDNs save both the content provider and the ISP money: instead of traffic traversing the ISP's Internet connections, its served locally from the CDN nodes. So it acts to save the ISP money, not cost them. If 1080p videos are twice as large, but things are cached in the local network 75% of the time, the ISP sees substantial savings.

The only reason a major ISP would not want a Netflix node is that they are worried about Netflix competing with their (non Internet) TV services.

Overall, the Fox "article" is clear propaganda, written by and interviewing those who either, through ignorance or will, misunderstanding how CDNs operate.

Re:Shill (deliberately?) misunderstanding CDNs.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661651)

Clarification:

Local CDN nodes serve (some of) the content locally, saving the ISP money on their transit cost (traffic from the rest of the internet to the ISP). Having customers streaming a whole lot of 1080p video increases the ISP's access network utilization (the part between the ISP and your house), which is where the upgrade money the article talks about comes in.

The access network is *by far* the most expensive part of the network for an ISP to maintain and upgrade.

Re:Shill (deliberately?) misunderstanding CDNs.. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661715)

Netflix is a rival to Fox (i.e. Murdoch). It takes eyeballs away from their trashy output. Don't forget Netflix is also available overseas, so people in Europe can cut the satellite too (see Sky network). People here are cutting the cable in droves, and the younger me-me-now-generation aren't even bothering with it in the first place. People are content to fill their voids with cheap anime, old BBC programming, and the odd US series, especially the kids.

What will happen though, is Netflix raising their prices over the next few years, and they won't be inflation, they'll be much much higher, until they're up at basic cable levels.

Re:Shill (deliberately?) misunderstanding CDNs.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661751)

I think you slightly misread it or understand how CDNs usually work. ISPs don't eat the cost of maintaining the CDN nodes but netflix wants them too. The usual quid pro quo is the ISPs use less traffic and the CDNed websites appear faster and more reliable. But with this, it is basically Netflix saying "either pay for the CDN node and the ongoing maintenance OR watch as your pipe is screwed and your customers blame you." Plus, from what I have seen, they are using a proprietary protocol that gives squid and other reverse proxies major headaches.

Re:Shill (deliberately?) misunderstanding CDNs.. (2)

cdrudge (68377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661937)

Netflix says they pay for the hardware. If any maintenance is needed, they ship the hardware next day. If the whole module needs replaced, all the ISP needs is a way to receive it off a pallet and install it. Netflix performance any software-related maintenance remotely. The only maintenance the ISP basically needs to perform, aside from a complete hardware failure, is make sure no one trips over the power or network cable.

When the CDNs get moved to within the ISP's network, why would you care if it's compatible with squid? It's already cached within the network. You going to cache it again?

Re:Shill (deliberately?) misunderstanding CDNs.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661759)

Exactly. It's much the same verbage as has been used by Comcast for counting Netflix against your bandwidth allotment, but not their own services, like the internal Xfinity or the external Hulu.

Re:Shill (deliberately?) misunderstanding CDNs.. (1)

ffflala (793437) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661787)

It also appears that this quote, reflected in the thread title, is inaccurate:

By shifting its costs to ISPs, Netflix is distributing the costs of delivering its service across all Internet consumers.

Even if the article analysis is correct, the costs would be passed not to *all* Internet consumers, but rather only those who use an ISP that has decided to peer with Netflix.

Ya no kidding (5, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661817)

Akamai has done this kind of thing forever. When I worked at Network Operations for the university I work at, Akamai approached us. They wanted to install cache engines in our data center. They would provide us all the hardware, 3 fairly high end servers and a switch, as well as support for setting them up. All we had to do was put them in.

Net result? About an immediate 5 mbps average drop in our traffic, more at peak times. This was back in like 2002, and we only had like 100 mbps of Internet total.

It was all kinds of great. We had less network traffic, people got much faster videos, MS updates, and so on (Akamai is used by a lot of companies), and of course Akamai saves on bandwidth on their end. Everyone won, it was better service/less cost for all parties.

Re:Ya no kidding (3, Informative)

cdrudge (68377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661879)

It's the same with Netflix. They give you one or more 4U servers with about 100TB of storage. The ISP just has to provide the 10g network connection and the electricity.

And if you don't want to host their equipment, you can also get some of the benefit by using one of the dozen or so peering exchanges where they have equipment already setup.

