Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ blog post on Net Neutrality

If discussions of net neutrality make your eyes glaze over, this is a good read. Clear and thoughtful, without being too parochial. I recognize that Netflix has a vested interest in how this plays out, but you can’t ignore the fact that Reed Hastings has a unique vantage point. He’s at the center of this storm.

All that said, here’s another read to balance things out, get a more objective point of view. Good to keep in mind that Netflix is a business, not a consumer service. [Hat tip to Patrick Bisenius]



  • Awax

    This is 100% bullshit.

    Historically, the web was rather uniform, with data flowing from and to millions of sites. At that time, tiers 2 and tiers 3 operators negotiated free peering agreements. Since data flowing in and out their network was more or less equal, what was the point of measuring te amount and data and billing for it since the metering would surely add complexity, slow the traffic and not bring significant amount of money since the flows were equivalents. So on one side, ISP were charging their clients for the data exchanged and on the other, the data flowing to and from other networks was transferred for free BECAUSE it was equal in term of volume.

    Then came the massive data providers like YouTube and Netflix. Video is a very special kind of data on the internet because it requires massive amounts of bandwidth, WAY more than text, images and applications.

    This data flow strongly changes the balance of data exchanged between ISP and backbone operators. ISP were suddenly submerged in the firehose of NetFlix and YouTube, coming from the “free” peering connection while the tiers 2 and tiers 3 could charge a dime to NetFlix and YouTube because they leverage their outdated “free peering” agreement to dump their data into the ISP network. Would a data provider connect to an ISP, such an ISP would never agree to a free “peering” agreement because such a connection wouldn’t be balanced. So on one side, the ISP charge the client from connecting their home and providing data while on the other side, they get … nothing because of outdated peering agreements.

    Real net neutrality would be charging a fair and non discriminatory price for the actual amount of data exchange to anyone connecting to their network, client or provider. That way, instead of having to raise the price of internet to all clients, NetFlix would have raise the price of its monthly fee to compensate for its data usage and so only clients using NetFlix would pay for this extra induced cost (however, this money has to be paid to NetFlix to pay the ISP later and not directly the ISP).

    • Awax

      Example: in FR, Cogent was in conflict with Orange ISP for not upgrading the interconnection bandwidth. Orange required Cogent to cancel the free peering agreement and start paying for the data to upgrade the interconnection.

      Cogent raised the issue in front of a juge, stating that Orange wasn’t respecting their peering agreement.

      During the trial, Cogent was slammed because the actual data flow was 13 to 1 coming from Cogent into Orange and they lost the trial because the interconnection wasn’t a “peer” connection at all.

    • Moeskido

      Oh, Awax. I almost forgot. Your local water utility left a message saying they’re going to charge you more for water you drink as opposed to water you bathe in.

  • dr.no

    @Avax,

    Did you type that in one go or are you paid shill twisting to get some point which has no merit like Video is special kind of data.

    It is not the tier operators who promised unlimited data and theoretical bandwidth which they only provide when doing speedtest.net

    More bullshit from the industry which stole billions from taxpayer to build non existent network and now wants to milk the cow that was given free.

    If you had any balls you would go the letter of the contract you sign with your customer which you seem not to be able to do even when you gouge them every freaking month.