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Comcast: Destroying What Makes a Competitive Internet Possible 227

Posted by Soulskill
from the have-your-cake-and-stream-it-too dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Vox has another in-depth report on the perilous state of net neutrality regulation, and how Comcast is attempting to undermine it. Quoting: 'In the bill-and-keep internet, companies at each "end" of a connection bill their own customers — whether that customer is a big web company like Google, or a an average household. Neither end pays the other for interconnection. ... ISP's typically do this by hiring a third party to provide "transit," the service of carrying data from one network to another. Transit providers often swap traffic with one another without money changing hands. ... The terminating monopoly problem occurs when a company at the end of a network not only charges its own customers for their connection, but charges companies in the middle of the network an extra premium to be able to reach its customers. In a bill-and-keep regime, the money always flows in the other direction — from customers to ISPs to transit companies. ... But when an ISP's market share gets large enough, the calculus changes. Comcast has 80 times as many subscribers as Vermont has households. So when Comcast demands payment to deliver content to its own customers, Netflix and its transit suppliers can't afford to laugh it off. The potential costs to Netflix's bottom line are too large.'"
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Comcast: Destroying What Makes a Competitive Internet Possible

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  • Sigh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by koan (80826) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @06:36PM (#46935077)

    First they came for Netflix, and I did not speak up because I did not use Netflix.

    • Re:Sigh... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by s.petry (762400) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @06:59PM (#46935245)

      Pretty much this, but not exactly. How many of the average consumers getting Comcast "Hot Deals!®" realize the penalty for the deal? Not many. Just like with so many other things the only way to fight is by consumer knowledge. Since the same people (I'm tempted to use an ad hominem for them, but won't distract) that own Comcast own all of the Mass Media, consumers are once again either ignorant or lied to.

      EFF and others have been warning about this for years, hell we have debated this topic over and over on Slashdot. How do you wake consumers when you don't own any media? I guess we can hope that more of the SOPA type blackouts will occur, but I have doubts. It was effective once, but corporations hated it. Keep mailing those US House and Senate members, but also start tapping people on the shoulder. It's not like NBC is going to warn consumers of the dangers of monopolization.

      • Since the same people (I'm tempted to use an ad hominem for them, but won't distract) that own Comcast own all of the Mass Media

        This wouldn't involve an acronym for "music and film industry associations", would it?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by mfh (56)

        Oligarchies have no incentive to listen. My question still is how do we take an Oligarchy and transform it into a Technocracy because this is exactly what would solve the problem. How is it possible without all hell breaking loose?

        • by s.petry (762400)

          Oligarchies have no incentive to listen. My question still is how do we take an Oligarchy and transform it into a Technocracy because this is exactly what would solve the problem. How is it possible without all hell breaking loose?

          Technically we are not a true oligarchy, or at least we have no proof that the Republic is completely dead. There are people that are not career politicians getting into offices, so at least a portion of the Republic is still working.

          Transformation is always painful, and a bit of chaos may be needed to restore the full Republic. That is much less frightening than doing nothing and watching us transform into a much worse form of Government. How far away is dictatorship if we do nothing? Not very far.

      • Re:Sigh... (Score:5, Informative)

        by mrchaotica (681592) * on Wednesday May 07, 2014 @07:46AM (#46938463)

        How many of the average consumers getting Comcast "Hot Deals!®" realize the penalty for the deal? Not many.

        I firmly believe Comcast's "average" customer has only the choice between Comcast or no adequate Internet service at all. Other than Stockholm syndrome, it's the only explanation that makes sense.

    • Comcast must be thrilled Netflix has emerged as the proxy case for Net Neutrality. Netflix, a company that commands a large double-digit percentage of all US traffic, with plans to aggressively push 4K streaming later this year. It's so easy to paint such a Goliath as needing accommodations, as a company singly adding bandwidth stress on its own.
      • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @07:35PM (#46935487)

        Comcast must be thrilled Netflix has emerged as the proxy case for Net Neutrality.

        It doesn't matter though... as a user, YOU are "requesting" date from Netflix... and you have already paid Comcast for that bandwidth.

        Another article today noted that carriers like Comcast deliberately let their nodes get congested so they can scream "bandwidth hogs!"

        Shoot 'em down. Title II Common Carrier status for the lot of 'em. They've abused for far too long, and gotten rich in the process. Time to cut them down a notch, before they manage to throw their weight around so much they break everything in the room.

