Streaming problems have pushed
Netflix to make what many are saying is an unprecedented deal to access a faster, “direct” connection with Comcast broadband service.
The deal, which was announced over the
weekend, would solve problems that some Netflix consumers have had with stalling video signals, “buffering” with Comcast broadband service.
The pact also comes just days
after Comcast, the No. 1 cable operator in the U.S, has agreed to merge with Time Warner, the second-largest U.S. cable operator, for $45 billion. Comcast would control over 30% of U.S. cable TV homes
and a 40% of all U.S. broadband homes.
What has not been determined is whether the Comcast-Netflix deal violates the FCC’s “Net-neutrality” rules where all content
providers should get equal and free access to consumers.
By having a “direct” connection to its consumers, Netflix eliminates middlemen that control and carry traffic to
Comcast. No financial details were disclosed, but reports suggest the deal could be worth several million dollars.
Netflix has some 33 million U.S. subscribers, and analysts say at times it
can account for nearly 30% of all U.S. broadband traffic. Analyst now worry that other content providers will need to make similar deals with broadband providers.