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Hastings shows no love for Comcast in neutrality manifesto

  • Direct peering deals such as the one Netflix (NFLX -3.7%) struck with Comcast are a "toll to the powerful ISPs to protect our consumer experience," says Reed Hastings in a much-discussed blog post calling for tougher net neutrality rules to "protect an open, competitive Internet."
  • Though analysts have argued the Netflix/Comcast deal could actually lower Netflix's bandwidth costs, Hastings declares action is needed to keep cable/phone duopolies from having undue leverage against Web service providers.
  • He dismisses ISP complaints about Netflix's huge downstream volumes by arguing Netflix doesn't get a cut of the high-margin broadband revenue ISPs generate, and by noting ISPs don't pay fees for services (e.g. online backup) that generate heavier upstream volumes.
  • Level 3 (LVLT -0.6%) and Cogent (CCOI -0.6%), each of whom get charged by ISPs for acting as intermediaries for the likes of Netflix (assuming no direct peering), also call peering a neutrality issue. Today, Cogent offered to pay for capacity upgrades at ISP peering points in lieu of service payments, while arguing ISPs should ultimately be regulated as common carriers.
  • Dan Rayburn isn't sold on Hastings' arguments. "Netflix likes to make it sound like there is only one way to deliver videos on the Internet when in fact, there are multiple ways ...  the company that should be blamed will be different depending on the business situation."
Comments (16)
  • ultraz2@aol.com
    , contributor
    Comments (530) | Send Message
     
    I don't know much about what is going on here. But what I do know is that I pay $189 a month for Comcast triple play and feel that I am getting taken advantage of tremendously. Why do we have to pay Comcast for channel bundling that we don't even watch?I don't speak Spanish and should't have to pay Comcast for Spanish speaking channels , and in my opinion this is just one example of how Comcast customers are being taken advantage of. We should not have to pay for those channels that we do NOT watch. We,the public are being taken advantage of. The original infrastucture of Comcast was paid for many years ago, thus, prices for Comcast service should be dropping dramatically. AND THEY ARE NOT. When my contract is up I will pull the plug on Comcast and find a cheaper service.
    21 Mar, 04:01 PM Reply Like
  • Larry Smith
    , contributor
    Comments (2502) | Send Message
     
    Don't blame Comcast, blame the providers. Fox, Disney, CBS, etc. all own multiple channels, when it comes time to negotiate carriage fees, the big content companies sell all their channels as a bundle. Comcast, Dish, Time Warner, whatever, cannot say, we do not want to carry Fox Business because no one watches it, they have to take all the Fox stations, all the Disney stations, all the CBS stations etc. In addition, cable companies have to carry local stations, so if you have Spanish language channels in your viewing area as I do, cable must carry them.
    21 Mar, 05:56 PM Reply Like
  • chopchop0
    , contributor
    Comments (3418) | Send Message
     
    CMCSA is unique though in that it plays both sides of the fence with NBC Universal ownership.

     

    IT also makes it a compelling investment in my portfolio :)
    22 Mar, 04:41 PM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (831) | Send Message
     
    I didn't realize when I pay my comcast internet bill that it didn't include netflix service. I have to pay extra via my netflix bill to get full broadband. This is a great example of the necessity of regulation in our markets.
    21 Mar, 08:16 PM Reply Like
  • SoldHigh
    , contributor
    Comments (1013) | Send Message
     
    High cable fees are why so many people are getting rid of cable in favor of DSL, (or unbundling and keeping just the internet access). I can't wait until we can get Google Fiber :D
    21 Mar, 10:28 PM Reply Like
  • MattZN2
    , contributor
    Comments (742) | Send Message
     
    The basic problem is that Comcast is trying to double-dip. They already charge users excessive fees for internet service, and even more if you get the higher level services that offer more bandwidth. As a customer of comcast, I'm already paying them for my internet access. Why should an internet service like Netflix have to pay them to deliver it to me? I've already paid for the bandwidth.

     

    -Matt
    22 Mar, 12:22 AM Reply Like
  • Sakelaris
    , contributor
    Comments (1403) | Send Message
     
    It will be nice if this can all be handled through negotiation in the upcoming months and the Reed Hastings post left that open as a possibility. However, it must also be understood that in the absence of successful negotiations there MUST be the threat of new regulations from Congress.