        • by CheshireDragon (1183095) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @07:43PM (#46935527) Homepage
          As soon as that spineless fuck Tom Wheeler stops threatening to knock them all down to Title II and actually does it, we can only expect this to escalate.
          • He is most definitely not spineless. He has the balls to put forward regulations under the name "Net Neutrality" that basically say "pay for transit = net neutrality".

          • As soon as that spineless fuck Tom Wheeler stops threatening to knock them all down to Title II and actually does it, we can only expect this to escalate.

            Stop pretending that he's not a corrupt bureaucrat. Your language paints him as a coward, but one who has good intentions. There is no factual basis for such an assumption and it just harms the issue - Wheeler will do what he was sent there to do and nobody is going to do anything about it. Now who's spineless?

        • by alen (225700)

          baby bells were common carriers and you had to pay them to terminate your phone calls on their networks

          • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @08:26PM (#46935799)

            baby bells were common carriers and you had to pay them to terminate your phone calls on their networks

            Yes, but...

            Our Common Carrier telephone system, at least until the breakup, was the envy of the world. Rates were reasonable and closely regulated, they couldn't snoop, they couldn't pull bullshit tricks on their networks to get you to pay more, and local calls were a flat rate even if you talked all day.

            In countries where competing companies were allowed to operate (instead of the U.S. "natural monopoly" setup), you had telephone systems that were fundamentally incompatible, mazes of wires, and sometimes you couldn't even call your own neighbor, because he was on a different system that was electrically incompatible with the one you used.

            Now that many other countries have adopted more of a regulated "natural monopoly" system (even if not completely so), and the U.S. has gone almost all private, the tables are turned... we have among the worst service of Western nations while at the same time some of the highest rates.

            • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @08:33PM (#46935851)
              I should add that I'm not promoting Communism or anything. In many industries private competition is the only rational way to go. But communication is one of those things that has seemed to work best under the "natural monopoly" scheme. Which basically means Title II Common Carrier.
            • by dave420 (699308)
              "Envy of the world" [citation needed]
        • Shoot 'em down. Title II Common Carrier status for the lot of 'em. They've abused for far too long, and gotten rich in the process. Time to cut them down a notch, before they manage to throw their weight around so much they break everything in the room.

          Given that the majority of this Supreme Court just ruled that government-backed and sanctioned prayer in public meetings is fine provided they are Christian prayers, you really think an FCC ruling on Title II would have any scintilla of hope?

          Democracy is d

    • I don't think there are a lot of people who don't use Netflix. At least, I don't know any.

      • by alen (225700)

        i know a lot of people who don't use netflix. i only use them for cartoons and i barely watch it myself. a lot of people are this way. very little on there worth watching

      • by Bigbutt (65939)

        Just to add a vote here, I don't use Netflix. Certainly I don't count as 'a lot' but I am part of a group :)

        [John]

    • Lets say you did use Netflix.

      Why would you speak up? Netflix just arranged a deal with Comcast and from the user perspective, it got faster. So from external observation most Netflix users would think the situation had improved.

      There's simply no way to explain to non-technical people why what is happening is bad.

      • by Arker (91948)
        "There's simply no way to explain to non-technical people why what is happening is bad."

        You are wrong and TFA shows you how. Did you read?

        You dont need to understand the technical side just the business side.

        The way the internet works, I pay my ISP, you pay your ISP, and so far as we are concerned everyone is paid (the ISPs pay transit providers out of what they bill us but we can ignore that, it's not our responsibility.) You are Netflix, I paid Comcast, you paid your ISP, I am happily watching movies and
        • You dont need to understand the technical side just the business side.

          You are just trading one technical jargon for another.

          Explain again how a normal non-technical person understands it is bad?

          What the Netflix user sees is that they have Comcast, Netflix got faster, end of story. Any other words you use are pointless because the effect to them is not direct, the potential effect on the future too nebulous to understand.

          Even if you frame it as you have, I'll bet 8% of normal people you explain it to would

          • by Arker (91948)
            "Even if you frame it as you have, I'll bet 8% of normal people you explain it to would just go "eh"."

            92% response rate is fine, I'll take it in a heartbeat.
  • by loony (37622) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @06:37PM (#46935089)

    ... need google fibre. Its the opposite extreme when it comes to performance and openness...

