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Network The Internet

Netflix CEO On Net Neutrality: Large ISPs Are the Problem 181

KindMind writes: At Wired, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has posted his take on net neutrality. He lays the problem at the feet of the large ISPs. Hastings says, "Consider this: A single fiber-optic strand the diameter of a human hair can carry 101.7 terabits of data per second, enough to support nearly every Netflix subscriber watching content in HD at the same time. And while technology has improved and capacity has increased, costs have continued to decline. A few more shelves of equipment might be needed in the buildings that house interconnection points, but broadband itself is as limitless as its uses. We'll never realize broadband's potential if large ISPs erect a pay-to-play system that charges both the sender and receiver for the same content. ... It's worth noting that Netflix connects directly with hundreds of ISPs globally, and 99 percent of those agreements don't involve access fees. It is only a handful of the largest U.S. ISPs, which control the majority of consumer connections, demanding this toll. Why would more profitable, larger companies charge for connections and capacity that smaller companies provide for free? Because they can."
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Netflix CEO On Net Neutrality: Large ISPs Are the Problem

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  • Re:I'm shocked! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @09:06PM (#47708583)

    Now we need the quasi-obligatory response that this is really a government problem, and if government weren't in there mucking about with needless regulation the free market would address the problem and we'd all be in broadband utopia at reasonable prices.

    Perhaps I don't quite understand your wording and this is not double speak, but assuming you wrote correctly this is a Government problem. At least in the realm of what the Governments role is supposed to be in a Capitalist economy.

    The majority of monopolization in the US is due exactly to monopolization by Government intervention. You may have to go deep to see it, and many people don't want to look that far, but it's all there. Start with Patent law and work your way out. Even if I could provide a better cheaper solution I could not implement it because I'd be stopped by the Government due to violating someone's patent.

    And lets not bullshit each other, the majority of the millions of patents (I'd say 99.9%) approved every year do not deal with actual inventions, but ideas that someone now owns. Many of these are never implemented, because it would harm the patent owners market share and profit margins.

    As I started with, it's possible that your statement is just worded in an obscure fashion and you would agree that this problem is due to the government.

  • Re:Big Data (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @09:47PM (#47708823)
    Netflix said CDNs were not able to keep up with demand and all those peering issues, so Netflix decided to do it themselves. Commercial CDNs are great for small companies that can't afford to create contracts with every ISP out there. This is how those CDNs make money, by charging lots of relatively small data companies. Since these CDNs have SLAs to up hold, they are willing to pay ISPs to make sure their SLAs are met.

    Modern SLAs are more about latency and jitter. Netflix doesn't care about this. Netflix also does not care about up time because their service can simply reroute to other data locations. All Netflix wants is bandwidth, and that's virtually free. No one pays for bandwidth anymore, they pay for SLAs or transit.
  • Re:Big Data (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DamnOregonian ( 963763 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @11:12PM (#47709275)
    An interesting gun... Here in People-Who-Are-Actually-Professional-Network-EngineersVille, we'd simply accept that our current cheapest-available-transit-provider has shitty connectivity (really? Cogent? really really? Well done, Netflix. Not pinching any pennies, at all) and get a provider that didn't offer bargain bin connectivity and shitty routes to just about everyone. But hey. It's entirely the receiving network's fault.
  • Re:Big Data (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @11:24PM (#47709333)

    Please show me the gun that's being used.

    This delusional refusal to acknowledge that anything but outright violence could ever be coercive is the acid that's quickly dissolving whatever credibility capitalism still has left and exposing the grinning skull of feudalism beneath the mask of prosperity. I wonder what economic system will replace it, once people finally get tired of having structural flaws treated as unchangeable laws of nature or blamed on their victim's personal weaknesses?

    The current climate is just like that which preceded the collapse of the Soviet Union: the prevailing myths are so much out of sync with reality people are running out of willing suspension of disbelief and losing their faith. No one believes anymore that hard work will be repaid with anything but layoffs, or that business success comes with a superior product rather than gaming the system, or that the rules are the same for everyone. The system has already lost its beating heart of credible mythology that can organize behaviour, it's just a matter of time before the necrosis of anarchy spreads everywhere.

  • Re:Big Data (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JWSmythe ( 446288 ) <jwsmythe@jwsmy[ ].com ['the' in gap]> on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @11:56PM (#47709477) Homepage Journal


    I used to run a big adult site. We wanted servers closer to the customers for speed. We made enough that we didn't really care about the connection costs. We'd put up server farms around the world where it suited our customers best.

    We owned every piece of equipment in our cabinet or cage (depending on the location). The provider equipment ended at the fiber they dropped to us, and the power outlets.

    Netflix was hosted with Amazon [] for a while. A couple years ago, they claimed to have started their own CDN [].

    Their own CDN site [] talks about putting Netflix gear out for free. So they are basically saying they want the free ride. No one gets rack space, power, and connections for free. The right thing to do would be to lease the space like everyone else does.

    But hey, they're loving to cry about being treated unfairly. They are the loudest ones about it. Honestly, other than speed complaints that are usually a fault, not a conspiracy, I don't know of anyone else talking about the same thing.

    It is possible that the world is ganging up on Netflix. It happened to Cogent, more than once []. That was mostly they refused to pay on their contractual obligations.

  • Re:Big Data (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Shatrat ( 855151 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @09:40AM (#47711765)

    No one gets rack space, power, and connections for free.

    It's not for free. The ISP gets a serious reduction in network congestion as a result. I'm a network planner for a national ISP in the US and deploying these caches has seriously cut down on our network load. For the cost of space and power for this cache I regained capacity on the network which would have cost 100s of thousands of dollars to build. You've fundamentally misunderstood the benefit to the ISP of deploying these. The only ISPs that don't deploy these are the ones that also get a lot of revenue from video such as Cable and FTTH providers. They don't WANT to reduce the congestion because it boosts their IPTV revenue.

  • Re:Big Data (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ArhcAngel ( 247594 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @10:42AM (#47712251)
    I'm not sure if you are unfamiliar with the situation or just have a portfolio full of ComCast stock but There is some very insightful material over at Level 3 [] that paints a clear picture of just who is ganging up on who. And Netflix isn't the only Internet site that suffers from these ISP's greed. They just happen to be the largest. And as far as their CDN how is relieving the congestion on your network not a payment in and of itself? Netflix traffic from the backbone would decrease 90% once they are allowed to put their CDN inside your network leaving you free to use it for other traffic. If Netflix is causing the congestion then allowing them to put their CDN in is a win/win but ISPs want Netflix to lose so their on demand service can pick up those customers. If you truly want the truth then read the articles in the link.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead