The ugly side of non-net neutrality deals is emerging. In response to recent speeds that Netflix has been receiving from its middleman, Cogent, which handled its bandwidth needs between different ISPs, the video streaming company is instead going straight to the broadband providers. In other words, this could possibly mean preferential treatment, but it isn’t exactly disclosed. This is exactly the sort of thing the Federal Communications Commission wanted to avoid by laying basic internet ground rules (i.e. all internet data is equal), which the Federal court recently shot out of the sky.
The end result is faster streaming for Netflix customers, but no one knows exactly what else it might entail. Meanwhile, Comcast and Netflix are released a joint statement about the deal:
Comcast Corporation and Netflix, Inc. today announced a mutually beneficial interconnection agreement that will provide Comcast’s U.S. broadband customers with a high-quality Netflix video experience for years to come. Working collaboratively over many months, the companies have established a more direct connection between Netflix and Comcast, similar to other networks, that’s already delivering an even better user experience to consumers, while also allowing for future growth in Netflix traffic. Netflix receives no preferential network treatment under the multi-year agreement, terms of which are not being disclosed.
Here’s to hoping this isn’t a trend.