    Peter.

    • Yeah, it's nice that -- in some perverse sense -- Google's interests are aligned with those of the customers. Google makes money off of you *because you use* the internet, whereas Comcast makes money because you pay your monthly bill.

      Of course, advertising may not ultimately be in the best interest of the customer, but still...
      • by Bengie (1121981)
        Google Fiber is a separate self sustaining entity... well... should be. We'll see in a few years. The main point is Google Fiber isn't meant to cost Google anything, it is meant to make money directly from its own value, not by added value to the main company.
    • Or the FCC could declare internet a common carrier. Like the phone system is.
    • by tsa (15680)

      Doesn't matter. Even fibers will be saturated one day and then the whole process starts again.

  • I live in a rural Virginia area. Comcast is my only choice. They don't care.
    • by supersat (639745) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @06:51PM (#46935203)
      It doesn't really matter where you are; there is no real competition in the US broadband market. Sure, DSL exists, but old copper lines can't handle nearly the bandwidth that coax can. I live only a few blocks away from the CO, but due to the age of the wires, I could barely get 1.5 mbps.
      • There is something else wrong if you're close to the CO and you have copper from there to your house. At my previous job we had copper underground that was put there in the 1890s (no, that's not a typo). And we weren't close to the CO and had no trouble getting 5 Mbps unless it was raining really hard because the insulation was compromised and the wires got wet.
        • by peragrin (659227)

          bullshit.

          in the 1890's copper wire didn't have insulation that would work. Nor was there appropriately sized wire.

          The underground pipe might have been laid in the 1890's but the wire was pulled and replaced in the 1970's or 80's.

          It is easy enough to tell what kind of insulation does it have? if it is wax paper you might be right but you would get all sorts of cross talk.

    • by loony (37622)

      we just need google fibre and such in major comcast markets - cut off enough of their profits that they see the impact on their bottomline...

    • by NemoinSpace (1118137) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @06:54PM (#46935227) Homepage Journal

      Comcast wasn't your only choice. You could have voted NO. Even a commie Russian gets to vote NO.
      But Americans? Nope. Bend over and take it.
      I've had dial up instead of Comcast. I've had nothing, for short periods of time. I've thrown Comcast out of every property I've ever owned.
      Hell I even ordered Comcast just so I could return the equipment the next day and keep the batteries.
      Comcast is the Edith Keeler of the internet.

      • Hell I even ordered Comcast just so I could return the equipment the next day and keep the batteries. Comcast is the Edith Keeler of the internet.

        and you are the jack benny of slashdot.

        (goml)

    • by fermion (181285)
      And this is why Comcast has the power. They have spent the money to deliver a service. I do not live in a rural area. I live in the middle of the city. Where there is a dense population. And my only choice is comcast. ATT, Verizon, they don't care enough to build up service. They let comcast have the customers. If you want internet here, it has to be Comcast. Google was looking at us for service, but they are only interested in places that already have saturated service, not places that could benefit
      • Google Fiber can only offer their services in places where the local government has not awarded monopoly rights to a single ISP.
        Probably they'd get sued by Comcast if they tried to offer Google Fiber.
        What needs to be done is to make these kinds of monopolies illegal. Laws that fix this are not easy to get right though.

      • And this is why Comcast has the power. They have spent the money to deliver a service.

        Didn't the US government pay a fuckload to get telecommuniations rolled out to the entire country rural and otherwise?

      • by kamapuaa (555446)

        So yes, the internet is dying

        What the fuck? Everybody uses the internet, all the time. That's like saying electricity is going out of fashion.

      • by pnutjam (523990)
        Not a shill, but here to speak up for ATT. I ditched comcast and switched to ATT afew years back. First I had DSL, and now I have Uverse. I was getting around 6m/512k with dsl. I now get about 15m/1.5m with uverse.

        In my experience Comcast has better advertised rates, but they suck if you try to use them. I would download a 200mb file in afew seconds, but a 700mb or bigger iso would take hours. A torrent file would crawl after the first few minutes and take days to get over a gig. With att, it might take 3
    • The fact that you have to choose between Comcast and dialup (because officially you have a choice) is contraproductive to free market economy. It is wrong.
      If you fixed that Netfix would be able to tell their customers "on so and so date we will stop paying the bribery Comcast demands and the Netflix service to Comcast customers will be once again fucked up by Comcast."
      Fix the monopoly and Comcast will either die or correct their business practices.

