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Netflix Blinks, Will Pay Comcast For Network Access

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the who-pays-whom-for-what dept.

The Media 520

We've mentioned several times the tension between giant streaming sources (especially Netflix), and ISPs (especially Comcast, especially given that it may merge with Time-Warner). Now, Marketwatch reports that Netflix has agreed to pay Comcast (amount undisclosed) for continued smooth access to Comcast's network customers, "a landmark agreement that could set a precedent for Netflix's dealings with other broadband providers, people familiar with the situation said." From the article: "In exchange for payment, Netflix will get direct access to Comcast's broadband network, the people said. The multiyear deal comes just 10 days after Comcast agreed to buy Time Warner Cable TWC -0.79% Inc., which if approved would establish Comcast as by far the dominant provider of broadband in the U.S., serving 30 million households" I wonder how soon until ISPs' tiered pricing packages will become indistinguishable from those for cable TV, with grouped together services that vary not just in throughput or quality guarantees, but in what sites you can reach at each service level, or which sports teams are subject to a local blackout order.

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520 comments

If Comcast were Exxon (5, Insightful)

DulcetTone (601692) | about 4 months ago | (#46318133)

They'd be receiving money from Sears when I drove my car to the mall.

Why do people accept this?

Re:If Comcast were Exxon (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318223)

Why do people accept this?

Daddy government says it's ok so it's ok.

Why would you expect people to argue with the source of their subsidized mortgages, subsidized educations loans, educations grants, SNAP benefits, WIC benefits, retirement packages, healthcare benefits, veterans benefits, etc. etc. ad infinitum. They're just subjects at the trough at this point; 50% are drawing something and the other 50% have their future draw factored into their retirement. Hell, it's most of their retirement.

They're bought and paid for, so when daddy government blesses Comcast's Internet take-over then that's that; government said so.

Re:If Comcast were Exxon (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318523)

Yes, I'm certain that Comcast would be much fairer to their paying customers if we drowned "Daddy government" in the bathtub.

Re:If Comcast were Exxon (5, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 4 months ago | (#46318227)

I don't see an alternative other than regulation. And regulation reduces profits, so it's communism.

George Washington gave his life to fight against communism in 1776. If you don't believe in profits, you're literally pissing on GW's grave, you bastard!

Just pay up, and if you don't like it then move to North Korea.

Re:If Comcast were Exxon (3, Interesting)

x0ra (1249540) | about 4 months ago | (#46318293)

Regulation leads to regulatory capture, which leads not to communism, but to oligarchy. There has been no real implementation of "communism" anytime, anywhere.

Re:If Comcast were Exxon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318459)

I tried to XOR "communism" and "capitalism" to see if they were binary opposites. This is the result " M". Weird they are exclusively different.

Re: If Comcast were Exxon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318489)

Really? George Washington was fighting communism??? Never knew that the British were communists...

Re:If Comcast were Exxon (4, Insightful)

Zynder (2773551) | about 4 months ago | (#46318591)

Some people actually believe everything you wrote.

Re:If Comcast were Exxon (2, Interesting)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 4 months ago | (#46318343)

Because internet, that's why. A person is smart, people are fucking retards (or something like that)

Somehow, wiring and routing equipment complicate simple principles like preventing monopolies from engaging in extortion.

Re:If Comcast were Exxon (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 4 months ago | (#46318375)

there are 8 bits to a byte and a spare byte in an IP packet is nothing, these days.

we should assign bit numbers to the ISPs. we could call them 'evil bits'. I think its a brand new idea! you could make policy routing decisions based on that.

Re:If Comcast were Exxon (-1, Redundant)

Omega Hacker (6676) | about 4 months ago | (#46318443)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil_bit

Re:If Comcast were Exxon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318453)

Because internet, that's why. A person is smart, people are fucking retards (or something like that)

Somehow, wiring and routing equipment complicate simple principles like preventing monopolies from engaging in extortion.

*looks at rest of economy* Nah, no internet exceptionalism here, pretty sure we're doing a plenty good job of failing to properly regulate everyone else, too.

Re:If Comcast were Exxon (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318379)

Simple Answer: Government Granted Monopolies.

People accept it because they have no other choice, in many cases. When laws exist prohibiting even cooperative ISP's forming to provide competition, you're kind of up shit creek, unless you want to go with much slower 56k/dsl/satellite service...

As for why they put up with the laws, well, there's this two party system we have...and corporations pay both parties...rarely is there much choice on matters such as this at the ballot box.