     

    The internet line that enters my property is morally no different from the lines for my gas or electric service. My gas and electric companies cannot adjust my terms of service without getting permission from a government agency based upon what is perceived to be the public good. The gas and electric companies know that and accept it as an integral part of the business they chose to be in. Why can't the internet service provider companies see that they could be subject to some regulation as well?
    22 Mar, 08:51 AM Reply Like
  • kata
    , contributor
    Comments (571) | Send Message
     
    What about Barry Dillers new Aereo business? Doesn't that eliminate the need for large access charges? I think its winding its way through the courts.
    22 Mar, 10:08 AM Reply Like
  • ultraz2@aol.com
    , contributor
    Comments (530) | Send Message
     
    I can't wait for Apple fiber.
    22 Mar, 02:19 PM Reply Like
  • ultraz2@aol.com
    , contributor
    Comments (530) | Send Message
     
    Matt ZN2, your absolutely right. So when Netflix pays Comcast ,we have to pay twice because Netflix will pass the cost onto us. Another example of a good for nothing US CONGRESS and a good for nothing US SENATE. They are not only allowing big business to milk middle class Americans for excessive and or duplicate fees but allowing them get away with it.
    22 Mar, 02:29 PM Reply Like
  • ultraz2@aol.com
    , contributor
    Comments (530) | Send Message
     
    CUT THE CABLE CORD
    22 Mar, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • Patent News
    , contributor
    Comments (1321) | Send Message
     
    stop paying for cable netflix is cheap and you can lots of other things online for free or almost nothing
    22 Mar, 08:01 PM Reply Like
  • kata
    , contributor
    Comments (571) | Send Message
     
    How do you get Netflix without a cable connection of some type. I'd love to get the cable bill down but you still need it for your high speed connection and to get Netflix.
    23 Mar, 01:40 AM Reply Like
  • Sakelaris
    , contributor
    Comments (1403) | Send Message
     
    Just call your cable company and cancel the cable service. Keep enough of a connection so your can still get a decent picture on the Netflix streaming. You will save some money.

     

    To add even more programming to your life, add the Netflix DVD service; perhaps even Amazon Prime.
    23 Mar, 07:31 AM Reply Like
  • kata
    , contributor
    Comments (571) | Send Message
     
    Your "..just... Keep enough.." comment is exactly the point. It IS a cable connection. You cant have access to Netflix or Amazon or anyplace else without a cable connection or a DSL connection or some other way to get on the internet. And why have Amazon Prime when you have Netflix? They are both movie/tv show rental services, so is Verizon RedBox or Hulu.

     

    The only difference between them is the exclusivity they may have with certain forms of content. And sooner or later, all forms of content will be available everywhere one way or the other.

     

    Barry Diller's Aereo may provide us with live streaming on any device for a negligible fee, if Mr. Diller prevails in the courts. Imagine sitting on a beach or in a park and working or watching tv or reading a book, all on any device, in real time. You would still pay for the cable connection, you would still watch what you wanted to watch. And what is available to you on your TV that you currently pay for, would be available to you everywhere.

     

    But there is a real danger if one company is in control of too much of the on ramp to content and that's the reason for saying NO to Comcast. Then they can charge anything and block anything they want.
    23 Mar, 12:41 PM Reply Like
  • Sakelaris
    , contributor
    Comments (1403) | Send Message
     
    I agree with your concern about ISPs like Comcast.

     

    But please allow me to explain my personal suggestion for the best content at the lowest price: For about an average of $25 a month you can have the Netflix streaming service, the Netflix one DVD at-a-time service, and Amazon Prime. There is some overlap of content, but plenty of different content as well. Just avoid the Amazon pay-per-view options for the non-Prime content.

     

    Which leads me to your mention of Redbox streaming--so much of it involves paying additional pay-per-view charges. Yuck!

     

    Then there was your mention of Hulu--that is also a bad option. It is loaded with unavoidable commercials, it is mostly TV shows, and, in view of your concern about Comcast, you also might want to avoid Hulu because it is partially owned by Comcast. You can be sure that Comcast will not let Hulu become a better service, for they primarily want to keep folks watching their cable channels.

     

    So...do the Netflix and Amazon services and you will never miss cable.
    23 Mar, 09:00 PM Reply Like
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