  • by gavron (1300111) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @06:49PM (#46935187)

    These concepts were part of the commercial Internet circa the early 1990s
    and were part of the reason CIX was so successful. Then PAIX then others.

    In time, Internet exchanges were themselves bogged down and companies
    did private peering. Those who connected to like-quantity produders of
    content did so for free (settlement-free peering). Those who were unequal
    paid for transiting the network (paid transit).

    That hasn't changed in 32 years. All that's changed is the up and down of
    who provides more traffic where. The dominant player in each interconnection
    point ALWAYS demanded transit, and often did so with the "wherever our
    two networks meet" even if elsewhere it was not the dominant player.

    Comcast could be made to behave, but Netflix blinked and paid them money.
    Now others will as well.

    This CAN BE FIXED BY REGULATION but not the kind people are thinking
    of. No, not net neutrality. Rather the elimination of the cable-company
    monopolies on entire swaths of subscribers. Eliminate the government-granted
    access to rights-of-way, towers, utility poles, and infrastructure. Let them not
    have a "sole franchise" but rather be one of many competing in the market.

    Remove Comcast and their ilk from their high post as the monopolistic "owner"
    of all these households by fiat, and having to compete to keep them, and instead
    of throttling their peerings to make Netflix users (THEIR OWN CUSTOMERS)
    suffer... they'll get peering with netflix.

    More government regulation doesn't solve a market-driven problem. Removing the
    government regulation harming free competition is the key.

    E

    • by Arker (91948)
      I think you are basically correct but the problem is that you cannot actually undo the damage at this point by simply backing out the regulations that caused it.

      The best way to solve it, without giving the state any new regulatory powers, would be to require ISPs to be only ISPs. Don't let one company own the pipes and also own a bunch of other businesses that compete as users of the pipes - that's just a recipe for corruption.

      Comcast and others like them could pull a nice bump in revenues by divesting them
    • This CAN BE FIXED BY REGULATION but not the kind people are thinking of. No, not net neutrality. Rather the elimination of the cable-company monopolies on entire swaths of subscribers. Eliminate the government-granted access to rights-of-way, towers, utility poles, and infrastructure. Let them not have a "sole franchise" but rather be one of many competing in the market.

      This is typically a local issue. If your city gave all the rights to Comcast, go lobby your city council member. You can probably knock on their door and have talk with them.

      • As long as it is legal the rights, once granted, will be very difficult to retract.
        And that is as it should be. If I get a building permit and the building permit is retracted halfway the build I am royally screwed. Retracting things that are legal is difficult.
        Like it or not, Comcast invested a lot of money in the cables. It shouldn't be easy for a city council to remove that.

        What the city council should be able to do is demand a split, as Arker suggested.

        Note: What I feel that should and shouldn't be poss

  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @06:55PM (#46935231) Homepage

    We simply need to forget the FCC and make this an antitrust issue. If an ISP is so big that they charge companies for the privilege of reaching their customers, then it is anticompetitive. If they start charging backbone providers, well... then the backbone providers will go out of business since their revenue stream will become an expense. I'm not sure how that would ever work.

  • by alen (225700) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @07:00PM (#46935249)

    Netflix even said Comcast is charging them very little for the connections and its not material to earnings.
    i've seen estimates of $.30 to $.50 per megabit per second which is A LOT less than standard transit prices and an estimate that the netflix will pay $18 million per year for this. out of almost $5 billion in revenues this year and a current tech budget which includes transit of over $100 million

    this is another blogger crisis. they scream for better internet speeds and when a deal to enable this finally happens they scream fraud and extortion

    • Netflix also has a motive here -- to create a barrier to entry to keep other smaller businesses out of streaming movies and TV shows for profit.
      • by ArhcAngel (247594)

        Comcast also has a motive here -- to get their customers to use Streampix [comcast.com] instead of Netflix or get Netflix to pay extra to get to their customers.

        Tit for Tat and all of that.

    • this is another blogger crisis. they scream for better internet speeds and when a deal to enable this finally happens they scream fraud and extortion

      Um, just because the 'deal' make something better doesn't mean it's a good deal. I for one am not too pleased with this 'deal with the devil.' Netflix has kind of shot us all in the foot.

      • by alen (225700)

        so why is it better for the sender of 30% of the internet's traffic to send their traffic through a third party network rather than directly to customers?

