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Cable Companies: We're Afraid Netflix Will Demand Payment From ISPs

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the who-pays-whom-for-what dept.

Businesses 200

Dega704 (1454673) writes While the network neutrality debate has focused primarily on whether ISPs should be able to charge companies like Netflix for faster access to consumers, cable companies are now arguing that it's really Netflix who holds the market power to charge them. This argument popped up in comments submitted to the FCC by Time Warner Cable and industry groups that represent cable companies. (National Journal writer Brendan Sasso pointed this out.) The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), which represents many companies including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Cox, and Charter wrote to the FCC:

"Even if broadband providers had an incentive to degrade their customers' online experience in some circumstances, they have no practical ability to act on such an incentive. Today's Internet ecosystem is dominated by a number of "hyper-giants" with growing power over key aspects of the Internet experience—including Google in search, Netflix and Google (YouTube) in online video, Amazon and eBay in e-commerce, and Facebook in social media. If a broadband provider were to approach one of these hyper-giants and threaten to block or degrade access to its site if it refused to pay a significant fee, such a strategy almost certainly would be self-defeating, in light of the immediately hostile reaction of consumers to such conduct. Indeed, it is more likely that these large edge providers would seek to extract payment from ISPs for delivery of video over last-mile networks."
Related: an article at Gizmodo explains that it takes surprisingly little hardware to replicate (at least most of) Netflix's current online catalog in a local data center.

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What? (1, Insightful)

NitWit005 (1717412) | about 5 months ago | (#47536361)

What part of that suggests they're afraid Netflix will threaten them?

Re:What? (3, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | about 5 months ago | (#47536387)

Right in TFS: "Indeed, it is more likely that these large edge providers would seek to extract payment from ISPs for delivery of video over last-mile networks."

Re:What? (5, Insightful)

Travis Mansbridge (830557) | about 5 months ago | (#47536407)

The Telecommunications association seems to have forgotten how telecommunication works.. not to mention the meaning of the word "indeed"

Re:What? (4, Insightful)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about 5 months ago | (#47536551)

Yeah, i don't see how their supposed 'netflix is going to extort us' scare is supposed to work. Everything I remember about how the internet works pretty much invalidates the idea.

Re:What? (4, Interesting)

mc6809e (214243) | about 5 months ago | (#47536863)

Yeah, i don't see how their supposed 'netflix is going to extort us' scare is supposed to work. Everything I remember about how the internet works pretty much invalidates the idea.

I think they're looking at how cable companies have to pay content providers to broadcast their content.

Disney, ESPN, CNN, etc all charge the cable company for their content. If the cable company doesn't pay, then their customers don't get the channels.

Will this happen with websites or Netflix? It doesn't seem possible, yet it's hard to know just where all this is going.

Consider facebook. What would happen if suddenly facebook demanded an ISP pay them for access by the ISP's customers? Who would the customers blame? Would they simply give up on facebook or would they hound their ISP to pay up?

Re:What? (4, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | about 5 months ago | (#47536905)

Disney, ESPN, CNN all charge customers directly on the Internet, as does netflix.

If they started charging comcast/timewarner/cox/whoever for Internet services they would be double dipping. This cost would certainly be passed on to users who would be unhappy to be paying twice for the same service.

Facebook charging an ISP would also be passed on to the customers, at which point customers would protest. No one will knowingly part with money for Facebook. They'll stop using it before paying for it (knowingly). They'll pay for it by giving Facebook their data and tons of ads, but parting with cash so you can see someones dog chase its talk or lolcats not so much.

Re:What? (3, Interesting)

Wing_Zero (692394) | about 5 months ago | (#47537093)

TV Networks already double dip. they get paid for advertising, and they get paid for a cable carrier to add them to the channel list. now they have a triple dip as they ask customers to pay to gain dvr-type access straight from their web site. (which some add commercials to as well)

this kind of thing is why areo got hammered so quickly. they skipped the second dip for the TV stations. Now cable companies (falsely i hope) are saying that netflix may be in a position of getting a cut like a cable station or risk being blacklisted. (remember Dish network and FOX?)

Re:What? (3, Insightful)

pete6677 (681676) | about 5 months ago | (#47536949)

Now that Comcast will soon be the nation's only cable company, why don't they just tell the networks they will no longer pay for their channels once the current contract is up? What are the networks going to do, lose nearly all of their viewers overnight?

Re:What? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47537197)

Content would find a way to the consumer. In your thinking, the owner of the first printing press would have had a monopoly on print and obviously that isn't what happened. Where there is a paying customer, there will be a content provider. ISP roadblocks are only temporary and actually spur innovation far more than they disrupt it. ISPs are nothing without content that meets or exceeds the cost of their service. Let them destroy themselves.

Re:What? (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 5 months ago | (#47537125)

What will the consumers do, use another ISP. Oh wait they have monopolies and cartels. OK, what other leverage do the customers have. None. Suck it up sunshine, no Netflix for you. Guess you'll have to pay for that movie channel from xyz provider corp.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47537155)

Where has this played out? Find me an ISP that doesn't provide Netflix (in a free country) and then maybe we'll have a starting point for the failure in the system. Playing the "what if" game is ridiculous. You could hypothesize 100 scenarios in either case.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47537219)

I'll grant you that the hypotheticals are getting out of hand, but practically speaking no ISP will ever ban Netflix when there's so much money to be made for charging overage fees for bandwidth in excess of some farcically low cap.

