Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is calling for Net Neutrality — and calling out Internet service providers for not doing the same.
In a blog post on Netflix's website, Hastings criticizes big ISPs for abusing their market position to levy extra fees, slow down content delivery and chop quality, in some cases simply because they can.
"They effectively control access to millions of consumers and are willing to sacrifice the interests of their own customers to press Netflix and others to pay."
Hastings argues anyone should be able to access any content at any time, at the connection speeds they pay for. In other words: if you want to binge-watch House of Cards in HD, nothing should stop you. (Via Netflix)
The post follows a landmark deal between Netflix and Comcast, in which Netflix pays Comcast for peering — connecting its servers to Comcast's, to ensure faster and higher quality video for end viewers. (Via The Wall Street Journa')
Netflix obviously isn't thrilled with paying up, but in the response it sent to Ars Technica and other sites covering this development, Comcast seems to suggest that's just good business.
"Providers like Netflix have always paid for their interconnection to the Internet and have always had ample options to ensure that their customers receive an optimal performance through all ISPs at a fair price."
But peering could have shaken out differently. Earlier this year, the courts struck down new FCC rules that would have prevented ISPs from charging content providers interconnection fees. (Via uscourts.gov)
Still, not all is lost. "What we just learned from a senior official at the FCC is Tom Wheeler is going to effectively go back to his fellow commissioners and say 'let's try this again. Let's write these rules a second time.'" (Via Bloomberg)
GigaOM reports Netflix has filed Hastings' post with the FCC as formal comment on the issue of Net Neutrality.
In the meantime, Netflix says, it will play — and pay — by ISP rules so customers can keep watching.