TWC accuses Netflix of bullying ISPs and discriminating against users

By on January 18, 2013, 8:30 AM

Time Warner Cable has accused Netflix of discriminating against users who access the video streaming service through a TWC Internet connection. Last week, Netflix started providing streams in Super HD and 3D qualities, which delivers better-looking video at the expense of stricter connection requirements -- namely that users have a download speed of at least 5Mb/s and that their Web provider participates in Netflix's Open Connect content delivery network, which allows the video service to pump its data directly to ISPs.

TWC has an issue with the latter bit. "While they call it 'Open Connect,' Netflix is actually closing off access to some of its content while seeking unprecedented preferential treatment from ISPs," TWC said. "We believe it is wrong for Netflix to withhold any content formats from our subscribers," the company continued, adding that its network is already capable of handling the higher quality content without Open Connect.

Netflix launched its Open Connect CDN last year to cut costs and lower its dependence on third-party delivery networks, as the company said that it made more financial sense to have its own infrastructure than to rely on other services. At the time, there wasn't much of a reason for ISPs to implement Open Connect, but TWC believes the streaming service is trying to strong-arm Internet providers by requiring participation.

We haven't found an official number of Open Connect-ready ISPs, but Cablevision recently announced its cooperation, while Google Fiber, Clearwire, Virgin Media, British Telecom, Telmex, Telus and Sonic.net are also reportedly hooked up. Speaking with DSL Reports, Sonic.net CEO Dane Jasper said becoming an Open Connect partner isn't a big deal, suggesting that TWC is making mountains out of molehills.

"It's an easy process, just like Akamai or any other CDN edge cache," Jasper said. "Depending upon scale of the service provider, it's one or more servers, deployed at one or more locations in the service provider network." In response to TWC, Netflix said "Open Connect provides Netflix data at no cost to the location the ISP desires and doesn't seek preferential treatment," adding that the network reduces congestion.




User Comments: 9

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3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

Oh wow.... me a netflix fan... and wow.. cant beleive it.. its a false report... quote" Dane Jasper said becoming an Open Connect partner isn't a big deal, suggesting that TWC is making mountains out of molehills. end quote.

Guest said:

Discriminating by giving more streaming choices? Anyone tell them the speed of the connection chooses the bandwidth? or even can be manually overridden? I want whatever they are smoking..

quote: "Netflix started providing streams in Super HD and 3D qualities, which delivers better-looking video at the expense of stricter connection requirements -- namely that users have a download speed of at least 5Mb/s"

Guest said:

Can I have whatever TWC is smoking?

I thought it obvious that quality is chosen by what your bandwidth can handle; so in essence what TWC is saying is that their own speeds are S**T, and to look elsewhere for better speeds/quality - or complain.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

So basically Netflix wants to put a server in the ISP hub to deliver content directly to the user instead of streaming offsite.

PS: Suddenlink joined this.

SCJake said:

OR twc is just pissed off because they need a minimum 5MB/s which is slowly becoming the standard and TWC doesnt wana fork up the infrastructure dough to make themselves competitive...

1 person liked this | gamoniac said:

So basically Netflix wants to put a server in the ISP hub to deliver content directly to the user instead of streaming offsite.

PS: Suddenlink joined this.

It is not like that. I first thought Netflix was strongarming ISP, too. But if you look at it from Netflix's standpoint, or any vendor's standpoint, they are simply providing better quality of content to the customers, and at the same time easing the overall Internet traffic. It is almost like merchandize vendors partnering up with retail stores to better serve customers, except that in this case, no customers is denied of their content.

Given that Netflix eats up 30% of the evening Internet traffic, this might be a win-win situation, for the time being anyway.

Guest said:

Anyone who rattles TWC's cage has my approval, I consider them a fascist corporation with totalitarian tendencies.

Guest said:

[COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]When I wrote Time Warner Cable telling them my desire to watch Super HD and 3D content via Open Connect, I got the following response "[/COLOR]Thank you for your request. Please note that, we do not support Netflix." Unbelievable

treetops treetops said:

A local internet company casa grande internet has blocked netflix! They said its taking up to much bandwidth, even though they offer unlimited data.... They attribute 50% of there traffic to netflix. I used to use casa grande internet, I would be so pissed if I was still with them. If they can't handle streaming videos..... It was in the local newspaper today.

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