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Is Netflix Responsible For Slowing Its Own Content?

by Todd Haselton | April 25, 2014April 25, 2014 8:30 am PST

Netflix Earning Report

Netflix and Comcast are partners right now. Netflix pays the cable provider to make sure that its streaming data service gets to customers uninterrupted. However, Netflix also publicly opposed the planned merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable in its earnings report earlier this week, creating a bit of a tiff between the two partners. Now, following the public opposition, Comcast is throwing its some accusations at Netflix.

Apparently Comcast wasn’t the one slowing down the Netflix data stream, but instead it was Netflix’s own decision to pass its data through a company called Cogent – which is apparently at the heart of the issue. In a blog post written in March by industry watcher Day Rayburn, which was cited in Comcast’s blog post, Rayburn argued that “the reason Cogent is the one transit provider we always seem to hear about is because Netflix continued to push their traffic through Cogent even though they knew it was already congested.”

Comcast’s argument is that its deal with Netflix is common, and that it and other cable companies have several ongoing deals that have spanned decades. The cable company argues that none of the deals have “harmed consumers or increased costs for content providers – if anything, they have decreased the costs those providers would have paid others.”

Obviously each company is trying to look out for itself. Netflix doesn’t want to pay more in the future to make sure its traffic gets through – something that’s ultimately at the root of the Net Neutrality debate. Meanwhile, Comcast is now blaming Netflix’s streaming problems on other issues in an effort to show that content providers aren’t being forced into paying for improved services.

Comcast Re/Code

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...