0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
yesterday's Federal Communications Commission vote to regulate broadband providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act, that's about to change. Instead of just writing a check to obtain direct connections to the networks of retail broadband providers, Netflix can complain to the FCC that it's being overcharged."For the first time the Commission can address issues that may arise in the exchange of traffic between mass-market broadband providers and other networks and services," yesterday's FCC announcement said. "Under the authority provided by the Order, the Commission can hear complaints and take appropriate enforcement action if it determines the interconnection activities of ISPs are not just and reasonable."Interconnection (or "peering") allows networks to exchange traffic directly. Large network operators known as "transit providers" carry the traffic of many online content providers and connect directly to ISPs so that the traffic can get to Internet users. Occasionally, a content provider becomes so big that it builds out its own network infrastructure and seeks interconnection from the ISPs directly.That's what happened with Netflix, but it wanted the ISPs to provide interconnection for free. Netflix did get free interconnection from a number of ISPs, but not the biggest ones: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, AT&T, and Verizon. While the money dispute raged, Netflix spent months across 2013 and 2014 sending traffic through transit providers that were too congested to handle the load. This caused real problems for consumers, who had trouble accessing Netflix and other content coming over those congested pipes. Netflix eventually paid the four big ISPs for interconnection, allowing traffic to flow smoothly again.