Re:If Comcast were Exxon (4, Informative)

beelsebob (529313) | about 4 months ago | (#46318449)

Because the finance of the internet is based on a sender pays model. Peering agreements only work when you actually have (roughly) equal traffic with another ISP. In this case, the ISP serving netflix has significantly higher data sent from it than Comcast's network, so they need to start paying comcast to transport that data.

This by the way, is at the same time, why bandwidth caps and metering on a home connection is bullshit –because what you're paying is paying only for the data you send, the data you receive is already payed for by the sender.

Oh shit (4, Insightful)

Enry (630) | about 4 months ago | (#46318139)

Well there goes the Internet

But Rush Limbaugh . . . (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318305)

. . . told me that Net Neutrality means the government is controlling my Internet!

How can this not be true?

Re:Oh shit (1)

paiute (550198) | about 4 months ago | (#46318411)

Here Lies the Free and Open Internet
1969-2014
RIP, Old friend - It was fun.

Wait till it''s regualted and becomes to big to fa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318473)

And Comcast will merge with the Government.

Re:Oh shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318479)

Is this appropriate: http://youtu.be/OJ2uPX7mIo8

Re:Oh shit (4, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 4 months ago | (#46318531)

All too true.

The net we knew is truly dying. It goes beyond the death of Net Neutrality and the resulting birth of Net Extortion exemplified by this deal. More and more we see people moving away from rich client browsers and other programs into simpler, disconnected, atomic apps, connecting to restricted, walled garden, internet services. Such services can more easily transition into a pay per-view web, whereas free-visit-traffic websites with no method of charging/locking-in users will find the going difficult. Many are already consciously damaging the usability of their own websites in an attempt to transition them toward a restricted "app"-like format-- the new Slashdot Beta being a prime example.

The internet could be moving towards an earlier proposed vision of it, from the 1980s, when it was proposed that people be nickel and dimed for each additional service they required. Every new service would require -- not a website-- but a new client program, which could naturally be regulated and charged on an individual basis. Somehow,, this outdated model the past is slowly becoming the future of our Internet.

This didn't have to happen. No technological development lead us to this point. This outcome was decided most firmly in the realm of the Law, by the Court system, and with not one pip of say-so from the programming or engineering community which actually runs and maintains the web.

If the internet genie is put back in the box, it will be the result of entirely socially/legally constructed forces.

Not long (5, Interesting)

mbone (558574) | about 4 months ago | (#46318143)

I wonder how soon until ISP's tiered pricing packages will become indistinguishable from those for cable TV, with grouped together services that vary not just in throughput or quality guarantees, but in what sites you can reach at each service level, or which sports teams are subject to a local blackout order.

Not long. The cable guys are, in this way, just like the Bellheads. They see their real moneymaker as these blasted tiered services (never mind their historical roots in equipment limitations). Soon you will probably have to buy the Disney package to be able to get the Google package to be able to get slashdot.

What I think of the judges that thought this was a good idea is not fit for slashdot, much less polite company.

Re:Not long (0)

x0ra (1249540) | about 4 months ago | (#46318437)

Bandwidth is neither unlimited or free. It's rather fun to see people who wand to have those with high income pay more tax, but not having big bandwidth consumer pay more for the pipe access. I, for one, would be happy to subscribe to a cheaper basic service I don't mind to have youtube (or youporn) in 144p if at the end that saves me money.

Re:Not long (3, Insightful)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | about 4 months ago | (#46318481)

But you're supposing that you're paying for consumption. That's a very reasonable ideal.

Netflix is paying for content, which is one step towards turning them into any other "content provider," which is exactly where telcos want them to be. They want to be in between us and Netflix so that Netflix will scratch their beak.

The end game is not you or I paying for tiers of "bandwidth," it's getting us to pay for tiers of "content" -- we should resist this rather forcefully.

Re:Not long (2)

thaylin (555395) | about 4 months ago | (#46318507)

Its rather funny to see people who think this kinda thing will save them money. At the end of the day it will cost you more money. Less competition, more double dipping.

Re:Not long (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 4 months ago | (#46318631)

Your basic service pay will be carved up among a bunch of web sites you may not even want.

Comcast built roads to attach to other roads. Now not only do they charge you, but they charge the store you go to, or else a package shipped "might get broken, ya know?"

Re:Not long (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318691)

x0ra, this isn't what this post is about at all. Maybe read before commenting?

