Sunday, December 14, 2014

Netflix to the FCC: "Open Connect is not a fast lane"

Earlier this month, FCC Commissioner, Ajit Pai [pictured], sent a letter (here) to Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, saying that Netflix "..has been working to effectively secure "fast Lames" for its own content on ISPs' networks at the expense of its competitors".

The claim refers to Netflix' CDN service, Open Connect (see "How does Netflix Manage Video Delivery?" - here) and may have to do with the statistics Netflix itself published on ISPs' performance (See "Netflix CDN Customers have More Fun" - here).

A similar claim has been raised in the past against BT and its Wholesale caching features (see "BT's Wholesale Content Connect Service and Net Neutrality" - here).

ChristopherLibertelli, VP Global Public Policy, responded in a letter to the Mr. Pai: "Netflix designed the Open Connect content delivery network (CDN) to provide consumers with a high quality video experience that enables ISPs to manage their networks in an efficient and cost effective way. Through Open Connect, Netflix brings data to the location(s) of an ISP’s choice, usually at common Internet exchange points or through localized caches. This is how most CDNs interconnect. Under the Open Connect program, Netflix bears all of the costs of providing Open Connect equipment to any ISP that chooses to participate in Open Connect.

Neflix Open Connect
hardware (here)
Open Connect is not a fast lane.  Since the beginning of this proceeding, Netflix has consistently opposed the Commission permitting ‘fast lanes” in consumer Internet connections.  Open Connect does not prioritize Netflix data. Open Connect uses “best efforts” Internet services into and out of its content  caches. When an ISP asks Netflix to localize an Open Connect cache within its network, it does not  disadvantage other Internet content. To the contrary, Open Connect helps ISPs reduce costs and better manage congestion, which results in a better Internet experience for all end users"

Only ISPs can speed up or slow down data that flow over their last mile. When Netflix directly
interconnects with an ISP, Netflix data does not travel faster than other Internet content VV unless an ISP is artificially constraining capacity to other data sources".

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