& cplSiteName &

Netflix Adds AT&T to Pay-to-Peer List

Mari Silbey
7/30/2014
50%
50%

In the latest chapter in the net neutrality saga, Netflix has snared a paid interconnection agreement with AT&T in an attempt to improve video quality for AT&T's Internet subscribers, similar to Netflix's earlier deals with Comcast and Verizon, Mashable reports.

Despite a steady stream of invective between Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and the service provider community, the online video company continues to add to its list of paid peering deals across the US. These direct connections with last-mile Internet providers ensure that Netflix's video programming has a clearer path to consumers, increasing the quality of service and improving the company's relationship with its customers. (See Blog Wars: Verizon, Level 3 Duke it Out.)

Paid peering agreements are only one way that Netflix optimizes online video delivery. The company also partners with transit providers such as Cogent Communications Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: CCOI) and Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT), and it works with some ISPs to install caching appliances in the last-mile network.

However, the paid interconnection agreements with ISPs have sparked controversy because they illustrate the fact that content companies can buy premium access to Internet subscribers. Opponents say these connections create Internet fast lanes, and that they hurt smaller companies that can't afford the cost of high-quality video delivery. (See Comcast's Cohen: Define Internet Fast Lanes.)

Transit providers aren't sitting out the fight either. These middle-mile network companies have repeatedly complained that ISPs aren't giving them a fair deal in peering agreements, and that service providers are even allowing specific peering points to degrade in order to draw the ire of consumers. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has agreed to look into the problem even though Chairman Tom Wheeler has made it clear he doesn't believe interconnection deals fall under the umbrella of net neutrality. (See Net Neutrality: Level 3 Sees Peering Progress Soon and Net Neutrality Redux? FCC Probes Peering Problems.)

Further complicating the issue is the fact that even when paid agreements have been struck directly between Netflix and ISPs, the quality of service doesn't necessarily improve right away. While Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) subscribers have seen quality improvements since Netflix agreed to pay the service provider for a direct connection, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) subscribers haven't been so lucky. This may be in part because it takes time to upgrade connections, and may also be in part because Netflix is still relying to some extent on transit partners (which are also fighting with ISPs) for delivery to Verizon customers.


For more of Light Reading's coverage of paid peering agreements and the net neutrality battles, check out our OTT video content channel.


According to a statement by AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), the company reached its agreement with Netflix back in May and has been working to add interconnect capacity since that time. "We’re now beginning to turn up the connections," said a spokesperson, "a process that should be complete in the coming days."

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Michelle
50%
50%
Michelle,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/31/2014 | 10:30:06 PM
Re: Pay To Play
I'm really not looking forward an outcome that includes consumers paying more...
MarkC73
50%
50%
MarkC73,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/31/2014 | 10:53:03 AM
Verizon
I seriously doubt that time to upgrade has anything to do with a delay in Netflix-Verizon direct peering.  I speculate that its deal making gone awry.  The big loser in this is Cogent, more direct peerings means less need for its CDN for Netflix.
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/30/2014 | 5:27:48 PM
Pay To Play
This is indeed a complicated issue with good arguments on both sides about the equitable solutions. Somehow though it doesn't just seem that Netflix's actions are going to bode well for the others in the industry. As Netflix goes, so does the rest of the world? Where does the line end as costs rise, and consumers ultimately pay higher amounts to access internet services?
From The Founder
Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy: It's Time for SD-WAN Options

6|28|17   |   03:09   |   (0) comments


Paul Ruelas, director of network products for Masergy, explains how adding SD-WAN has changed the service mix for his company's customers. In some cases, the change is incremental, enabling more granular customer control. Masergy's newest version, SD-WAN Go, gives up some of those controls for a streamlined version targeting mid-sized customers with the most ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Intel Ushers in the Revolutionary 5G Era

6|28|17   |   5:00   |   (1) comment


5G will bring job opportunities for women in telco and IT, as well as a whole new era of communications for consumers and industries of all kinds, says Caroline Chan, vice president and general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division at Intel.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX at ANGA COM

6|27|17   |     |   (0) comments


At ANGA COM 2017, Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX, updates Alan Breznick with VeEX's new products and technology. This includes VeSion cloud-based platform for network monitoring, AT2500-3G advanced spectrum analyzer and MTTplus-900 WiFi Air Expert module. He also comments on DOCSIS 3.1 deployment and Remote PHY technology.
LRTV Custom TV
The Overall Objective Is to Win the Game

6|26|17   |     |   (0) comments


SCTE•ISBE's Chris Bastian discusses Energy 2020's success to date and the importance of a flexible approach that allows for changes in specific strategies in order to reach significant milestones.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Let's Get Past SD-WAN Hype

6|23|17   |   04:02   |   (0) comments


Technology becomes a "shiny object" unless it's properly focused on solving business needs for enterprise customers, says Bill Grubbs, network solutions architect for CenturyLink. He explains to Light Reading why SD-WAN deployments have to be tailored to specific needs – and more.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera's Sales Director Paints Tech's Big Picture

6|21|17   |   4:14   |   (1) comment


Shannon Williams, Infinera's director of sales, shares how she achieves work's many balancing acts -- between her role and the broader company, today and tomorrow's tech and more.
LRTV Custom TV
SD-WAN Innovation & Trends

6|20|17   |     |   (0) comments


Versa CEO Kelly Ahuja discusses with Carol Wilson the current status and trends in the SD-WAN market, Versa's innovation around building a software platform with broad contextualization, and the advantages that startups can bring to the SD-WAN market.
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Dario Talmesio on 5G in Europe

6|20|17   |   02:16   |   (0) comments


At 5G World 2017, Dario Talmesio, principal analyst and practice leader on Ovum's fixed and mobile telecoms European team, explains the emerging trends amongst European operators as they prepare for 5G.
LRTV Custom TV
Putting Power on a Pedestal

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


ARRIS's John Ulm says a major accomplishment of SCTE•ISBE's Energy 2020 program is increased focus on power cost and consumption, including inclusion of energy requirements in operators' RFPs and RFIs.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit Access: The Last-Mile Pipe for All Future Services

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


A Gigabit access platform being deployed today must be able to deliver all types of services to an increasing number of devices. A non-blocking architecture is necessary to support the ever-increasing growth in bandwidth demand. The Huawei Gigabit access solution is based on a distributed design that is fully scalable to deliver a unprecedented performance.
LRTV Custom TV
Key Factors to Successfully Deploy an SD-WAN Service

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


As service providers transition their SD-WAN solution from trials and limited deployments into production at large scale, there are important considerations to successfully operationalize these solutions and realize their full potential, without adding complexity, introducing uncertainty or disrupting current business operations. Sunil Khandekar, CEO and Founder ...
LRTV Custom TV
IoT Solutions: Rational Exuberance

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


IoT solutions are morphing from hype into viable business opportunities. Huawei has the platform and ecosystem support to help carriers successfully address new business opportunities in the IoT space.
Upcoming Live Events
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
No Imagination: UK Chip Biz Goes Up for Sale
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/22/2017
Does AT&T Deserve Time Warner?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/23/2017
Hulu Is Greatest Threat to Pay-TV Providers – Study
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 6/27/2017
Calix: Russo's Not-So-Overnight Success?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 6/28/2017
Verizon Takes 'One Fiber' to More Cities
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/22/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.