Netflix Signs Access Deal with Verizon Amid Net Neutrality Debate
After weeks of discussions regarding net neutrality and its effect on network traffic, movie-streaming service Netflix has inked a deal with service provider Verizon, allowing it to directly access the Verizon network. As a result, this will allow for an improved Internet streaming experience for paying Netflix customers, at Netflix’s expense.
The reason for this now-necessary direct connection is a point of contention for the tech industry. But, in a nutshell, Verizon, along with other IPs, can throttle users speeds, if they haven’t been doing it already. If Netflix plugs directly into Verizon’s network, they can largely avoid the throttling of their service for their customers (at least on their end), providing a better experience (again, at least from their end), for a fee. If the user is getting throttled though, there’s not much Netflix can do to help their slow video streaming.
“We have reached an interconnect arrangement with Verizon that we hope will improve performance for our joint customers over the coming months,” Netflix mentioned in a related statement. The specifics of the arrangement, including the finances, however, are currently confidential.
This deal comes as little surprise to the tech industry, especially after Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam alluded to this very scenario earlier this year, following the similar agreement between Netflix and Comcast.
What this means for consumers is largely dismissible (for now), but these types of deals open the gates for many more deals between services and carriers. This puts the services and consumers at the mercy of the providers, which is a scary relationship to have.
How this will develop over the next few months remains unclear, but we’ll have our ears to the ground waiting to witness what this will breed.