Broadband providers get a leg up as Netflix ends standoff with Comcast

|By:, SA News Editor

In what could be a landmark pact for its dealings with other broadband providers, Netflix (NFLX) agrees to pay Comcast (CMCSA) to ensure its shows stream smoothly to the cable operators' customers.

The debate: Who should bear the cost of upgrading Internet networks to carry the growing volume of online video - broadband providers (like Comcast) or content companies (like Netflix). While some big content names have begun paying the providers for faster and smoother access, Netflix - until now - has been a holdout, and today's agreement likely paves the way for similar deals with major broadband companies like Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T), and Time Warner (TWC).

The agreement, of course, comes just days after Comcast agreed to buy TIme Warner in a deal which would make it by far the largest provider of broadband in the U.S., and it removes one potential regulatory issue hanging over the acquisition.

From Friday: Signs point to a Netflix/Comcast deal