^ THIS! (4, Insightful)

j-turkey (187775) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661837)

Yes. I'm surprised that nobody else has read into this. All Netflix is doing is localizing their content in a small, 4U appliance inside of the ISP's.

From what I can tell is that this has potential to be a win for everyone. As you say, this is a win for ISP's, as it cuts down on internet traffic at their peering points - where things tend to be the most expensive - it keeps traffic inside of their network. This is also a win for the consumer, as it can deliver higher quality video. This is also a win for Netflix, because they can lower their internet bandwidth costs by moving their content to these localized (or regionalized, as the case may be) appliances once and serve streaming content to all customers on an ISP's network.

...or perhaps I'm missing something. Feel free to educate me if I am.

Re:^ THIS! (2)

j-turkey (187775) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661851)

This is the hardware device [netflix.com] . There is more information about CDN deployment (as well as some specs) available on that page as well.

This is an old problem in a new box (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661483)

Having RTFA, it seems that it isn't nearly as political as the summary spins it to be. Basically, they are saying that the increased stress on high bandwidth connections may drive up the cost for all consumers. It isn't some conspiracy by Netflix to frontload cost to consumers. This wouldn't be an issue if the US weren't 26th in the world in terms of Internet speed, because then a video stream probably wouldn't risk saturating connections in the first place. To be completely honest, I'd even be willing to pay a little more voluntarily if I knew it would actually go towards improving our infrastructure. I just know it won't.

I want it to rain gold nuggets in my backyard (2)

kawabago (551139) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661507)

That doesn't mean it's ever going to happen!

Re:I want it to rain gold nuggets in my backyard (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661729)

No you really don't, I tried that once it wasn't a fun time.

Re:I want it to rain gold nuggets in my backyard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661797)

And I want my Netflix to make it all the way through a HD show without stopping, and re-buffering at reduced quality. Doesn't mean it's ever going to happen.
At least they stopped with the "your internet connection has slowed" misdirection. Now they would have us believe that random factors are involved, instead of an appropriate message: "Our infrastructure is shit, so you must watch this HD show at sub-VGA quality"

It's called peering (4, Insightful)

thule (9041) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661551)

I remember reading an article years ago about how Yahoo! only payed for half of their transit costs. Since they were/are such a huge content provider, many ISP's wanted to peer with them. It makes complete sense to connect content to eyeballs in the most cost effective way possible. This has been going on for ages. This is now the Internet works, reducing transit costs by peering is nothing new.

The only difference in this case is that Netflix doesn't want to push their super HD content over their transit links. I would expect that ISP's don't want it either. The solution is a win-win for ISP's, especially ones that have a lot of Netflix customers.

This has always been my point with net neutrality. Net neutrality is worried about traffic shaping, etc, but I could prefer one VoIP provider over another by making sure the peering connection to their network is low latency compared to the transit link. I'm not shaping the competing traffic or blocking it.

Re:It's called peering (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661695)

You could, and no one is worried about that.

Net neutrality is about you intentionally blocking stuff, not you offering better service on some providers via peering. Surely you can see the huge difference.

This seems reaching to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661553)

The only way you're paying for Netflix is if the infrastructure build-out is so expensive that the ISPs carrying it can find no other way to pay for it, other than charging more. That's just not how things work with these companies. It's a one-time cost. They'll sell some corporate bonds, or preferred stock, or even float more common shares to pay for it. Stockholders have more to worry about (in the short run) than customers do.

I would submit that if they can't find any way to finance this other than to charge customers more, they shouldn't do the deal. Then again, maybe they've got golden parachutes that give them $50 million in severance if the company goes tits up. Maybe they want it to fail so they can pull that cord and spend some time in the bahamas.

So yeah, they're totally going to charge customers more for this, and customers are just going to take it. Whatever.

Net Neutrality (4, Insightful)

KPU (118762) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661583)

So basically this is a Faux News article arguing against net neutrality.

Re:Net Neutrality (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661631)

This is 100% of what this is.

If netflix was not forcing ISPs to upgrade something else would. Maybe if ISPs would upgrade by themselves this would not be a problem.

I bet Fox News does not complain about that evil socialist right of way that TWC and their ilk use.

Re:Net Neutrality (0)

elucido (870205) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661795)

So basically this is a Faux News article arguing against net neutrality.