The concern isn't that people who use more bandwidth might have to pay more, it's that a lack of net neutrality means that your ISP can decide that some parts of the web will not be accessible to you unless you pay a premium. It won't be long before things the ISPs don't like won't be accessible through them at all, in fact, which will obviously have an effect on the kinds of reporting and information people will have access to.

Internet access should be a socialized service (5, Insightful)

mozumder (178398) | about 4 months ago | (#46318147)

There's no reason for private companies to profit off the basic requirements of a functioning society.

Communications is so critical that the US Constitution writes in the Postal service as part of it.

Internet communications should be treated as a basic service.

Once this happens, we can restructure more government services to be properly internet enabled.

Really, private companies do not serve the interests of the public. They never have. They never will.

Private companies are great at the luxuries of life, not the basics.

Re:Internet access should be a socialized service (2, Informative)

Boronx (228853) | about 4 months ago | (#46318363)

I don't understand why we don't just restrict companies to do the thing they're supposed to do. You're a cable company? Ok, you're allowed to sell cable connections into people's homes. You want to say what traffic flows on your cable? Sorry, not in your charter.

Are you a movie company that wants to put in cable that carries only your movies? Sorry, not in your charter.

Of course this means that a company couldn't really own another company.

Re:Internet access should be a socialized service (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 4 months ago | (#46318425)

Vertical integration (i.e., both manufacturing the product and delivering it) is not necessarily a problem. Vertical integration where any part is a monopoly or oliopoly, however, is against the public interest and should not be allowed.

Re:Internet access should be a socialized service (0)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | about 4 months ago | (#46318461)

I don't understand why we don't just restrict companies to do the thing they're supposed to do.

I don't understand why people can publicly advocate fascism and expect to not be called out on it.

Who is "we" and what makes them so special such that it's legitmate for them to give orders to other people?

Re:Internet access should be a socialized service (5, Insightful)

Boronx (228853) | about 4 months ago | (#46318657)

"We" is the people of the United State of America. What makes us special is that we've granted to ourselves the power to govern the country. There is no question that we ought to govern the country, the only question is how. You'd give unrestricted rights to businesses to do what they want. Id restrict businesses from acting in ways detrimental to their customers or to the economy as a whole. This means forcing competitors to compete and not collude, and forcing businesses to avoid conflicts of interest.

Prison companies shouldn't be able to lobby for tougher criminal laws.

Giant agribusinesses shouldn't get together to set grain prices.

Big finance shouldn't be able to recommend buying a security while they short the security.

A company that controls Aluminum transport shouldn't be able to place financial bets that the price of Aluminum will go up.

These are all happening right now, and if we let this continue and grow we'll turn into a corrupt third world hell hole.

Re:Internet access should be a socialized service (0)

tranquilidad (1994300) | about 4 months ago | (#46318401)

Yep, just what I desire - internet service as efficient as the Postal service.

Before anyone goes off on how I can send a letter all the way across the country for whatever the 1st class rate is today really consider how inefficient their operation runs. I go out of my way to use private entities in lieu of the US Postal service.

There is nothing preventing government services from being properly internet enabled today. The problem with government services is, wait for it, the government.

The government has done more to prevent me from getting the internet service I desire than they've done to enable high quality, high speed service.

Why does internet service have greater penetration in poor neighborhoods than telephone service (which is subsidized for those neighborhoods)? Could it be that individuals are better equipped to determine what services are best for them.

Yep, if you want the government to provide basic services then that's just what you'll get, BASIC services.

Re:Internet access should be a socialized service (1)

dnaumov (453672) | about 4 months ago | (#46318509)

There's no reason for private companies to profit off the basic requirements of a functioning society

So there should be no private energy companies? No private guards / security companies? No private education and no private health care? What a crock of shit.

Re:Internet access should be a socialized service (0)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 months ago | (#46318647)

So, you want the US Postal Service to control the Internet?

Send in the Clowns!

Could someone answer this? (3, Interesting)

Nyall (646782) | about 4 months ago | (#46318149)

I'm sure netflix has employees whose home internet is provided by Comcast. What would prevent them, or any other customer, from starting up a class action lawsuit (mandatory arbitration maybe) that Comcast isn't providing advertised bandwidth?

Re:Could someone answer this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318211)

What would prevent them, or any other customer, from starting up a class action lawsuit (mandatory arbitration maybe) that Comcast isn't providing advertised bandwidth?

