recommended reading

Netflix Wants to Expand Federal Rules on Internet Speeds

Twin Design / Shutterstock.com

Netflix is calling for new federal regulations to ensure it doesn't have to pay extra fees to deliver high-quality video streams to its customers.

In a blog post Thursday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings warned that without government intervention, negotiations between Web services and Internet providers over connection deals could result in the kinds of blackouts that already plague cable television.

Last month, Netflix agreed to pay for direct access to Comcast's network. The agreement ensured smooth streaming for Comcast subscribers who watch Netflix, but it was the first time the Web video company had ever had to pay for such a direct connection deal. Hastings called the fee that Comcast demanded an "arbitrary tax."

"If this kind of leverage is effective against Netflix, which is pretty large, imagine the plight of smaller services today and in the future," Hastings wrote in the blog post.

The Netflix chief executive urged the Federal Communications Commission to bar Internet providers from "charging a toll" for interconnection deals.

The FCC enacted net neutrality rules in 2010 that require Internet providers to treat all Internet traffic equally, but the rules never covered interconnection deals like the one between Netflix and Comcast.

The FCC is currently trying to rework its net neutrality rules after a federal court sided with Verizon in January and tossed out the old rules.

Hastings argued that the FCC should expand the new rules to ensure that Web services have free access to Internet providers' networks.

"The essence of net neutrality is that [Internet service providers] such as AT&T and Comcast don't restrict, influence or otherwise meddle with the choices consumers make," he said. "The traditional form of net neutrality which was recently overturned by a Verizon lawsuit is important, but insufficient."

In a statement, Comcast claimed it is a strong supporter of net neutrality but that the rules were never intended to deal with Internet connection deals.

"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," David L. Cohen, Comcast's executive vice president, said in a statement.

"We are happy that Comcast and Netflix were able to reach an amicable, market-based solution to our interconnection issues and believe that our agreement demonstrates the effectiveness of the market as a mechanism to deal with these matters.

(Image via Twin Design / Shutterstock.com)

Threatwatch Alert

Network intrusion / Software vulnerability

Hundreds of Thousands of Job Seekers' Information May Have Been Compromised by Hackers

See threatwatch report

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.