I *have* gotten a bitchy email from my ISP thanks to a month with heavy Netflix streaming. They subsequently instituted caps with fees.

No need to ban Netflix when they can charge you more for the same amount of transfer and compound that by overselling their bandwidth capacity.

Re:What? (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 5 months ago | (#47536967)

What the ISPs are ACTUALLY afraid of is popular businesses like NetFlix doing what many other content providers have done when presented with higher costs of market participation have done. They simply stop providing content and let their consumers influence the carriers. It's the content providers who provide value to the carriers, not the other way around. And that fact becomes exceedingly clear when content providers push back by pulling out and fans/consumers get upset.

Can you imagine what would happen to even the most powerful ISP if NetFlix refused to send packets to endpoints controlled by such an ISP? Where do you think the consumer outrage would be focused? On NetFlix or the carrier? History suggests the outrage goes to the carrier who threatens and charges the content providers for the priviledge of connecting with consumers.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47537149)

It's not hard to understand. We see this in cable TV. Popular networks simply withhold their programming and force the providers to provide the network. The possible loss of consumers drives the provider to the bargaining table. You don't think an ISP that didn't provide Netflix wouldn't get a lot of consumer pressure?

Re:What? (5, Informative)

alen (225700) | about 5 months ago | (#47536415)

back in the 1990's ESPN extracted payment from every ISP for users to access the website

this was before watch ESPN and needing a cable subscription. this was at the dawn of the internet for people to access a "free"website.

Re:What? (5, Interesting)

ShaunC (203807) | about 5 months ago | (#47536453)

To some extent I'm sure it's still happening. As a Comcast subscriber I have access to an online streaming service called "WatchESPN" that lets me watch various ESPN channels on my computers or phones, as long as I'm on my Comcast internet connection. I don't use it, but I guarantee you that part of my monthly fee is paying for it, just like I don't watch any of the ESPN TV channels but I know a big chunk of my monthly cable TV fee goes straight to them. Of course ESPN also offers ESPN3.com which requires an additional monthly subscription on its own.

There used to be a chart with a nice breakdown of how much the average cable subscriber's bill goes to each of the content providers. ESPN was by far the biggest chunk, Disney/ABC took a good portion, etc. I'd love to see a recent breakdown if anyone has one.

Re:What? (1)

kevmeister (979231) | about 5 months ago | (#47536705)

There used to be a chart with a nice breakdown of how much the average cable subscriber's bill goes to each of the content providers. ESPN was by far the biggest chunk, Disney/ABC took a good portion, etc. I'd love to see a recent breakdown if anyone has one.

Odd that these should be separately enumerated as ESPN is a part of Disney as is ABC. It's all one happy money printing family.

Fuck ESPN (2)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 5 months ago | (#47536851)

ESPN is the most expensive cable channel. It accounts for the largest chunk of your bill. I have never watched ESPN and don't plan to. Why can't they go with a subscription model like HBO?

Re:Fuck ESPN (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47537167)

Because ESPN is one of the most watched cable networks. Just because you don't watch it doesn't mean the vast majority of the consumer base doesn't. I don't want to subsidize health care but I have to. I don't want to subsidize welfare but I have to. Their economic model is the pinnacle of Democratic commerce.

Re:What? (2)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 5 months ago | (#47536623)

They (Disney) are still extracting payments from the cable companies by requiring bundling of their media properties. If Comcast, Verizon, AT&T want ESPN they must carry ALL ESPN channels. It's one of the main reasons we can't get A La Carte programming.

Re:What? (1)

alvinrod (889928) | about 5 months ago | (#47536731)

So what if we can't get perfect a la carte options, I'll take the ability to select media company bundles over the terrible packages that the cable companies bundle together. Right now I have to get all the ESPN channels, all the network channels, all manner of other crap channels (E!, Hallmark channel, etc.), and a bunch of other stuff I don't want. I'd be glad to have the option of picking just the ESPN channels and HBO. A lot of people are stuck with an all or nothing option and at that point it's no longer solely the fault of the media conglomerates.

Re:What? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 5 months ago | (#47537173)

If Comcast, Verizon, AT&T want ESPN they must carry ALL ESPN channels. It's one of the main reasons we can't get A La Carte programming.

The *only* reason we don't have a la carte pricing is that the carriers refuse to provide it. The carrier may be required to "buy" ESPN 2-54 if a subscriber has ESPN 1, but I've never seen where the subscriber must "pay" for ESPN 2-54. They could still be a la carted with the prices proportional to the cost. The carriers suspect it would be a poor model, but nobody actually knows, they just refuse to try.

Re:What? (2)

slack_justyb (862874) | about 5 months ago | (#47536643)

Where the ISP argument breaks down is that, ESPN forced people who wanted their content to either pay or have a cable subscription. So if I didn't want to pay and didn't have cable, I'd have to find my "ESPN fix" (like I would have one) elsewhere, which most likely I could at something like any other flipping news site. But let's say that I can't do that. Well, then I guess I'll have to invent something to compete with ESPN. The flip side of that equation is if I don't like my cable company, I'm basically fucked. I have no other option and I cannot build something to compete with them (in the cable biz at least) because my county has laws on the books that prevent that kind of crap.

That is the big difference. A content provider tries to extort fees and we can find something else. A cable company randomly asks to fuck you in the ass and you have absolutely no choice about it. There literally is no one else. So this "mega" edge threat they are bitching about is not even a flipping issue, it's not even remotely an issue. To make the argument that the cable companies are making here would be like to argue how highways compete with airports. Yes they both have paved surfaces, but if you don't understand how one gets you to the other, then you're a fucking insane money twat.