        L3 and Cogent have done plenty of shady things in the past when they had the upper hand in the business. now they don't and are crying network neutrality

        • so why is it better for the sender of 30% of the internet's traffic to send their traffic through a third party network rather than directly to customers?

          L3 and Cogent have done plenty of shady things in the past when they had the upper hand in the business. now they don't and are crying network neutrality

          These are all reasons we need heavy regulation and common carrier status for internet networking infrastructure providers, regardless of tier or business size. So they quit screwing US over with their shady backroom deals, cuz you know who pays for those deals. We do, the last mile customers. Weither in higher prices, degraded service or lack of customer support. And any combination of the three.

          • This new thing with netflix is just showing big ISP's they can start milking content providers for 'better connectivity' to their throngs of last mile consumers. This is in no way a good thing.

            And who's paying for it? Netflix customers. Did comcast lower their price? Nooo. Did Netflix lower their price? Noooo.. in fact they raised it.

      • While I'm all for net neutrality, but what was the difference between what happend here and a plain old multihoming deal? All big sites have their systems connected to more than one carriers. And they usually pay for that connection like we do for our internet connection. And now Netflix is connected to one more carrier.

    • i've seen estimates of $.30 to $.50 per megabit per second which is A LOT less than standard transit prices

      I've seen banner adverts from HE for transit at $0.80/mbps and I imagine big customers can get better deals than that. So it's probablly in the same ballpark as buying transit from cheap providers like cogent or HE.

      What would worry me as a content provider would not be the immediate cost but that once it becomes established that buying "paid peering" or transit service from comcast is the only way to get decent performance to comcast users they could slowly tighten the screws on me.

      • by alen (225700)

        drpeering.net says $2.50 per megabit for small companies, less than a $1 for big ones like google and apple so netflix is getting a huge deal

        there are dozens of content streaming companies out there. if comcast picks a fight they will have a lot of others against them. even then a strong streaming market is in their best interests because they pay a lot of money for their pay TV customers and want to decrease that

    • by Bengie (1121981)

      http://he.net/ Get BGP+IPv6+IPv4 for $0.45/Mbps!

      $0.3/mbit for peering is EXPENSIVE. Since all of the equipment costs are already covered by their residential customer, that's a 100% net profit. Kind of like if Microsoft started subsidizing their xbox games to price the playstation out of the market. That's called monopolistic power for a reason.

      • that's a 100% net profit.

        It is not 100% profit since Comcast still needs to add ports to their routers for Netflix to connect to and adjust the rest of their network accordingly.

        Even if it was straight 100% net profit, we are still talking less than 80M$/year, which is less than 0.1% of Comcast's income; practically a rounding error within Comcast's accounting or around $5/year per Netflix customer using Comcast.

        To me, that sounds like tons of ado about nothing. Cogent and L3 are frustrated about losing Netflix as a client, Netflix

    • Netflix even said Comcast is charging them very little for the connections and its not material to earnings.

      Why is Netflix paying at all? Comcast REALLY want the traffic from Netflix: imagine how pissed off their customers (who paid comcast to get traffic) would be if they couldn't get netflix.

      (WTF apparently I can't post twice in 5 mintes now)

  • by stox (131684) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @07:26PM (#46935419) Homepage

    You can still change this!

    Start with filing your comment NOW at the FCC:

    https://www.fcc.gov/comments [fcc.gov]

    Click on 14-28 Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet

    Here is a sample to give you some inspiration:

    "It has become time to classify Internet Service Providers as Title II Common Carriers. The possibilities for abuse are just too great otherwise. Failure to do so will cripple the future economic well being of the United States, stifle innovation, and limit the freedom of consumers to choose the content they desire."

    • by slykens (85844)

      "It has become time to classify Internet Service Providers as Title II Common Carriers. The possibilities for abuse are just too great otherwise. Failure to do so will cripple the future economic well being of the United States, stifle innovation, and limit the freedom of consumers to choose the content they desire."

      You do understand that telephone carriers pay to interconnect with each other with the carrier terminating a call ultimately being paid for that termination? This is the exact situation we don't want to see with ISPs. (As a side-bar this is why there are/were so many "free" conference calling solutions in rural Iowa - a few of the carriers there were paid upwards of $0.02/min for termination, regardless of origin, and were willing to *pay* customer to receive calls!)