Comcast's binding arbitration, no class action allowed clause in their service agreement.

IANAL, but I did consult one about suing Comcast for their billing shenanigans

Re:Could someone answer this? (1)

The Cat (19816) | about 4 months ago | (#46318299)

Comcast's binding arbitration, no class action allowed clause in their service agreement.

Illegal [wikipedia.org]

Re:Could someone answer this? (2)

cdecoro (882384) | about 4 months ago | (#46318361)

Comcast's binding arbitration, no class action allowed clause in their service agreement.

Illegal [wikipedia.org]

Nope. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Could someone answer this? (1)

The Cat (19816) | about 4 months ago | (#46318469)

that the Federal Arbitration Act of 1925 preempts state laws that prohibit contracts from disallowing class-wide arbitration

I may not be a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure the Seventh Amendment trumps the Supreme Court [wikipedia.org] .

So does Congress [wikipedia.org] .

And the states [wikipedia.org]

And the People [wikipedia.org]

Re:Could someone answer this? (3, Insightful)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | about 4 months ago | (#46318485)

I may not be a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure the Seventh Amendment trumps the Supreme Court [wikipedia.org]

Nope.

The US Constitution is a very old piece of paper sitting in a museum.

The Supreme Court is a group of people.

A piece of paper is an inanimate object - it can't do anything.

Re:Could someone answer this? (1)

The Cat (19816) | about 4 months ago | (#46318627)

The Supreme Court is a group of people.

Who derive all their power from the old piece of paper sitting in a museum.

You'd be funny if you weren't quite so tragic.

Re:Could someone answer this? (3, Informative)

khasim (1285) | about 4 months ago | (#46318225)

Two reasons.

1. Comcast advertises "up to" X bandwidth. But does not guarantee any specific speed.

2. Comcast can show that you can get "up to" X bandwidth on the local segment. Just not across peering points.

This is another reason that the Time Warner/Comcast merge cannot be allowed to happen.

Re:Could someone answer this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318519)

2. Comcast can show that you can get "up to" X bandwidth on the local segment. Just not across peering points.

I would consequently argue that local segment speeds don't qualify as "internet" access, but rather "intranet". If I'm making a claim they're not providing the advertised service, you can bet I'm subpeonaing their peering agreements as well as any documentation relating to QoS policies regarding sites like speedtest.net.

Re:Could someone answer this? (3, Informative)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 4 months ago | (#46318549)

fwiw, I have comcast and its been really fast. 50meg/sec download in real honest terms. hard to believe but its true.

even with a vpn and 'watching' (yeah...) movies from europe to the US, I still get 6MB/sec (yes, megabytes) over my VPN, over comcast. this is when I term my connection in a nice safe euro country.

what I hate about comcast is that they don't offer honest pricing. it starts low then climbs and you have to disconnect their service for 6mos before being allowed to renegotiate another 'special'.

still, after being stuck with dsl for over 10 yrs (at t1 speeds or less; usually much less) the 50meg 'blast' pkg is actually quite real and reliable in my area (bay area). I don't have issues with their connection; just their business practices.

Re:Could someone answer this? (2)

locutus2k (103517) | about 4 months ago | (#46318241)

Comcast (and indeed other ISPs) doesn't guarantee speed. They are very clear to point that out in the teeny tiny fine print. They only real guarantee you get is a bill. Since there are no SLAs on home service, just be glad you get a connection at all. The "free" market says they have to make a reasonable effort to keep connections up and running, else they would lose customers. With Comcast 'growing' like they are, they have less incentive to keep the systems running.

Try raising your rates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318159)

Please. Give us all a reason to punish you again.

How soon until... (1)

consumer_whore (652448) | about 4 months ago | (#46318163)

"I wonder how soon until ISPs' tiered pricing packages will become indistinguishable from those for cable TV, with grouped together services that vary not just in throughput or quality guarantees, but in what sites you can reach at each service level, or which sports teams are subject to a local blackout order. " Pretty quick I imagine, considering how regulatory burden in the US pretty much kills all chances of competition among ISPs.

Re:How soon until... (5, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | about 4 months ago | (#46318247)

Regulatory burden? WTF? The only regs Comcast and its ilk adhere to are those that they purchase.

Here's what real regulation would look like -- no ISP may be a content provider of any type, nor can a parent company own both an ISP and a content provider/producer/etc. You can own one or the other, but not both.

