The Net Neutrality debate in full swing: Comcast wants to charge Level 3 for the delivery of the Netflix content over its network because such content represents a disproportionately high amount of traffic. What gives?
There’s a very interesting row going on over the pond concerning who pays for network access that has a useful contribution to the Net Neutrality debate in the UK. I am a late arrival here but it is certainly worth recording.
In a nutshell US video streaming provider Netflix recently awarded its content delivery contract to global network operator Level 3. A great many of Netflix customers use Comcast as their ISP. Comcast and Level 3 have a peering agreement whereby they carry each other’s traffic free of charge.
Comcast now wants to charge Level 3 for the delivery of the content over its network because Netflix represents a disproportionately high amount of traffic.
Level 3 is trying to get the US Authorities involved with a Net Neutrality angle. Comcast does have a fair point to make because the Level3/Netflix traffic amounts to 27 x 10Gbit network ports – 2 times its existing traffic levels and 5 x the level of traffic that Comcast sends to Level 3.
This is a beauty and mirrors public conversations going on in the UK including Ed Vaizey’s recent announcement that ISPs should be left to sort out their own commercial arrangements for content delivery – an announcement that subsequently with retrospective caveats (clarifications?!) by the Minister.
I’m not going to provide any links to other sources here – a Google search for “netflix level 3” yields 585,000 results. This could provide us with a precedent that will influence other commercial discussions and, no doubt public debate in the UK.