[sc:internet-category ]Here’s a question, does the Netflix/Comcast deal break Net neutrality?
If you haven’t been paying attention, Netflix has entered in to an agreement with Comcast to ensure their traffic gets delivered to end-user.
But the stubborn part of the deal is that there are so few details as to what is in it.
It boils down to two possible scenarios in my mind:
- Netflix is paying for preferential treatment of its traffic.
- Netflix is paying for physical access to the Comcast network.
There’s an important difference here which must be answered before you can decide if Net neutrality is being infringed upon.
If Netflix is paying for preferential treatment, then that violates Net Neutrality and something should be done.
However if they are buying physical access (either by stringing a piece of fiber between the Netflix data center and Comcast’s, or renting space for a Netflix rack in the Comcast data center) then it probably doesn’t invoke any Net Neutrality issues.
Part of the basic design of the Internet is to allow for services to be distributed across a wide geographical area, but any good network designer would tell you that placing your data closer to your users only makes sense.
It may even save Netflix money in the long run, reducing their bandwidth requirements to deliver content to end users.
Either way, the Internet seems unlikely to come to an end any time soon.