stream wars

Netflix to Pay Comcast for Direct Access to Its Broadband

Photo: Nathaniel E. Bell/Netflix

Netflix and Comcast have struck a deal that will allow Netflix to directly access Comcast’s broadband system. As Gizmodo explains, prior to the agreement, Netflix was buying its bandwidth through an intermediary company by the name of Cogent, which in turn dealt with providers. There has been disagreement as to whether content companies or broadband providers should pay for the huge increase in internet traffic caused by streaming video, and the new arrangement sets a precedent for companies like Netflix to pay to deliver content to customers of broadband providers. The fear, as the New York Times puts it, is that if these deals become common, “only the wealthiest content companies will be able to afford to pay for them, which could stifle the next Netflix from ever getting off the ground.” But the immediate effect is that Comcast customers, whose Netflix delivery speeds have declined by more than 25 percent recently, should now have quick, clear visual access to Kevin Spacey at all times.

Netflix to Pay Comcast for Access to Broadband