No it does the opposite. It promotes upgrading the infrastructure. If you don't use it why should they have an excuse to build it? Netflix will make us use it and force them to build it. At the same time we gotta solve the problem with low res computer monitors. It makes no sense why computer monitors have such low DPI and low res and it's 2013. It seemed monitors looked better 10 years ago.

ESPN already does this (3, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661589)

ESPN already does this. You can only view the ESPN360 website if your ISP pays ESPN a fee for every one of its subscribers. It is a small fee and most ISPs have concluded that passing that fee along to all of their subscribers is worth it to keep those who would jump to another provider in order to get access to the ESPN360 website. ESPN claims that ESPN360 is a free website, since they get to hide the charge in your Internet bill (the ISP is not going to break it out because then the people who have no interest in ESPN would scream, but since it is so small most of them are completely unaware of it).

Baloney (1)

ERJ (600451) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661595)

Netflix just wants peering agreements. Assuming the service provider doesn't have to build out to the carrier hotel then the cost is minimal.

100 000 customers * 5 Mbit/s = 500 000 Mbit/s (1)

fredan (54788) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661603)

(or whatever bandwidth they are using for their HD-Movies).

The Last Mile Cache [fredan.se] is the only open solution which has the possibilities to handle these amount of bandwidth!

After hearing ISPs argue against net neutrality (1)

rundgong (1575963) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661609)

After hearing ISPs argue against net neutrality for years, my feelings are best described by a few words from the famous Nelson Muntz:

"HA HA"

Slashdot republishing service? (1)

MikeTheGreat (34142) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661647)

I know that no-one RTFA's around here, but isn't it a bit much to simply quote the first couple of paragraphs of the article as the summary? Especially since the article is entirely opaque about why the ISPs will "have" to pay higher costs. It does a great job of beating the drum for it's chosen viewpoint, though.

And people wonder why Old Media News Services are going extinct - what's the point of "news" that uniformative AND biased?

who writes this crap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661659)

This argument might have a little weight (roughly that of an ant) if Netflix charged ISPs to join is CDN. Netflix does not. TWC is the only ISP that hasn't taken Netflix's "join our CDN, and not be charged anything" offer. AFAICT TWC has only said "no" so they can complain and favor their own (legacy) video service.

In sort, taken Netflix up on their offer is CHEAPER then not for BOTH the ISP AND Netflix. While most ISPs won't pass that on to consumers, this is disingenuous, at best.

Requires 5Mbit (1)

Ark42 (522144) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661669)

Existing HD titles already require 5Mbit/s (2.3GB/hour).
Basically. SuperHD is exactly nothing new.

It's true... (1)

gQuigs (913879) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661677)

Because Netflix doesn't run on Ubuntu. Therefore Windows is more valuable in one aspect of the marketplace. Thus forcing people who would otherwise use Ubuntu to use Windows. This increases the costs to society of computing and makes the marketplace that much more less competitive.

So... which argument is more BS?

Although, it's completely unsupported it's actually pretty easy to get to work right now: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2012/11/how-to-use-netflix-on-ubuntu [omgubuntu.co.uk]
Please, Please, Please don't buy Netflix because of this... they could break support any second now.

Great, but will they have any movies? (1)

tekrat (242117) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661705)

I mean, we're talking about Netflix, a company that seems to have about 0.0001 of available movies on their streaming service.

Wanna watch "Speed Racer" the movie? Fuggetabout it. Wanna watch "Chronicle?" Fuggetabout it. Wanna watch "Source Code"? Fuggetabout it.. Wanna watch "The girl with the Dragon tattoo" (american version)? Fuggetabout it.

In fact, if you can name a movie, it's almost guaranteed to NOT be on Netflix.So, what the heck are they offering on this new service? I mean, aside from "Breaking Bad" and "Star Trek"?

Re:Great, but will they have any movies? (2)

E-Rock (84950) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661929)

You seem to think that Netflix is choosing not to have those movies in its streaming service. I think Netflix would like to have every movie on their service.

You need to be complaining about the media companies that own that content and how they either won't license at any cost, or would only license at an absurd fee to Netflix (and thus their customers).

Is this new? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661709)

Hasn't ESPN been doing the same thing for years with their streaming service?

So ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661731)

... does this mean they will be buying my postal carrier a faster truck?

Latency might still be an issue. They usually park on my street and take an afternoon nap. I don't see that changing anytime soon.