I think at this point Comcast should just start cycling commercials showing Brian Roberts on his mega yacht looking real sad saying, "if you don't give me a total monopoly on the Internet, then I won't be able to expand my six bedroom, three bath yacht. I mean c'mon, if I can't do that, then how will my other 23 fucking houses that I own all over the world feel?" Because at this point, this guy is just going for bragging rights over how much he can truly extort from people.

PS: If you can't tell I have a very large dislike for Comcast/NBC and good comment there guy.

Re:What? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47537205)

I just don't have a cable subscription and torrent everything.

God damn, you sound like such a stupid little faggot. Your entire post was read in the voice of a sniveling little nerd.

Re: What? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47536593)

Because they are ruled by Republicans, and that is always what their kind does. Why wouldn't someone expect them to do what they always do?

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47536639)

What part of that suggests they're afraid Netflix will threaten them?

The part where they use this as a bullshit excuse to A) destroy net neutrality and B) charge you more regardless of what they are charged.

If you cannot read a greedy cocksucker for what it really is by this point, I really don't know what to say. They don't even hide anymore.

Cable companies (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 5 months ago | (#47536711)

Don't worry.

We'll just pirate the shit out of the video content if the service isn't implemented in a way we like.

Re: What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47536743)

Afraid of another market basket type customer outrage

RE: Fuck BETA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47536791)

No what!, Fuck beta and its masters.
I prefer to read slashdot as AC, but the stupid overlords of /. think they can render me into submissive by throwing me a fucking beta every once and so. This is done by IP address! I can read /. from certain IP I have access to without seeing the vomit for weeks or ever, but my home and work ip addresses have been captured as getting The Fucking Beta several times a day, regardless of preference or after logging in. Call it retribution.... This is profiling guys, so I am hiring a public notary to certify the recoding of this experiment, and show you how much manipulation the overlords of ./ are capable of.
Maybe ever a class-action will fit the bill.
Fuck BETA (just to match the IP with BETA BETA BETA, at fucking #beta #fucking_beta
search on twitter for the fucking beta experiment for class action at #beta #fucking_beta

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47537187)

Actually, ESPN already does this and they're owned by Disney. It's the reverse of net neutrality but it also should be illegal. What they do is charge the ISP by the number of total users, so an ISP might have to pay $0.10 per customer/month to ESPN for the privilege of seeing their online content.

Note that the user can't elect to pay for the content themselves, their only choice is to pick a provider who has made the deal with ESPN.

Posting Anonymously because Disney/ESPN lawyers are a pretty scary concept and I'm not sure if I can say this. They didn't make *ME* sign an NDA and we didn't accept their offer, which included us putting ads in our bill envelopes, running TV advertisements where possible, and raising the price by 1cent/customer each year for 5 years until the contract was up for renegotiation.

Even without being liable on paper I don't want to discuss it, but I wish it was common knowledge that they were fucking ISPs. They're trying to turn the Internet into cable TV.

Millionare panhandlers (4, Funny)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 5 months ago | (#47536365)

Reminds me of the stories of panhandlers begging at intersections who get picked up by their chauffeurs at the end of the day to go back to their mansions.

Car analogy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47536493)

It is like carmakers such as GM / Ford / Chrysler are saying that they are afraid of the DMV start charging them

Re:Millionare panhandlers (4, Insightful)

nadaou (535365) | about 5 months ago | (#47536745)

Reminds me of the stories of panhandlers begging at intersections
who get picked up by their chauffeurs at the end of the day to go back
to their mansions.

You mean complete imaginary bullshit made up by and propagated by greedy
sociopaths eager to rationalize their abandonment of their fellow man?

Yeah, something reminiscent in it.

Re:Millionare panhandlers (5, Informative)

tlambert (566799) | about 5 months ago | (#47536823)

Reminds me of the stories of panhandlers begging at intersections
who get picked up by their chauffeurs at the end of the day to go back
to their mansions.

You mean complete imaginary bullshit made up by and propagated by greedy
sociopaths eager to rationalize their abandonment of their fellow man?

Especially these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com] ...and lest you think this is a U.S. only thing...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

Re:Millionare panhandlers (4, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | about 5 months ago | (#47536859)

You mean complete imaginary bullshit made up by and propagated by greedy sociopaths eager to rationalize their abandonment of their fellow man?

"Greedy sociopaths" like EVERY charitable organization on earth, which tells you NOT to EVER give money to panhandlers?

A huge number of those begging for money, are quite comfortable and not hungry homeless people. Direct them to the nearest shelter, instead of giving them a dollar.

Re:Millionare panhandlers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47537175)

I live in a country where the social safety net is very good, but there are always people who won't be able to tolerate society and who can't go to a shelter (and being in the autism spectrum, I kind of understand why).

Saying to direct them to the nearest shelter just shows you lack empathy toward people who are not like you. But it's true neurotypical people generally do.

Re:Millionare panhandlers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47536865)

Now now, hold on pothead!

Where I live we have real panhandlers -- real homeless people. They're dirty, their often mentally ill, and they need help. They push their belongings around in a cart, they talk to themselves, they sleep in parks. They are truly destitute.

