Netflix Inks Peering Deal With Verizon

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FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Will Talk Net Neutrality With Congress On May 20

Netflix has signed an “interconnect agreement” with Verizon, an agreement similar in nature to the peering deal that it struck with Comcast. The deal will help Netflix get its content onto the ISPs networks.

In the travails of net neutrality, this sort of peering agreement is a new frontier. Although it is acting in a diametrically opposite fashion, Netflix has written that in its estimation, paid peering agreements in which content providers are charged for better access to an ISPs network should be banned.

It pairs that idea to the core concept of net neutrality — that content is treated neutrality on ISP networks. It calls the twin ideas “strong” net neutrality.

However, to protect its customer service in the short term, Netflix is paying the very fines it doesn’t want to, as its delivery to consumers across a number of ISPs was falling quickly. Paying up was the lesser of two tough choices.

Happily for Netflix, the financial impact appears to be small thus far. Given that the cost of the first peering agreement was modest, the total expense of both is likely still small.

The FCC and House of Representatives will debate net neutrality on May 20. A controversial proposal that would allow for incumbent companies to pay for “fast lane” access on ISP networks will be examined at that time.

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