Netflix just can’t seem to stop pissing off ISPs. At a recent panel they took a few shots at both AT&T and Comcast, just for fun. Things got started when Netflix went after AT&T’s paid peering program. This is where content providers have to pay extra to ensure proper service levels to customers on an ISP’s network. AT&T says that Netflix has always paid these, it is just that the name has changed and well they are really not charges anyway.
Unless you have been living under a rock you have probably heard all about ISPs asking the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) for the right to charge premium fees for prime access across their networks. The argument started when Comcast was punished by the FCC for throttling certain types of traffic. This behavior was originally defended under the blanket of preventing piracy, but it was soon discovered that Comcast had other plans.
Times they are a changing... There once was a time when the FCC working to make sure that the cable companies were not trying to take advantage of consumers. We saw them push a series of regulations that prohibited the cable companies that were also ISPs from throttling bandwidth. These were followed by more regulations that prevented the same companied from favoring their own services when it came to traffic caps. It really looked like the consumer had a friend in the FCC. Unfortunately all of that changed in the last few months. We have seen them reverse some of the same decisions that they made only a year ago. Now they have done it again and are allowing cable companies to force you to pay rent on the set-top boxes that are required to view premium channels.