Where I work we have fake panhandlers. Clean clothes, nice shoes. They text on their phones next to a propped-up sign, they drink Starbucks while waiting for loose change. They often have their children with them for an emotional plea -- real homeless people never parade their kids around. On a hot day they have an umbrella and sunglasses. They have coolers with their lunch in it; gotta keep that sandwich nice and cold. And yes, I've seen many of them walk a few blocks to get into their car and drive away. It's not uncommon at all. I've seen them with professionally printed signs too, bright glossy orange text on white cardstock. No crumpled up cardboard for these guys, no sir. I've observed this for the past seven years of my life.

Please take that joint out of your mouth and actually use what's left of your brain. Don't repeat what people tell you. Think. Go out and see the world yourself. You may want to sit in your cozy chair, badmouthing people while you smoke a bowl, throwing around bullshit like "abandonment of their fellow man" while you do nothing to solve the problem yourself. Don't hate on other Slashdot posters for no reason. OP was in fact right, something you would have realized if you had actually used the senses you were born with, not those that have been dulled with drugs.

Get high on life, be nice to people, and know that yes, fake homeless people exist. They suck away resources from real homeless people. And dope-addled, worthless drug addicts like yourself trolling people on the internet are the lowest form of humanity this Earth has to offer.

Re:Millionare panhandlers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47537231)

0/10 lame troll.

It begins to make sense (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 5 months ago | (#47536397)

Market share is as important a part of the algorithym as bandwidth.

Don't discount the misplaced priorities of the masses.

Prhaps they don't affect change at the ballot box, but the thongs that really matter to them can drive them into a frenzy.

Re:It begins to make sense (1)

vomitology (2780489) | about 5 months ago | (#47536483)

Thongs that really matter can drive *anyone* into a frenzy? Have we learned nothing from Sisqo?

Re:It begins to make sense (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 5 months ago | (#47536587)

Harvester of the height-challenged produce has entered the thread.

Re:It begins to make sense (1)

unitron (5733) | about 5 months ago | (#47536669)

Market share is as important a part of the algorithym as bandwidth.

Don't discount the misplaced priorities of the masses.

Prhaps they don't affect change at the ballot box, but the thongs that really matter to them can drive them into a frenzy.

Especially if those thongs ride up and chafe.

Actions speak louder than words (4, Insightful)

forand (530402) | about 5 months ago | (#47536403)

This might be reasonable if it was coming from a group who hadn't spent huge sums of money fighting to stop legislation that would have made it illegal for either netflix or comcast to charge for the specific route. That being said if Comcast, Time Warner, etc. make Netflix pay to be inside their networks now and in the future Netflix turns around and says "if you don't pay us to stay we will remove our servers from your networks and your customers will have to get Netflix through standard routing" then I have no sympathy for them but they may be right in worrying.

not likely (0)

Revek (133289) | about 5 months ago | (#47536405)

They are dreaming. We are thinking about throttling them here right now. Why should we let all those other sites suffer due to one service using nearly 75% of our bandwidth. Let them fix their busted streaming model to include some caching ability. I mean really how hard would it be to include some kind of encrypted cache that would store media for a time. They could even sell a DVR service and make more money. The whole premise is a joke considering how its went for them so far with other cable companies.

Re:not likely (4, Insightful)

TClevenger (252206) | about 5 months ago | (#47536437)

They are dreaming. We are thinking about throttling them here right now. Why should we let all those other sites suffer due to one service using nearly 75% of our bandwidth.

Customers are DEMANDING those bits. If you can't afford to keep those bits flowing, start charging your customers more.

Re:not likely (1)

Revek (133289) | about 5 months ago | (#47536489)

Other customers are demanding other bits and they don't wan't to pay more to feed others hunger for back to back streams of game of thrones. Its a poorly designed system and its not the isp's at fault its the netflix don't understand how to do things efficiently. And that box that locally caches netflix, it uses almost as much bandwidth as our customers use. Thats straight from netflix. Its crap on top of crap with them.

Re:not likely (5, Insightful)

Eristone (146133) | about 5 months ago | (#47536561)

I must be missing something - you are unable to provide the bandwidth you advertise to your end users and you are complaining that the companies they are requesting data from are at fault? This is the same as saying that the concert at the stadium is at fault for the traffic backups. Wouldn't the fault be more with the road providers? Especially when the concert people are saying "Hmm, we know this is possibly a problem - we can put a live hologram local to your people so they don't have to get on your roads" and instead of saying "yes", you say "no, it's all your fault we can't provide it". Your end-users are your customer - and should you start throttling because you're unwilling (or unable) to provide the bandwidth, they are well within their rights to nail you to the wall for failing to provide SLA data throughput if it is correctable by you.

Re:not likely (1)

DRJlaw (946416) | about 5 months ago | (#47536627)

You're missing the fact that revek is part of a microISP which serves a county that has a population of about 20,000, out of a county seat with a population of about 10,000.

Netflix is somehow responsible for his cost issues with buying bandwidth from a real telecommunications company, and his lack of scale sufficient to justify co-locating a content server to serve such a small population.

Re:not likely (1)

DamnOregonian (963763) | about 5 months ago | (#47536987)

And yet the rules you're proposing apply to these "microISPs" (of which I am the senior network engineer of one), and the last bastion of a free market in the US ISP market. Having to accomodate Netflix was not easy for us (until they started doing open peering at our local IX- we're fortunate enough to have a presence at one). Previously, we did not meet their private peering guidelines (wait- what's this? Netflix is allowed to set limits on who they will peer with??!! but.. but.. Net Neutrality!) and they were *crushing* our other upstreams, that were far more than adequate for all other use, minus Netflix.

