Netflix vs. Comcast – The Peering Problem

Online streaming services are getting slower, and major ISP’s are getting more powerful. 2014 has been a controversial year in terms of the architecture of the Internet, and unfortunately it looks like things aren’t going to be getting better any time soon.

One of the most controversial topics this year has been the throttling of streaming services by major ISP’s as they levy for payments from services like Netflix, who produce a high portion of bandwidth on their networks. This process has been brought to the forefront when Netflix and Comcast devised a paid transit agreement in February, which gives Netflix direct access to the Comcast network for an undisclosed sum of money.

The specifics of this deal are shrouded in complexity, however the bottom line seems to be a lose – lose situation for the average Internet user who pays ISPs for bandwidth and streaming services for TV shows, video chat, music, and more. Not only does this deal set a dangerous precedent, but it could pave the way for a compromised version of Net Neutrality in the future. “The Peering Problem” examines, the past, present, and potential future impact deals like the Comcast & Netflix agreement could have on the shape of the Internet.

The Peering Problem

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  1. Michael Rutemeyer says:

    Some time ago, I was a Comcast customer. I liked the idea of an advertised unlimited internet experience; although, I doubted that I would ever use a large amount of bandwidth as I primarily watched Comcast’s cable with premium channel subscriptions. However, I read some less than enthusiastic comments concerning throttling and bandwidth caps when searching the internet for an unrelated matter. After reading then consulting the “fine print” in their welcome brochure packet, I discovered that, indeed, there was a bandwidth cap on high volume users.

    Violators of exceeding this cap would get one warning notification. Continuation in excess could result in denial of internet service from Comcast. Shortly, I terminated all Comcast services and went to another provider.

    According to “The Peering Problem”, Comcast appears to continue to seek to restrict high volume users and negotiated a sweetheart deal where Netflix and its subscribers got the gold mine and others only the shaft. By the way, Netflix HAS REPORTEDLY INCREASED THE COST FOR NEW SUBSCRIBERS.