Netflix signs deal with Comcast to keep streams lag-free

By Shawn Knight
Feb 24, 2014
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  1. Netflix has come to an agreement with Comcast to ensure the streaming service receives the necessary bandwidth to provide a smooth and lag-free experience for the company's broadband customers. The duo promised in a joint press release that the collaboration...

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  2. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,897   +611

    That's why this deal happened. Netflix is requiring a ton of bandwidth and Comcast is responsible for providing it. When internet connections slow down because of high traffic Comcast will get the blame, and they will have to pay for the upgrades and the maintenance on the networks Netflix is using so much of. I'd much rather Comcast go after Netflix for this cost rather than it's customers.


    We'll never know if any price change is because of this. Netflix would charge us more if they believe people will still pay for it. Remember when streaming was a free add-on to your DVD mail service? As they acquire more content and produce more of their own (House of Cards etc) they're going to charge more anyway. $8/month is a steal for what we get.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014
    EClyde likes this.
  3. treeski

    treeski TechSpot Guru Posts: 866   +128

    Knowing Comcast, they will go after Netflix AND the customers.
    gibbstar and EClyde like this.
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,251   +531

    Netflix played host to 33 million subscribers in the US.
    That's almost more than the population of my country including the millions of illegal immigrants. :)
    9Nails likes this.
  5. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,897   +611

    Check out this story on Yahoo calling this deal a win for customers. The long and short of it is that customers won't get any rate hikes from Netflix because the deal allows Netflix to bypass intermediaries in their network. Netflix was paying them to get it's content to the ISPs and now they won't have to anymore. Instead (it sounds like) they're going to be paying Comcast for a direct connection. That means better Netflix service for the customers and no price hikes. The ones who get the short end are these intermediaries... whoever they are.

    According to the same story, Comcast won't be raising any rates for any reason because of the acquisition with TWC. Because of all the scrutiny with regulators they are being extra careful not to upset anyone.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014
  6. wastedkill

    wastedkill TechSpot Addict Posts: 775   +155

    This is just creating a stream of ISP's trying to force customers and content providers out of cash!!!

    Bandwidth is free for ISP's Or am I missing the fact that sending 100TB of data locally for free isnt the same to what ISP's do...

    If Netflix keeps getting pulled in like this they are gonna be loosing soo much money thanks to greedy ISP's that are too greedy to either upgrade or understand bandwidth is free for them.
    9Nails likes this.
  7. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 904   +72

    Exactly! I don't like this deal one bit. On the one hand, yes, it's nice that Netflix will get some sort of priority or guaranteed service. But that's exactly where the good out of this ends. This sets the proceedings for other ISP's to throttle traffic and hold Netflix at ransom unless they pay for higher bandwidth assurance. And the customers lose on the deal.

    ISP's carry a finite amount of traffic and they can stall upgrading to higher levels by making use of throttling technology instead of buying larger routers and interfaces to accommodate the growth. If Netflix is carrying 1/3 of the traffic it would be a fat and easy target to hit.
  8. Amigosdefox

    Amigosdefox TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 121   +10

    Bye net neutrality.
    wastedkill and Brodo Laggins like this.
  9. ghasmanjr

    ghasmanjr TechSpot Booster Posts: 363   +86

    It shall be missed. Just wait until XBLive and PSN work better with specific providers. There will be an uproar.
  10. Brodo Laggins

    Brodo Laggins Newcomer, in training

    [​IMG]
    Relic, Amigosdefox and ghasmanjr like this.
  11. Sniped_Ash

    Sniped_Ash Newcomer, in training Posts: 103   +29

    This sets a pretty gross precedent, but on the other hand, Netflix's bandwidth use is obscene and is only going to get worse...moreso if 4k streaming becomes a thing. I can't really fault Comcast for saying, "Whoa now..."
  12. wastedkill

    wastedkill TechSpot Addict Posts: 775   +155

    IKR its like the government going "Whoa now..." on our earnings and adding a 70% tax to pay on every cent we earn.

    This is 2014 not 1960 where bandwidth is anything to be concerned about we can easily do unlimited bandwidth I mean bandwidth is nothing but a way to increase costs to consumers whilst the ISP is like "Damn these guys are paying for stuff that doesn't exist they dont even know bandwidth is a myth I mean we dont buy it from the makers of the internet. We are making a killing from these tards"
  13. what MilwaukeeMike and a few otheres fail to realize; comcast got a huge sum of money (as did several other ISP) from tax payers, curtsey of our federal government, to build the INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY so I could sit in east bubble!@#$ new mexico and get the same high speed internet as anyone in San Fransisco (not using google). The ISP took the money and did increase speeds in several major cities and then turned around and said to the government "we won't make anywhere as much money as we planned originally by building the superhighway so we will just pocket the rest (several billion) and make several large sum contributions to your re-election campaigns" and of course the government said "that sounds fair to us". So now we pay 4x the price of internet speed in western civ countries like France yet only get 1/4 of their speed.
    SNGX1275 likes this.
  14. This will just be passed along as another "yearly price increase due to the higher demand of customer bandwidth" from Comcast. The people that really lose are the ones that don't use Netflix or any other streaming service that still have to pay the higher rates. I mean, that's like YOUR yearly taxes and expenses going just up to pay for everyone else's healthcare! Oh wait.....
    SNGX1275 likes this.
  15. If anyone is to blame for castrating Net Neutrality, it is those lousy Republicans. Damn them to hell!
  16. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,147   +739

    Never saw this coming. Bad move Netflix.
  17. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,897   +611

    You guys know why this started? Because House of Cards caused a ton of slowdowns and people weren't getting to watch the Netflix they paid for because the connection they also paid for was too slow because of everyone else watching House of Cards. This deal is supposed to fix that, and everyone is freaking out?!