Maybe you think we podunk ISPs have no place in the large world of monopolistic ISPs... My customers will be smiling at you with their Gbps FTTH connections. I hope you really enjoy your Comcast, because once you give content provides more power than free-market eyeball networks over management of our network and cost structures, you've killed us once and for good.

Re:not likely (1)

sl149q (1537343) | about 5 months ago | (#47537147)

When the first question your users ask stops being "Can I watch Netflix?" then you can charge the ones that do ask it more for the exorbitant service level they are demanding.

Until then, since it IS the first question most of your users are probably asking you need to suck it up and provide the service even if it means charging more. If your ARE the only provider because of the small area you are in then your users will either pay or give up netflix.

Re:not likely (1)

DamnOregonian (963763) | about 5 months ago | (#47537193)

Oh I completely agree my customers should have the last say. You are not one of my customers, and judging from the assertion you just made, the aggregate demands of my customers were fed to you by Netflix, and not my customers.

Re:not likely (1)

MattskEE (925706) | about 5 months ago | (#47537159)

I get that the meteoric rise in online video streaming by customers puts pressure on ISPs because if affects the oversubsribe ratio that they can use (which is required to turn a profit) while still providing a good user experience.

But what I don't get is why you can possibly blame Netflix. Your customer requested 100GB from Netflix last month. Netflix supplied it based on your customer's request. If you think 100GB (or however much) data in one month is too much then throttle your customer, but do it fairly based on each customer's usage and don't play favorites with which companies you allow your customers access to. 100GB of Netflix traffic should be treated the same as 100GB of porn, or whatever else your customer is getting up to.

My university's residential internet connection started undergoing major strain several years ago, primarily due to online video. So they implemented traffic throttling. I don't remember the precise details, but it was along the lines of a daily 1GB of unthrottled data between 4PM-1AM after which speed was reduced , and no throttling from 1AM-4PM. This was a completely fair and balanced way of providing a pretty good user experience while limiting traffic during peak hours to avoid congesting the network.

Re:not likely (4, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | about 5 months ago | (#47536675)

Other customers are demanding other bits and they don't wan't to pay more to feed others hunger for back to back streams of game of thrones.

Thats your problem. You over sold service and can't provide what you sold.

Its a poorly designed system and its not the isp's at fault its the netflix don't understand how to do things efficiently.

Actually they do, which is why they'll colo a rack for you for free, or peer with you at any major pop, for free.

The poor design is yours. You're just a shitty ISP.

it uses almost as much bandwidth as our customers use. Thats straight from netflix. Its crap on top of crap with them.

Bullshit. Its a local cache, exactly what you were demanding they do originally. You're clueless.

Re:not likely (2)

ShaunC (203807) | about 5 months ago | (#47536479)

They are dreaming. We are thinking about throttling them here right now. Why should we let all those other sites suffer due to one service using nearly 75% of our bandwidth. Let them fix their busted streaming model to include some caching ability.

Surely you're not talking about Netflix? If you're an ISP, Netflix will peer with you for free at 8 major POPs. They will even give you caching servers [netflix.com] to put at your border. If one service is consuming 75% of your transit, someone probably does have a busted model but it isn't Netflix.

Re:not likely (2)

DRJlaw (946416) | about 5 months ago | (#47536533)

They are dreaming. We are thinking about throttling them here right now. Why should we let all those other sites suffer due to one service using nearly 75% of our bandwidth. Let them fix their busted streaming model to include some caching ability.

They colocate content servers [blogspot.com] with telecommunications providers. Just not with podunk microISPs who boast that they host seven whole websites [cguyz.com] .

Throttle Netflix and you can kiss your residential customers (if you have any substantial number) goodbye. You don't have the scale or technology required to create a virtual monopoly around your customers. They'll drop you in a heartbeat in favor of the next service to offer DSL or point-to-point wirless.

Re:not likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47536765)

> Throttle Netflix and you can kiss your residential customers (...) goodbye.

You are assuming that the residential customers have a choice of provider. In the US many or most do not due to local monopolies.

Re:not likely (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 5 months ago | (#47536569)

And that is why they're offering those servers *for free*, to cut down traffic.

Re:not likely (2)

BitZtream (692029) | about 5 months ago | (#47536651)

They are dreaming. We are thinking about throttling them here right now.

So why don't you tell us who you work for so we know who to start filing lawsuits against for abusing their monopoly?

You want to charge your customers for Internet access, and then not actually provide it. Thats what you're saying. Your customers paid for that bandwidth when they paid you. What you're saying is why you shouldn't be allowed to do business. Either provide the service you sold or get out of business.

I mean really how hard would it be to include some kind of encrypted cache that would store media for a time.

You don't actually work for an ISP, do you? This exactly what content delivery networks like Akamai and Netflix's own CDN do. The fact that you don't know about them makes your story highly suspect.

Re:not likely (1)

Sun (104778) | about 5 months ago | (#47536785)

To be fair, Akamai does charge some ISPs for its service. At least according to someone who actually went over the financial reports, Akamai doesn't get actual money from this, but rather a reduction in the cost to co-locate the servers.

Still, this is not the same thing as TFA. The thing that Akamai charges ISPs for is the peering traffic saved, not access to the content. If an ISP says "no", then no local Akamai cache, and the service is as good as the ISP's bandwidth to other providers that do have an Akamai presence. Neither availability nor performance are hindered by refusing to do business with Akamai, except losing the obvious advantage of a local cache.

