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[Netflix] The Misconception About Internet Fast Lanes

post #1 of 72
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Quote:
In the ongoing discussion about net neutrality, there’s been quite a bit of confusion about so-called fast lanes on the Internet. I’d like to spend a few moments clarifying what these fast lanes are and why they are not a good thing. While some media reports have suggested otherwise, Netflix and other Internet content providers are not using fast lanes to deliver their content to consumers.

First, what’s a fast lane on the Internet? Simply put, a fast lane is where one person’s data travelling on an Internet Service Providers (ISPs) last-mile network gets priority delivery over another’s. A helpful way to think about fast lanes is by visualizing cars on a multi-lane highway where one of the lanes can only be used if you pay a toll. The toll lane only becomes attractive because the other lanes are too slow. Only the person controlling the network -- the ISP -- can slow down traffic to make someone else’s go faster.
Quote:
This creates two fundamental problems. Allowing fast lanes gives ISPs a perverse incentive to boost revenues by allowing their networks to congest. It also gives them outsize power to pick winners and losers on the Internet. Those who can’t pay for fast lanes will suffer, entrenching incumbents while undermining the innovative power of the Internet. While the largest ISPs have said they’re not interested in creating fast lanes, one need only look at how they have sought to monetize their network interconnection points to get a glimpse of the future.

It is at these points -- where our traffic enters an ISPs network -- where Netflix and others have been forced to pay Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and Time Warner access fees to reach our mutual customers. Without those payments, ISPs allowed these connection points to congest, resulting in a poor video streaming experience for Netflix users on those networks. While Netflix was able to meet the demand for payments, we continue to believe this practice stands in contrast to an open Internet and all its promise.

SOURCE ADDED

Not news really but it is worth posting.

also sounds a lot like extortion...just saying.
Edited by Master__Shake - 1/13/15 at 10:22am
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post #2 of 72
wtb source
post #3 of 72
I feel like I read this a long time ago.
post #4 of 72
    
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post #5 of 72
In the USA, I am very cynical about this improving. ISPs have too much political power (read: money to donate to politicians) for the FCC or any other government organization to really go after their mafia/cartel-like practices.

It's really sad to me that the USA, once a giant in technological innovation, is moving towards being a technological has-been, where too many wealthy incumbent powers-at-be work to stifle all innovation in various markets that may threaten them.

It's nice to see Netflix and a few other decent size corporations working to get the right thing done (because individual citizens have almost zero power on this), but I think that in the end, the largest pocketbooks win out, and that's the ISPs. mad.gif
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post #6 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMack70 View Post

In the USA, I am very cynical about this improving. ISPs have too much political power (read: money to donate to politicians) for the FCC or any other government organization to really go after their mafia/cartel-like practices.

It's really sad to me that the USA, once a giant in technological innovation, is moving towards being a technological has-been, where too many wealthy incumbent powers-at-be work to stifle all innovation in various markets that may threaten them.

It's nice to see Netflix and a few other decent size corporations working to get the right thing done (because individual citizens have almost zero power on this), but I think that in the end, the largest pocketbooks win out, and that's the ISPs. mad.gif

The issue is government. These ISP's would have little powerful to pull stunts like this if they stopped receiving subsidies. Giving them hundreds of millions a year in subsidies not only creates a dependency (See: why zoo's and wildlife parks discourage feeding local wildlife), it also creates leverage for them as we have seen AT&T and Comcast both say that unless they receive more money they cannot create more infrastructure.
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post #7 of 72
FYI Netflix accounts for over 1/3 of all internet traffic in the U.S.


I'm playing devil's advocate here... ISPs have their problems too, but they have a pretty good reason to ask Netflix for more money.
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post #8 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucethemoose View Post

FYI Netflix accounts for over 1/3 of all internet traffic in the U.S.


I'm playing devil's advocate here... ISPs have their problems too, but they have a pretty good reason to ask Netflix for more money.

This would be true if the ISPs weren't already getting paid by their customers. ISPs just don't want to actually invest their own money in infrastructure because it would potentially reduce their profits in the short term, and all these companies care about is their short term profits.

Heck, the government has basically thrown money at them for infrastructure upgrades but the ISPs more or less didn't use it for that.
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post #9 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucethemoose View Post

FYI Netflix accounts for over 1/3 of all internet traffic in the U.S.


I'm playing devil's advocate here... ISPs have their problems too, but they have a pretty good reason to ask Netflix for more money.

I don't need to play Devil's Advocate here, cause I am the ISP!

Yes, at peak usage about 1/3rd, actually a little more these days, of traffic goes directly to Netflix.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMack70 View Post

This would be true if the ISPs weren't already getting paid by their customers. ISPs just don't want to actually invest their own money in infrastructure because it would potentially reduce their profits in the short term, and all these companies care about is their short term profits.

Heck, the government has basically thrown money at them for infrastructure upgrades but the ISPs more or less didn't use it for that.

A few things here....

You are correct, our customers are paying us for that link already. It is nothing but extortion that Comcast then turned around and charged Netflix, although this article isn't anything new and has been an issue within the ISP world for a very long time. Double dipping is a huge issue, and people really don't know about it.

The other point was about infrastructure roll-out; the money given to the big guys was used to roll-out their networks, they expanded hugely with it. They just aren't providing access to it like we dreamed it would be after the money was spent.
    
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post #10 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucethemoose View Post

FYI Netflix accounts for over 1/3 of all internet traffic in the U.S.


I'm playing devil's advocate here... ISPs have their problems too, but they have a pretty good reason to ask Netflix for more money.

no, no it isn't a good reason.
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