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.
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