Disclaimer:
I (currently) works for Akamai. This post, however, is not affiliated with Akamai in any way or form. The opinions do not represent those of my employer, nor does the information employed come from any data not publicly available.

Shachar

Re:not likely (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 5 months ago | (#47536921)

To be fair, Akamai does charge some ISPs for its service. At least according to someone who actually went over the financial reports, Akamai doesn't get actual money from this, but rather a reduction in the cost to co-locate the servers.

What you're saying, as I understand it, is that Akamai is paying ISPs to house its CDN servers and gets a discount in some places. This makes sense due to the business model in place, but I don't think you can say that Akamai charges ISP because they get a discount.

Re:not likely (1)

Sun (104778) | about 5 months ago | (#47537045)

Yes, it is what I'm saying. However, I don't think even if the balance turned out to be positive on Akamai's side, even that would count as "asking ISP to pay for access".

Imagine a small ISP. Not a lot of hosted content. In order to boost local content, this ISP provides co-location services at lower than usual costs. Due to the same considerations, the ISP pays a lot of peering costs (mostly incoming traffic, not a lot of outgoing traffic).

And then this ISP has an idea: I'll contact Akamai. The Akamai network accounts for over 25% of web traffic. If I have a local Akamai presence, this will greatly reduce my peering costs. Akamai's sales people are aware of this equation, of course. As a result, the deal finally negotiated mean that the ISP is paying Akamai for the privilege of hosting Akamai servers!

And the ISP is ecstatic. Yes, they are hosting a commercial server for free AND paying for the privilege, but they are saving a bundle on their peering costs. This is a straight bandwidth for bandwidth money-equivalent transaction. If Akamai started asking for too much, the ISP could tell them to take a hike. Presumably, for that to happen Akamai would have to ask more than the bandwidth costs it is saving!

Should Akamai choose to play dirty (as far as I know, they never do), they would be in a stronger position than Netflix. After all, you can get Netflix content elsewhere. Conversely, you cannot get to, e.g., apple.com without going through an Akamai server. If Akamai isn't doing it, I don't think there is any danger of Netflix doing it.

Shachar

Re:not likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47536723)

Don't you have usage limits? I have a max of 125GB per month and that is way more than I use.... way more(it went up from 80GB recently and I didn't use that all either). Then again, I don't watch movies over the internet but I use it a lot. I read things, get my email, and download some software packages. If I was an ISP, I'd set lower limits and super low prices to get all the other(non video zombie) customers and lower income people. Maybe netflix is more popular than I'm aware though?
Why anyone would want to pay for a netflix account every month is beyond me.

Netflix is ruthless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47536421)

Netflix is perhaps the most ruthless corporation to have ever existed. They will stop at absolutely nothing to dominate the economy. In a year or two stopping them will be impossible. We must act now, otherwise it will be too late.

Re:Netflix is ruthless. (1)

tlambert (566799) | about 5 months ago | (#47536831)

Netflix is perhaps the most ruthless corporation to have ever existed. They will stop at absolutely nothing to dominate the economy. In a year or two stopping them will be impossible. We must act now, otherwise it will be too late.

Why? Does their player mine Bitcoins for the Winklevii in the background while playing movies?

Boohoo? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47536431)

Companies that are virtual monopolies (south park pointed this out) exist in local areas. I can drop netflix and get hulu, or whatever, no matter where i am. But if verizon is the only place that has dsl in my town, or a cable co dominates the market in a city and the dsl is a joke by comparison, i'm fucked. period. netlix can ask for money, perhaps. But comcast for example can simply unflap its nipple-cover and rub that shit raw, because there is no actual competition for real reals. any competitor can offer online video streaming, and there are a whole bunch i can choose from. i happen to have netflix, but i also use hulu and other services too. i pay for what i use and i'm fine with it. But when it comes to ISP choice, i have 2 choices. dsl that is barely enough to have one stream coming in, or one other option that is way more expensive. i choose the expensive one because a: i'm a nerd, and b: throwing another 100 dollars a month at dishnetwork or whoever seems like a huge waste of money :)

so it's only ok... (4, Interesting)

epyT-R (613989) | about 5 months ago | (#47536457)

So it's only ok when you do it, then? What a hypocritical joke. I have a better idea: just focus on providing the most reliable bandwidth on the network for your customers as possible and let them provide the content.

Re:so it's only ok... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47536501)

Only if you think they should change their entire business model. Provide what customers pay for? You must be joking.

And yet, who is charging who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47536467)

Comcast (among others) is afraid Netflix has the power to force them to pay money? Nice theory, but yet here in reality, remind me again who is it that is actually paying who?

Re:And yet, who is charging who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47536513)

"Whom". It is ". . . who is it that is actually paying whom?"

Remember, he :: him as who :: whom

Re:And yet, who is charging who? (1)

Panoptes (1041206) | about 5 months ago | (#47536589)

"Whom". It is ". . . who is it that is actually paying whom?"

Correct - in formal usage. But 'whom' is in decline, and for many writers is mandatory only when governed by a preposition.

Re:And yet, who is charging who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47536617)

"Whom". It is ". . . who is it that is actually paying whom?"

Remember, he :: him as who :: whom

whom gives a fuck?

Re:And yet, who is charging who? (1)

wonkavader (605434) | about 5 months ago | (#47536719)

You are misunderstanding the substitution rule. 'Who' for subject/'whom' for object.