The ONLY reason Comcast has a hardon for Netflix is because it is a content provider and Netflix threatens their model.

Re:How soon until... (2)

Boronx (228853) | about 4 months ago | (#46318383)

Not enough upvotes.

As Lloyd Blankfein said to congress when they asked him if shorting the very securities you were recommending to your clients was a conflict of interest,

"When it comes to making a profit, there is no conflict of interest."

But Netflix doesn't own the infrastructure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318173)

Does this mean that Comcast users will have better access in general to Amazon Web Services?

Such news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318175)

The people said.

Common Carriers (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318177)

This is why the FCC should have classified ISPs as Common Carriers a long time ago and given themselves regulatory power over this aspect of these businesses. The FCC chose NOT to give themselves power to regulate ISPs and now we (the customers) are paying the consequences.

Long-term loss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318187)

This is just a long-term loss for internet users. Tiered services, which only seem more and more likely, are against the open nature of the internet.

Re:Long-term loss (1, Insightful)

x0ra (1249540) | about 4 months ago | (#46318331)

How does streaming 4k HD video fit in the open nature of the internet ? Netflix is merely entertainment, you don't need it to live, even less to survive. Why should Netflix free-ride over ISP investments ?

Re:Long-term loss (4, Insightful)

Rougement (975188) | about 4 months ago | (#46318397)

"Why should Netflix free-ride over ISP investments ?" They're not, I'm paying my ISP for internet access. Which sites and services I choose to access is none of their business. Netflix has set a dangerous precedent here.

Re:Long-term loss (0)

x0ra (1249540) | about 4 months ago | (#46318547)

Bandwidth and latency are neither free or infinite. Your argument is the same as saying that if you pay for a bridge with your taxes, you should be able to drive a fully loaded hauling truck (type Caterpillar 797F) on it. But guess what ? The bridge has not been designed to handle that load, it has been designed for lighter load (car, 40' truck, etc.).

Re:Long-term loss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318649)

but it is their business because sites and services are not bandwidth neutral. ISPs pay for their pipes to the world per gigabyte, so it makes a lot of difference if you read plaintext slashdot or watch movies in doubleplusgood HD.

Re:Long-term loss (2)

Qzukk (229616) | about 4 months ago | (#46318539)

How does moving 15Mbps of data across the internet fit in the open nature of the internet?

That's how it fits in the open internet.

Only in the Comcast(tm)-brand Comcastic(tm) Processed Internet Spread does it matter what's in those 15Mbps.

Why should Netflix free-ride

Since you think netflix is getting a free ride, you should have no problem agreeing to pay their bandwidth bill for them, after all it's free! Or are you knowingly lying?

Oh well, the argument is moot. Once AT&T, TWC, and all the other ISPs smell the blood in the water and come for their pound of flesh, Netflix will be done. As a bonus, facebook will probably be next. Followed by Amazon, Google, and everything else that was useful on the internet. Eventually they'll get down to slashdot and each ISP will demand a few million dollars to stop "free riding" on their ISP and we'll be forever free of the scourge of beta.

Re:Long-term loss (2)

thaylin (555395) | about 4 months ago | (#46318545)

How does netflix have a free ride? The pay for every bit of bandwidth they use, and I pay for ever bit I use watching them. Now explain to me where, when 2 parties are already paying for the sum of the bandwidth, is there a free ride.

Re:Long-term loss (1)

umdesch4 (3036737) | about 4 months ago | (#46318623)

But weren't the real investments actually taxpayer dollars many years ago when the basic infrastructure of the internet was built? I don't know about in the US, but in Canada, that's what happened. Public pays for building infrastructure, private companies get it handed to them on a silver platter. Companies make huge profits, don't re-invest a dime into maintaining or improving it. Quality diminishes over time, companies get more and more nefarious as their monopoly power increases. The question I have is, why should ISPs free-ride over taxpayer funded investments?

netflix, I hardly knew ye (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318191)

You would think that considering how they have been unable to afford enough to get major content providers onboard, that this is also going to effect their bottom line enough to be the last nail in the coffin. There's no way I'm going to pay what comcast thinks is fair on top of current charges, in exchange for looking through loads of crap content, nor am I going to pay as much as a comcast charges to get good content.

I'll stick with the pirate bay, thanks.

Re:netflix, I hardly knew ye (0)

x0ra (1249540) | about 4 months ago | (#46318585)

I support you, pal'.

