The Wall Street Journal (by way of Ars Technica) is reporting the popular entertainment streaming service Netflix has agreed to pay cable operator Comcast to gain a direct connection to Comcast subscribers who use the service.
Comcast customers noticed a slowdown of the service, which some claimed was the result of a feud between Comcast and Netflix or between Comcast and Cogent, one of Netflix's Internet transit providers. A similar slowdown was recently reported by some Verizon customers as well. While much of this slowdown began well before a U.S. Appeals Court struck down the FCC's Open Internet order, the ruling certainly didn't help Netflix in its current situation.
The companies issued a joint statement on the deal:
"Comcast Corporation and Netflix, Inc. today announced a mutually beneficial interconnection agreement that will provide Comcast’s US broadband customers with a high-quality Netflix video experience for years to come. Working collaboratively over many months, the companies have established a more direct connection between Netflix and Comcast, similar to other networks, that’s already delivering an even better user experience to consumers, while also allowing for future growth in Netflix traffic. Netflix receives no preferential network treatment under the multi-year agreement, terms of which are not being disclosed."
Ultimately the goal is to have Netflix fed directly through Comcast's broadband network. No word on whether Comcast will strike a similar deal with Verizon, or other cable operators. This particular deal was probably made because of the pending merger between Time Warner Cable and Comcast, which still must pass through a government approval process…
We'll have more on this story as it develops.
Source: Ars Technica