What movies? (1)

sackofdonuts (2717491) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661741)

Netflix doesn't have much in the way of any good movies. Along with this hi-def stuff is Netflix going to actually have movies people want to watch? Currently this isn't much of a selection on line. If their price goes up and they don't start getting betting movie selections I unsubscribe. Sure I like watching old TV shows and other such things but I can live with out it or just get it from vudu or hulu.

Bandwidth, not Netflix (4, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661761)

What's going on here isn't about Netflix, it's about bandwidth. It boils down to: the Netflix HD service requires a lot of bandwidth to the end user, Netflix is setting it up so the ISPs have access to the high-bandwidth external connection needed to deliver the streams to their networks, now the ISPs are trying to figure out how to allocate costs for the bandwidth on their networks to deliver those streams to the users. And right now I don't see a problem. My ISP has no regulatory problem whatsoever charging different prices based on the bandwidth available to me. So, do that. If the user wants the extra bandwidth needed to deliver the HD video stream and still be able to do anything else without mucking up both, he's going to have to buy the higher-bandwidth Premium service instead of Standard. If he doesn't, he's going to have to live with HD streams that stutter and jump and Web sites that load slowly or fail to load completely while the video's streaming because the ISP's throttling his traffic to the rate he's paying for. End of cost-allocation problem.

And I'd note that it's not Netflix demanding bandwidth on the ISP's network. It's the ISP's own users asking for the bandwidth. Netflix doesn't send a single packet to an ISP until a user of that ISP connects to Netflix and asks them to start sending data. And the ISP has explicitly sold their service to their users as a way to do that, to access sites and services on the Internet. That's why they're called Internet Service Providers: the service they offer is providing access to the Internet. If their users are requesting more data than the ISP's network can handle, seems to me that's an issue between the ISP and it's customers. I'm sure the ISP would rather side-step the issue, but I don't see where that obliges anybody else to help them. If I'm ordering things delivered to the apartment complex I live in and the complex has a gate that the delivery trucks won't fit through, that's not the delivery company's or the store's problem. That's between me and the complex to deal with.

I will pay for premium entertainment. (1)

elucido (870205) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661773)

When I listen to music or watch movies with my Grado headphones on my Asus Xonar Essence STX and my Samsung wide screen high res monitor I am willing to pay for quality matching the hardware. I'm not willing to pay for subpar crap.

The solution to expand the market beyond Megabox and bootleg is to offer high quality PREMIUM entertainment and market high quality audiophile and high end graphics cards and monitors. When people are willing to spend $200 on a sound card, and they own $1000+ worth of iTunes music and $200+ worth of movies why wouldn't you think they'd spend $5 more for the .flac? iTunes sound quality sucks with their .aac 128kbit. We should all be using flac yet somehow everyone is still downloading these low quality mp3s on their cheap ipod ear plug headphones? People settle for lower quality when you don't market high quality and while the bootleg music and movies are lower quality when you're offering quality just as low as that then who cares?

Offer at a minimum 24bit 96khz Flac. Offer higher speed internet with blue ray quality Netflix at a reasonable price and people will choose that over Megabox unless they genuinely cannot afford it in which case you didn't lose any sales. People want the best because life is short so offer the best.

Really, Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661781)

You're treating op-eds like news items now?

The real news here... (4, Interesting)

sdsucks (1161899) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661811)

News: Netflix is rolling out higher definition and higher bandwidth video qualities (similar to what is happening with most internet services).

Not news: Higher bandwidth actually requires more bandwidth, so ISP's must upgrade infrastructure.

Slashdot (apparently no better than Fox): You'll all pay more because of Netflix!!! Even if you don't use it!!!

Me: WTF?

Of course, when I saw TFA was on Foxnews.com, I realized what was really happening here.

Just another tax (1)

futhermocker (2667575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661839)

Did not subscribe to the IRS either, though I seem to be a paying member. Their website sucks though, no "fun" pics in the member section to be be found.

Not news. ESPN did this same thing years ago. (1)

jaskelling (1927116) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661841)

To get certain channels of ESPN, you had to be a subscriber of certain providers. Those providers bundle the fees for the "enhanced" ESPN channels like ESPN3 into the fees whether or not you want it, have it as part of your plan, or ever watch it. Been going on since 2009.