Though, it would seem that /. is populated by a bunch of content-glutton free-rider. I should not pay for them if I don't want/need the same as they do.

Extortion through lack of net neutrality (4, Insightful)

carlhaagen (1021273) | about 4 months ago | (#46318193)

This is how it starts.

Re:Extortion through lack of net neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318393)

No, it started when the AOLers showed up in '93 and started making mass scale uninformed decisions, tolerating things that wouldn't have been tolerated before that, and governments suddenly needing to control it since now almost all the population is using it for so many things. It's been a road that leads to locked down and controlled TV 2.0 ever since then.

The only good path from here is to start over, build a new one, with strong guarantees of end to end encryption and anonymity built in to the basic substrate of the thing. All protocols are onion routed, endpoints known to the nodes in the middle, and so on. It has to be made corporation+government resistant, or the whole promise of free and open human communication, happening without censorship, oversight, monitoring, or control, will be in jeopardy.

Re:Extortion through lack of net neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318405)

endpoints known to the nodes in the middle

I meant, UNknown to nodes in the middle.

Does this work two ways? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318195)

Maybe it is time for Google, Facebook, etc.. start charging Comcast for access to their networks?

What a shame Netflix took a step back on this and what a shame Netflix didn't get any support by the giants of the internet.

Re:Does this work two ways? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318433)

What a shame Netflix took a step back

What a shame Netflix didn't fight back by enlisting their subscribers; Netflix has 40 million subscribers now. Why should Netflix hesitate to explain to their subscribers that their ISP is the cause of poor streaming because they refuse to peer with the Netflix network?

Millions of pissed off Netflix subscribers pounding on Comcast's door would fix this.

This deal is a cop-out. If the precedent holds then Comcast will own Netflix eventually. Netflix has signed its fate over to Comcast.

You get what you pay for (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318217)

That sucks...I wanted everything for free.

Re:You get what you pay for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318311)

You are paying for it. Well, maybe you're using your neighbor's WiFi without their permission, but the rest of us pay our ISP for service.

fuuuuuuck comcast (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | about 4 months ago | (#46318229)

I want my network neutrality back. This is the sort of thing that is going to squeeze out the smaller players, or anyone who the backbone operators and ISPs don't want to succeed. It will result in less innovation as startups who can't afford to pony up to the established powers who control the infrastructure won't be able to do business. Prepare for decades of stagnation and no progress as the big players concentrate on consolidating control and only improve things where they absolutely have to, incrementally, with no imagination.

If netflix is providing content (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318233)

If netflix is providing content to comcast users, then why is netflix paying comcast? Isn't this like comcast charging espn? Maybe netflix doesn't know how much power they wield. Couldn't sites like netflix/youtube force comcast to pay them?

Re:If netflix is providing content (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 4 months ago | (#46318295)

If netflix is providing content to comcast users, then why is netflix paying comcast?

Because, as I understand it, Netflix is on a different ISP, and traffic from that ISP into Comcast is overwhelminging in the Neftlix to Comcast direction, so the usual peering arrangements based on similar levels of traffic in both directions make no financial sense.

Re:If netflix is providing content (2)

thaylin (555395) | about 4 months ago | (#46318563)

Then comcast should get out of the market. If it does not want me to use my internet how they claim I can use my internet then they should not be provideing me internet.

Let me get this straight (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318269)

I am a comcast customer and I currently pay comcast $50 to provide me with internet access. I am also a Netflix customer and I pay them $8 to be able to watch movies.

Now that Netflix will have to pay Comcast I can only assume that this cost will rollover to me. So I will have to pay something like $10.

In other words I will have to pay $2 to Comcast to allow me to access Netflix through the connection which I already pay $50?

WTF??

Re:Let me get this straight (0, Troll)

x0ra (1249540) | about 4 months ago | (#46318399)

You pay for a general internet access, not a specific, resource consuming, service.This is basic peering agreement where Netflix is sending more traffic to Comcast than Comcast is sending to Netflix. Bandwidth is not free. As such, either you want Netflix to free-ride over Comcast investment, or you agree for the asymmetry to be compensated to Comcast.

Re:Let me get this straight (0)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | about 4 months ago | (#46318427)

Your explaination is reasonable and reveals the headline, and 99% of the comments on this article, as being inaccurate and misguided.

I predict it will be ignored because the audience is more interested reasons to scream at each other and push agendas instead of facts.

