osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

Netflix, Level 3, Cogent Unhappy With Paying Tolls To Comcast.

Netflix makes the amazingly brave move of denouncing its own deal with Comcast as an exercise of market power and pushes the FCC to do something about it. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings blog post here. Good coverage from my favorite tech writers Stacy Higginbotham and Jon Brodkin.

I say "brave" because I have dealt with Comcast before. Let us just say that they do not make life easy for the companies that dare to defy them before the regulators.

Comcast, for its part, reassures the Ukrainian people that no one respects their territorial integrity more than they do but that Crimea has always been part of Comcast reassures the world that no company has a stronger commitment to network neutrality than Comcast and that the "paid peering"/interconnection deal it negotiated with Netflix was "an amicable, market-based solution to our interconnection issues" that "demonstrates the effectiveness of the market as a mechanism to deal with these matters."

Meanwhile, the two largest Tier 1 backbone providers not integrated with a residential ISP in the U.S., Level 3 and Cogent, have likewise urged the FCC to wake up and take action. Level 3 has not yet made clear what it wants the FCC to do about it. You can see Level 3's original blog post here and good coverage by Stacy here.

But Cogent has gone further than anyone, they have actually asked the FCC in an official FCC filing to recognize that the business of shipping bits is a "telecommunications service." As it happens, I have long said that this is true and what the FCC ought to do, as I see little difference between the business of shipping voice and the business of shipping bits in terms of the definition of "telecommunications service" (47 U.S.C. 153(51) for anyone who wants to look). Gotta rush now so will not link to my copious blogging on the subject.

So we are off to war, with Netflix and the non-vertically integrated Tier 1 backbone providers deciding to rage against the dying of the light rather than go gently into that good night. 

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