The thinktank opposes Net Neutrality (5, Informative)

Nimey (114278) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661853)

Per Ars Technica [arstechnica.com] , this thinktank's got a history of opposing Net Neutrality.

Actually, read the Ars article. It's better quality than this paid hit piece. Did anyone notice that the final link in the summary goes to Fox Propaganda?

FucK? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661863)

before playi8g to the reaper In 4 DECLINED IN MARKET that sorded,

Look who is behind the article (4, Insightful)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661913)

As soon as I saw that the author of the article is "Fred Campbell, a former FCC legal adviser who now heads The Communications Liberty & Innovation Project think tank" I knew it was going to be some kooky tea-bagger/liberty-for-corporations-slavery-for-customers bullshit [driveinnovation.org] .

Anytime you see the words Liberty or Freedom thrown around by a TeleCom "think-tank" you can expect the usual "were here to fuck the consumer at all costs" propaganda.

Not a good anti-network neutrality argument... (3, Insightful)

steppin_razor_LA (236684) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661921)

The article paints the picture that Netflix should be paying extra money and charging its subscribers extra money to deliver high speed internet to them and that antiquated network neutrality restrictions make the whole thing unfair.

Netflix is now going to be able to offer even higher bandwidth services. In order to take advantage of them, you need a fast pipe (direct to your house and for your ISP to have good connections to the bandwidth sources) this means your ISP may need to cough up some more $s in order to deliver you the content that they are charging you for.

So let's review:
Netflix is paying for bandwidth in order to be able to provide the streams.
Consumers are paying for bandwidth in order to receive the streams.

If you don't purchase sufficient bandwidth from your ISP, then you can get the shiny new streams and you may need to give more money to your ISP if you want the highest quality service.

If you did purchase sufficient bandwidth from your ISP, but they have been enjoying being able to charge you for premium bandwidth (8mb/s down woot!) but they haven't been investing in the upstream bandwidth/peering/etc in order to deliver, then it's time for them to spend some more money on the infrastructure that your bandwidth is for.

The fact that 30% of the traffic is Netflix doesn't make it a Netflix problem. Netflix pays for its bandwidth. I want to stream Netflix so I spend extra $s to buy a bigger pipe. The only problem I see is the carriers raking in huge profits without investing in the infrastructure required.

Lobbyist does job, news at 11 (2)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661979)

"The Communications Liberty & Innovation Project" is actually part of the CEI, a "right wing" (in actuality it favors any government activity that will make its sponsors money) think tank. Representing major TV networks is one of their jobs.

The reality is that people won't buy Netflix enabled TVs if they don't care about Netflix.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42661985)

As I understand it many of the "high" speed internet providers are not really keeping up with rolling out higher speeds and posting record profits. No competition in many areas gives the consumers no options so no reason to improve the networks. And I'm supposed to be enraged by Netflix paring partnering with ISPs to reduce network load? Wasn't there a report that Netflix was using nearly a third of downstream traffic in the US? More people pulling Netflix from a ISP's localized servers, less congestion for the net at large or am I missing something?

Netflix can't stream worth shit (1)

ah.clem (147626) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661993)

I can start an HD stream on Netflix, have it choke and degrade to 2-3 (occasionally 1) dots, switch over to Amazon and stream the same HD content without an issue. Netflix support claims "there was a drop in the system", but my router logs show no such drop. When asked about the difference in logs, they claim to have "better logs". When asked why Amazon can stream HD content that they can't, they claim it's because they use a "different technology" that is designed to "enhance the viewing experience". Wot? Netflix is good enough for a phone or tablet; actual HD streaming you care about, go with Amazon or whoever.

Bizarre argument in TFA (1)

Morgaine (4316) | about a year and a half ago | (#42661999)

It's a nonsensical argument to suggest that a company that introduces a service requiring heavy bandwidth is making all Internet users subsidize it by pushing their ISPs into upgrading their pipes. Pressure on bandwidth is not a negative thing.

The need for more bandwidth is one of the primary reasons why ISPs improve their offering over time. If it weren't for pressure on bandwidth they would mostly just sit back and let the money roll in without ever upgrading. Performing poorly on popular Internet services makes customers switch providers, and ISPs want to avoid that so they upgrade their links to provide a better service. That's how it works.

Netflix is merely pushing the bandwidth envelope, and that's good for all of us.

PS. I am not a Netflix subscriber, so no conflict of interest here.

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