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 4 months ago | (#46318599)

Then they should not be offering x amount of bandwidth to users if they cannot handle that capacity. Netflix does not "send" traffic to comcast, comcasts customers "pull" that traffic. If anything Netflix should be charging comcast. Based on your logic every entertainment provider should be paying every ISP, because no ISP sends traffic to the entertainment provider.

Re:Let me get this straight (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318609)

Bandwidth is not free. As such, either you want Netflix to free-ride over Comcast investment, or you agree for the asymmetry to be compensated to Comcast.

Comcast isn't free-riding over anyone. Netflix paid for their outbound bandwidth, and Comcast's customers are paying for the inbound. Everyone's getting paid, but Comcast wants to double-dip. In 2005 Ed Whitacre (then CEO of SBC) said of popular service providers:

"Now what they would like to do is use my pipes free, but I ain't going to let them do that because we have spent this capital and we have to have a return on it. So there's going to have to be some mechanism for these people who use these pipes to pay for the portion they're using. Why should they be allowed to use my pipes?"

There was a serious uproar about that, with people rightfully claiming that Ed had no leg to stand on since SBC's customers were already paying for their inbound bandwidth. Exactly what is different now that makes this argument more legitimate?

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

the_skywise (189793) | about 4 months ago | (#46318421)

No no no... See you're competing with bandwidth for torrenters and pirate scammers who are downloading their movies for free which slows down your streaming so Netflix is paying to give you better service... which will be passed on to you as part of your support to legally enjoy and supports the arts communities.

So y'see, in the end it's actually better for you to pirate the movies for "free" with the Comcast service which will hurt Comcast in the end because they won't get their Two Dollars.

err...

Wait that still makes Comcast the winner... uhhh...

Huh..

Re:Let me get this straight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318483)

Yup. But keep in mind that Netflix is also (now) a Comcast customer. They need access to the tubes to send the content, same as you need it to receive it.

Is this quite the same? (5, Informative)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about 4 months ago | (#46318273)

This isn't quite the same net neutrality issue here. Netflix isn't paying to stop service degradation or increase priority of their traffic -- they're basically just switching service providers and paying Comcast to host their servers. It may even end up cheaper for Netflix.

Re:Is this quite the same? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318357)

It's Cogent who screwed up.

Re:Is this quite the same? (0)

thaylin (555395) | about 4 months ago | (#46318625)

That is no where near true, and shows you did not read the article. They are paying to stop the traffic jam comcast is providing. No netflix server will be hosted on Comcasts network, but comcast will allow peering to them.

so this is how liberty dies..... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318281)

so this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause

Okay fine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318287)

If we are going to do it this way. I want the things. 1st is an open telecommunications market like they have in Europe. 2nd is Fiber to every home or 5G with no usage caps. 3rd is I want ala carta services. I dont whant to pay for stuff I dont want like we have to for cable and satilight tv.

Monopoly (0)

koan (80826) | about 4 months ago | (#46318289)

        First they came for the Pirates, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Pirate.

        Then they came for our privacy, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not doing anything wrong.

        Then they came for the Net Neutrality, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not aware or concerned.

        Then they came for me--and there was no way left to speak for me.

Re:Monopoly (-1, Troll)

x0ra (1249540) | about 4 months ago | (#46318613)

I am a pirate, they never came for me. I willingly choose to disclose my private info, so this point is irrelevant. And finally, I DO NOT want to pay for free-rider, so this other point is irrelevant as well.

Might be a shrewd maneuver... (1)

the_skywise (189793) | about 4 months ago | (#46318321)

I think this would give the government decent reason to block the Time Warner merger - Lest Comcast become the 21st century version of Standard Oil.

(Or not... if Comcast has enough political leverage with the current administration and with them owning NBC...)

Brilliant Move (2)

The Cat (19816) | about 4 months ago | (#46318345)

Now Netflix has incontrovertible proof Comcast has been throttling their service.

Google will save us from the big corporations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318347)

Titular irony intended...but seriously, at least Google understands that fast broadband for as many people as possible is in their own best interests as a company. This is why they're continuing to push forward with Google Fiber. They can afford to take a financial loss while they put competitive pressure on the telco's, and at the end of the day Comcast and the like will be forced to play Google's game or fold.

Ctrl-C Ctrl-V (1)

Dachannien (617929) | about 4 months ago | (#46318369)

OMFG, Timothy, did you really just copy and paste that paragraph without bothering to edit it? You didn't even bother to cut out the stock quotes from the middle of it.