So your statement should read,

"who gives a fuckm?"

So release your own video on demand... (3, Insightful)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47536491)

you've had all the advantages to do it for years... any of the major cable companies has a huge advantage if they wanted to release a video on demand service.

but you're so determined to suck off the TV model that you've crippled yourself.

And now you're paying the price.

Re:So release your own video on demand... (2)

JDeane (1402533) | about 5 months ago | (#47536571)

BLASPHEMY!!! lol

But if that happened Comcast customers could be watching Time Warner content!!! How would they maintain the iron grip of a monopoly and give the illusion of competition in the marketplace!!! Oh the secret back room agreement we have to keep prices high you say??? Hmmm good point!!!

They had no incentive to bother with the expense of doing any sort of upgrades to anything, now that people are switching to Netflix in record numbers and they are losing some income (They are still profiting from customers who only get Internet from them.) just not the crazy "We just bought a gold plated diamond encrusted toilet because we could!!!" kind of money.

I hope Netflix continues kicking some ass at least for a few more years. Not enough to become bigger than the cable providers, that could be bad too.

Re:So release your own video on demand... (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47536661)

I don't care how big they get because they can't form the same kind of monopoly.

Power to them. What makes the cable companies unacceptable is the non-competition agreements.

Re:So release your own video on demand... (1)

JDeane (1402533) | about 5 months ago | (#47537061)

I agree and think that cable companies having agreements should be illegal... but if Netflix gets so big that they can afford to lock in all the content like the cable companies are attempting to do that could be bad for us in the long haul. If there isn't good competition from the likes of Hulu or Amazon (I tried them and Amazon at least works...) and Crackle (also works great just with commercials which I can tolerate since it's free.)... I could see a day where Netflix decides to charge a lot more for the service.

Not saying they will do that, they seem pretty fair or at least I haven't heard of them doing anything evil. (Not saying they haven't done anything wrong it's just that if they did I didn't hear about it.)

Totally enjoying my Netflix and am considering upgrading my subscription for more streams. Sometimes 2 just isn't enough when the grandson comes to visit and I just can't watch another 3 hours of Sesame Street.... I think the Count is planning on raising an army of vampire/zombies/banshees to perform the trifecta of sucking my blood, eating my brains, and draining my soul. Leaving only my wallet for the cable companies to divvy up.

*Don't even get me started complaining about Hulu... So happy I got a free 30 days to try it out, although I canceled about 2 weeks into the trial due to it just totally not working on my PC or my Wii or my Wii-U. I managed to get it to stream 2 times over the two weeks I had it and was flabbergasted to see commercials on it. I figure delivering content and advertising would be pretty important if your going to charge for it.

Re:So release your own video on demand... (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | about 5 months ago | (#47537091)

I don't care how big they get because they can't form the same kind of monopoly.

And this is why content providers and ISPs should be separate. This is only an issue for cable companies because they provide both bandwidth and content, and Netflix threatens their content offerings because it provides a service that people actually *want* at a reasonable price.

Such lies ... (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#47536497)

If a broadband provider were to approach one of these hyper-giants and threaten to block or degrade access to its site if it refused to pay a significant fee, such a strategy almost certainly would be self-defeating, in light of the immediately hostile reaction of consumers to such conduct

Translation: We'd do this to a small company in a heartbeat, and we're really disappointed we didn't kill net neutrality before there were enough big players to fight us on this. Unfortunately we have to make ourselves out as the victims, again.

These guys will do anything to keep their monopolies, and want to be sure they can do anything they want to milk customers.

As usual, this is lobbyists and lawyers and PR people making their clients out to be the poor downtrodden victim here.

And, of course, the FCC being totally sympathetic to the plight of these poor, downtrodden monopolies, I'll be surprised if they don't give it to them.

Paying for video content? (2)

JDeane (1402533) | about 5 months ago | (#47536511)

I guess if Netflix was doing something better than me at a cheaper price I would be worried about my customers demanding it too.

In a sense this is already happening, Netflix is charging me per month and it was so good that I stopped paying for cable. No commercials and for the small amount of time I actually spend watching TV in a given day it is totally worth it. So now Netflix gets my money and the Cable company does not. (Well they still provide network access.)

Fuck this noise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47536515)

Suck it comcast.

SPHit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47536517)

getting tog3ther to includes where you

Using what leverage? (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 5 months ago | (#47536535)

To extort money from someone, you need to threaten them with something. Netflix has no leverage because their customers will most often have no choice in ISPs.

Re:Using what leverage? (1)

freeze128 (544774) | about 5 months ago | (#47536605)

This reminds me of the Movie "Ransom" where a child is kidnapped, and held for ransom. The child's father turns the tables by offering a bounty on the kidnapper. Instead of giving money to one untrustworthy individual, you offer it to the public.

No sympathy at all... (4, Interesting)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 5 months ago | (#47536549)

Cable companies have been gouging customers for decades (high prices, low speeds, low quotas, even worse in Canada), they're trying to extort streaming services. They're afraid of competition and are doing everything they can to stop them instead of competing.

The problem is ISPs are also TV providers in most cases, something that should never have been allowed. Of course they'll try to protect their TV business. Here in Canada (Montreal), Both Bell and Videotron sell internet and TV services, why do you think they have such ridiculous quotas? 60GB is not that much, especially when watching Netflix.

ISPs should welcome those servers since it will cut down on traffic, not charge Netflix.

This is what childish bullies do when caught. (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 5 months ago | (#47536679)

No, they were bullying us!