    Look at it from both sides...
    http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/brea...reaming-is-a-win-for-consumers-145347877.html
  18. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,492   +73

    Next they're going to raise the rates, but they have 44 million so each pays $7.99 so they have enough to cover the cost to COMCAST, But since the USG not doing anything COMCAST can still play the drop the throttle game. It's shame if they Netflix raises the rates they're going to loose customers. I am not paying $16, $32 or even $64 for Netflix. a month crazy.
  19. So does this mean that any time any website or online service gains popularity the internet service providers can then extort money out of them? Which in essence puts those services at a competitive disadvantage due to increased costs. Is Facebook going to be charged for the traffic that goes to it's data centers? I'm sure Comcast / Verizon / Time Warner etc. are all eyeballing Google's pile of cash for access to youtube.

    This is the single biggest civil rights issue of our times but no one even knows what's happening. If allowed ISP's will essentially make toll roads out of the entire internet, diminishing the "free-ness" and democracy of the internet as a whole. Unfortunately because regular consumers don't see what's happening there's very little that will stop these forces.
  20. Tanstar

    Tanstar TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 194   +18

    What? Bandwidth is free??? One of the stupidest things I've ever read on the internet. Hats off to you!

    Bandwidth requires infrastructure (updating, replacing and expanding cable lines, new modems, etc), and the cables can only carry so much. The more you use, the less there is for your neighbors to use. Therefore, if one company is the major reason Comcast has to upgrade their infrastructure (so that all their customers get plenty of bandwidth), naturally they will want to get paid for it.

    Now, I'm not saying Comcast isn't greedy or that this is a great thing. Just saying bandwidth is NOT free.
  21. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,392   +16

    This is a disappointing move by Netflix, which sadly is setting a dangerous precedent with what appears to be a pay-to-play between ISPs wanting to get paid on two fronts. Already saw that both AT&T and Verizon are in "negotiations" with Netflix to strike a similar deal.

    From what I understand this appears to be a peering and transit issue between three parties (Netflix, Comcast, and the transit/CDNs) and the unwillingness of Comcast and other ISPs to properly invest in upgrades between themselves and these transit/CDNs, resulting in the degraded performances, forcing Netflix to deal with them directly. Customers and Netflix already pay, but the content isn't being properly delivered to us, even with ISPs consistently raising our rates.

    In the short-term this may look like a good deal, but I fear this will result in higher prices when the uproar dies down. Not to mention the long-term impact this could have on minor players or new startups who may never get off the ground.

    Netflix is going to start charging more regardless due to content providers pushing higher and higher costs onto them, which Comcast, with NBC Universal is now a part of by the way. It sadly won't get any better if they are forced to pay-to-play with every major ISP to deliver meaningful streaming quality.

    Netflix already has Open Connect which allowed willing ISPs for free to cache content locally but most major ISPs, especially those who compete with Netflix, including Comcast rejected. This deal forces Netflix to pay, and at least to me appears to be some form of bullying/extortion. But I'm sure Comcast was being more flexible with their negotiations due to their current acquisition of TWC to show regulators that they aren't using their market dominance, which will grow significantly with TWC, especially on the ISP level, to degrade a competitors service.

    What everyone should be concerned about is the long-term and how that might impact you. We may eventually see higher prices being passed on to consumers, fewer choices with a pay-to-play scheme, possibly fragmented markets and a hit to future innovation.

    I'm not sure if this is a clear cut case of violating net neutrality as defined by the FCC (or was at least), but it's surely troubling with end-users receiving degraded performance, and the players each blaming one another for it. And don't believe the Republicans are the only ones who bear responsibility. Democrats may speak highly of net neutrality, but their actions haven't always aligned themselves with their rhetoric (shocking!). Both surely receive contributions from these industries so few ever directly challenge them unless public outrage outweighs said contributions. If we want something done, enough of us will have to stand up and say something before it's too late.

    - My Incredible Long Two Cents
  22. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,392   +16

    I don’t think anyone knows the answers, but it is very concerning.
  23. Tanstar

    Tanstar TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 194   +18

    Oh $hit. It gets stupider. Bandwidth in 1960? Tell me all about that!
  24. tonylukac

    tonylukac TechSpot Maniac Posts: 748   +14

    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014
  25. Those Democrats you speak of are DINO. Real Democrats always practice what they preach and defend the public interest. Unfortunately, real Democrats are far and few between these days.


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