My 802.11n routers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318373)

i know from the beginning that my routers will always have clients only downloading, rarely uploading. my internet connection (which is crazy expensive, since i'm very rural) is 12mbit down, 4mbit up), and they assume i will download more than upload. why is it so complicated to assume that netflix's providers dont already know the business model of one way traffic? comcast, time warner, verizon already know this. they sell asymmetrical services for that reason. glad to see netflix working to deliver content, but sad to see old media whining about it

Your fucking government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318389)

The best government money can buy. 5 senators, 100 Comcast lobbyists on K-Street, and a head of the FCC who was a cable moneyman says fuck you little people - as they masturbate on piles of cash.

Comcast usually triple dips why is this a surprise (1)

Crashmarik (635988) | about 4 months ago | (#46318395)

Comcast charges content providers to be on channel line up
Charges the customer to watch them
Overwrites the provided programming with their commercials.

If ever the was an exemplar of a gravy sucking pig comcast is it, and they are the prime exemplar of how crony capitalism is failure.

Re:Comcast usually triple dips why is this a surpr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318527)

To be fair, they do advertise the Comcast Triple Play (aka. we f*** you over three ways). "It's Comcastic!"

Obligatory "I told you last time: tattoos are permanent. ... Sorry Roger; you Tiger now."

p.s. I wonder if anyone under 50 still uses cable or POTS "phone" service anymore.

Robber Barons (1)

Boronx (228853) | about 4 months ago | (#46318429)

This is just the robber barons of old. The original robber barons where Knights who built castles on the bank of the Rhine river. Any boat traveling the river had to pay or face the cannons of the castle. There was a new castle around every bend of the river, so you can imagine how expensive it was to ship anything up and down the Rhine.

These same folks can be found today in the "Government" checkpoints that you'll find every few miles in certain parts of Africa, or the Thai cop who stops you and asks for a bribe to let you go. Whether or not these Robber Barons are allowed to operate is the deciding factor in whether a society is free and vibrant or is ground down by corruption.

Let the market/customer decide is BOTH way (1)

x0ra (1249540) | about 4 months ago | (#46318503)

I will develop one of my previous comment.

The current one-size-fit-all billing scheme of the internet is utterly broken from my point of view. I do not have choice of the content's quality I watch. I used to watch youtube on a 5Mbps link, now, I do over a 25Mbps link, but I don't really care about watching HD videos, nor do I give a frack about 720p, 1080p video. Ever if I select youtube "I have a slow connection. Never play higher-quality video", I am always getting a better quality video than I need. The current system is utterly UNFAIR to the customer. I want to be able to have a basic access if I WANT TO. When I have no money, I WANT a cheap basic access, if I have more money and can afford better content, then I am free of doing so. The current system, or what is called "net-neutrality", is actually a bad system for customers as it forces the low-bandwidth consumer to pay for high bandwidth consumer who are free-riding on my subscription.

All in all, don't tell me about what you cares about, this is none of my business. You are free to have YOUR needs, I am free to have MINE, but don't make ME pay for your content gluttony

Re:Let the market/customer decide is BOTH way (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 4 months ago | (#46318601)

The current system is utterly UNFAIR to the customer. I want to be able to have a basic access if I WANT TO. When I have no money, I WANT a cheap basic access, if I have more money and can afford better content, then I am free of doing so.

What are you talking about? The cost or speed of your internet connection has nothing to do with what's going on here. You pay for a connection to The Internet. You don't pay for a connection which gets you to Google quickly, but then only gets you to Netflix slowly or not at all. You pay for the carrier to get your packets to and from any destination on the Network as quickly as it is able to do so.

Unless your on Comcast of course.

Re:Let the market/customer decide is BOTH way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318663)

You can watch Youtube over a 5Mbps because nobody listened to people like you until the network was capable of carrying video. The "content gluttony" is the reason why you have the luxury of considering a 5Mbps link "good enough". That kind of bandwidth wouldn't be available today had people listened to the battle cries against "content gluttony" in the 90s. Back then, the web was the big bandwidth hog, because it had pictures.

The internet is turning into cable TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46318551)

People don't understand what to do with the internet. Everything has to be provided by some company or it's just invisible. Open protocols with multiple implementations? Fugetaboutit. P2P? Not signing up somewhere before being allowed to do anything? Things of the ancient past. When most people on the internet are consumers, of course it's turning into something more like cable TV.

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