It makes no sense to people who know the situation, but maybe for a split second they can confuse someone who doesn't know the situation.

Really? Netflix? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47536701)

The quality of content available on Netflix has been in general decline for years, mostly because of licensing problems. I get all of my content from bittorrent -- I don't have to worry about streaming problems, I have access to a much broader library, and there are no monthly fees. Netflix can't hold a candle to that. Of course, if the content producers were smart, they'd fix this. But they're not. They're greedy and short sighted. Would I pay $10/month to be able to watch (almost) any movie? Absolutely. I'd pay $50 a month, or more to be able to do that without ads. But why should I pay to have access to a limited library that's DRM encumbered when I can get whatever I want for free? Netflix is no more a threat to cable companies than the internet is. In fact, it's less of a threat. The real threat to the media industries is short term greed and licensing that doesn't make sense. Give me a legal option that will let me watch whatever I want to and I'll pay handsomely. If that option isn't available, fuck the studios, I'll take it on my own terms. They don't own distribution anymore. By pretending they do, they're only hurting themselves.

Re:Really? Netflix? (1)

bigfinger76 (2923613) | about 5 months ago | (#47536909)

Fascinating.

What I find seriously funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47536737)

The network infrastructure along with phones lines, etc. is paid for by the people. Yet ISPs are abusing said infrastructure by limiting speeds amongst other things. They should be fined hundreds of thousands per day until they either a) provide the service in a proper manner or b) FUCK OFF

You'd be gullible if you believe this (1)

non0score (890022) | about 5 months ago | (#47536761)

If you believe this, then you're falling for the exact same two-faced argument the cable providers said to the FCC back during the first net neutrality debate. I.e. they told the FCC net neutrality will absolutely DESTROY infrastructure investment, and did an about-face and told Wall Street that it wouldn't put a dent in investment.

"Fool me once...shame on...shame on you. Fool me, can't get fooled again!"

Re: Related: surprisingly little hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47536773)

[quote]Related: an article at Gizmodo explains that it takes surprisingly little hardware to replicate (at least most of) Netflix's current online catalog in a local data center.[/quote]

Actually the Netflix openconnect boxes do not contain all the catalog, they contain the same (popular) content in most of the formats, resolutions, and bandwidths that are also popular (from 1080p HD 7.1 Dolby audio for your 100" TV, to something a lot smaller and lower bandwidth for your tiny screen iPhones). Netflix has very good algorithms predicting what people are watching (and will watch; you give them your list :-) and they have good information as to the format(s) people are accessing. So, they have dozens of versions of each episode of Orange is the new Black. And, perhaps, no version of a B&W 1950 movie that is only watched twice a year (it will be streamed directly from one of NetFlix's POP).

Seems like a silly idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47536847)

My first thought upon reading TFS was that it would be as asinine an idea for NetFlix to charge ISPs for access to its service as it would for ISPs to charge NetFlix for access to its customers.

Both of those things are such obviously bad ideas that there's no reason anyone would realistically need to worry about them.

That's... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47536869)

The biggest load of BS I've read all day.
Netflix is the one being forced to pay the ISPs right now, not the other way around.
Netflix cannot demand a payment from the ISPs, saying it will degrade it's service otherwise, since it needs the ISPs to deliver the service in the first place. Their whole argument can be mirrored, that's how you know it's BS.

so.. they're really afraid of.. (1)

strstr (539330) | about 5 months ago | (#47536875)

Netflix becoming like ABC or NBC, or CBS, or Time Warner, or whatever, demanding payment for delivery of the content before the cable company can distribute it.

Dem consumerist types must love Netflix as much as KFC and Pizza hut I guess. or something. and prime time drivel.

This comment is nice and all but what if this showed the incentive to want to kill Netflix by hampering delivery of their content? O.o

http://www.obamasweapon.com/ [obamasweapon.com]

WTF??? Did I miss something in that argument? (1)

Chewbacon (797801) | about 5 months ago | (#47536877)

Isn't that what consumers pay Netflix for (and justly so!)? And where the hell would that work? If the ISP didn't pay the bill, then the service would fail and the consumer wouldn't pay their part of the bill either. These guys are fucking insane. A chimp eating carrots out of his own asshole makes more sense.

Reality: cable companies are afraid of Netflix because they fear the day they lose the competition with them.

Doesn't Work That Way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47536881)

Many people only have one real choice for an ISP (in USA) and as such the websites have no control. If they said they wouldn't provide access to Comcast customers, then the websites lose those customers. The customers can't simple switch ISP to gain access to the website. The threat has no teeth. On the other hand, if Comcast said pay or we will block your content, the website has to agree. There's no other way to reach those customers.

must they be despicable? (1)

dltaylor (7510) | about 5 months ago | (#47536885)

Is it a requirement that cable company employees (probably above the level of grunt) must be utterly despicable {socio|psycho}paths, or is that the industry just doesn't attract anyone the rest of us wouldn't be better off without?

Re:must they be despicable? (1)

John.Banister (1291556) | about 5 months ago | (#47536961)

No, it's a special culling process. They start at the bottom, firing any personnel who actually show up at your house on time, and then they use the number of angry customer letters per month as the metric for low level promotion. At the higher levels, it's more about demoralization.

The box runs FreeBSD (1)

ZorkZero (6507) | about 5 months ago | (#47536913)

A whole article on their CDN boxes and not one mention of the OS. I'm surprised. It's FreeBSD.

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