      I support net neutrality 100% but what ha

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      your whining to some unchecked inbox wont do a single bit of good

  • You can do all kinds of things which are not "huge data" and you won't have a problem.

    Netflix pushed things very hard and changed the foundation of the "all the bandwidth you want" model.

    Because previously the average customer downloaded a fraction of what they downloaded after netflix.

    ISP's have the option of charging their customers more (maybe a lot more) or charging Netflix (and amazon prime and hulu) which can then pass that cost on to its customers.

    Comcast are not nice dudes- but it's not all on one s

  • by fightinfilipino (1449273) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @09:22PM (#46936083) Homepage

    having lobbyists in government regulatory bodies HAS to stop

    sign this and share it: http://wh.gov/lwhr8 [wh.gov]

    Tom Wheeler and his ilk have empowered too much Telco/Cableco monopoly control and done nothing to help regular people

  • This whole thing doesn't make sense to me. If Comcast is intentionally degrading (or failing to upgrade, causing degradation) NetFlix stream, why doesn't NetFlix just let them? Put a message over the buffering stating that the buffering is caused by Comcast and asking the customer to contact them in order to fix it. Maybe put a short pre-roll PSA video, explaining the situation to all Comcast NetFlix users. I'm (luckily) not a Comcast subscriber, but if I was, and I couldn't do whatever I wanted with th

  • If the Executive administration wasn't such a bunch of spineless cowards they'd be pursuing RICO charges against Comcast for extorting Netflix and then miraculously eliminating their throughput problem less than a month later.

  • Can someone explain something to me, because I don't get it. If I want content, and netflix has the content, and I have a subscription to Netflix and an ISP, assuming neither has a monopoly, why does it matter if netflix or the ISP pays for the transmission of data? One of the two of them has to pay for it for my consumption. I understand this all changes if there's a monopoly by either netflix or the ISP, but without the monopoly, why does capitalism not drive this to cost+ a reasonable cost of doing bu
    • by PaddyM (45763)

      You just said it yourself. The problem is that Comcast is a monopoly, has abused their position, and other ISP/Content creator combos are planning to follow suit.

      Title II Common Carrier status would force Comcast to not discriminate. It can't charge Netflix more than what it charges any other customer.

      I suppose another solution would be forcing Comcast to split its lines of business, but that is not a task the Government tends to want to do.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by David_Hart (1184661)

      Can someone explain something to me, because I don't get it. If I want content, and netflix has the content, and I have a subscription to Netflix and an ISP, assuming neither has a monopoly, why does it matter if netflix or the ISP pays for the transmission of data? One of the two of them has to pay for it for my consumption. I understand this all changes if there's a monopoly by either netflix or the ISP, but without the monopoly, why does capitalism not drive this to cost+ a reasonable cost of doing buisness/profit margin? And if it does, why do I really care if I pay this money to either the ISP or netflix, I have to pay it to someone. Now obviously, this goes out the window if one or both has a monopoly. Also, please, I'm looking for a real answer as to why I should care, not "zomg, ISP greeeeed"

      Basically, Netflix pays their ISP for bandwidth. You pay your Comcast for bandwidth. The traffic goes through Netflix's ISP, through the Internet backbone, to the Comcast network. Netflix's ISP is supposed to have a peering arrangement with Comcast where they agree to carry traffic to and from each other, usually for free. Normally both ISPs are close to being equal in the amount of data they exchange so this is fair.

      Comcast has two arguments that they are using to charge Netflix extra to deliver their

    • by tragedy (27079)

      It's pretty straightforward. You pay for access to the Internet through your ISP, which may be Comcast. Netflix pays for access to the Internet through their ISPs, although their service providers are probably a different tier than the consumer level service you're getting. The way it's supposed to work is that you're both connected to the Internet, so data you send between each other is covered by whatever plan you have with your ISP. What Comcast is doing here is double-dipping. They want to charge you fo

      • by Arker (91948)
        "You may shrug your shoulders and say "why should I care", but who exactly do you think ultimately pays for this? The answer is that _you_ pay if you're a Comcast customer who uses Netflix (or any other service they manage to extort this way)."

        Unfortunately it's much worse than that. You pay for this if you use Netflix, or any other service that pays such extortion, whether you are a Comcast customer or not.

        Also screw Netflix. I am on their side on this issue only under protest and lacking any other option.

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