Comcast customers are about to get improved streaming service from Netflix after the two companies announced on Sunday an agreement to give Netflix a direct connection to the broadband provider. As part of the deal, Netflix has agreed to pay Comcast for direct access, the first time the online streaming video company is paying a broadband provider in the US.
This agreement means that Netflix will deliver its movies and TV programs to Comcast’s broadband network as opposed through third party providers, giving viewers faster streaming speeds for watching movies and TV programs.
The deal could also lead to Netflix striking similar arrangements, known in the industry as interconnect agreements, with other major broadband providers like Verizon and AT&T, said a CNBC story.
After the D.C. Circuit court struck down the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules last month—which allows ISPs to slow or block web traffic and sites–Verizon was accused of taking advantage of the ruling.
David Raphael from Texas wrote on his tech blog that Verizon FiOs was intentionally throttling Netflix subscribers and other Internet users who rely on Amazon’s cloud computing service. Verizon denied the complaint, saying it continues to treat all traffic equally.
Raphael, a software engineer for the cloud-based security firm iScan Online, said he was first alerted to the problem on Jan. 26 when the president of his company complained of “major slowdowns” while using iScan remotely. After determining that nothing was amiss with iScan’s product, Raphael returned home to find that his own connection to Amazon Web Services (AWS) — on which iScan runs — had been degraded. Connections to AWS were limited to 40 kBps, Raphael said — about 240 times slower than the 75 Mbps fiber optic connection Raphael was paying for. Raphael discovered that even content hosted on AWS by others, including Netflix, was also slower, noted a Washington Post story.
Back to Comcast, CNBC reports the companies said in a joint statement that they have been “working collaboratively over many months” to strike a multi-year agreement. Netflix will not receive preferential network treatment, the companies said.
With more than 44 million subscribers throughout the world, Netflix has been making an effort to connect directly with broadband Internet providers. It has struck similar deals with Cablevision and Cox, though Netflix did not pay for these connections.