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AT&T The Media Entertainment

AT&T Plans To Launch Internet Video Service 43

An anonymous reader writes "AT&T officially announced on Tuesday their intention to launch a Netflix-like service in collaboration with an investment group run by a former Fox president. AT&T is following in the footsteps of Verizon, which partnered with Redbox in 2012 to offer the same type of service, and like Verizon, is also still negotiating with Netflix on payments to not throttle Netflix traffic."
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AT&T Plans To Launch Internet Video Service

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  • Classic tax scam. They can charge their video subsidiary for faster bandwidth, like what happened to Netflix, and write that off against their tax bill. Classic. They are not actually trying to compete with YouTube or Netflix.
    • by alen ( 225700 )

      they don't need faster bandwidth
      just set up a CDN in their network for their customers and the content is there. the issue has always been the internetwork links

      even then netflix is like vonage. they are just a middle man and their value seems to be coding a client for every possible device and handling the licensing arrangements

  • Net Neutrality? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I have no reason to believe they won't give this full bandwidth while throttling the competition, giving themselves the edge they need to succeed.

    • Honestly? If it's competitively priced with netflix, I'll pay it, because it means they have to upgrade my lame 1.5 mbps down Internet connection for me to be able to use it!
  • by Zalbik ( 308903 ) on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @11:51AM (#46824197)

    Hey Netflix, that's some awfully nice bandwidth ya got a shame if anything happened to it....

    • by alen ( 225700 )

      well known that netflix used to pay for peering and CDN's until last year when they tried their super HD and open connect and their service went down the toilet

      all they have to do is go back to limelight and their service quality will improve

  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @11:58AM (#46824275)

    What they should have done is informed their users that their ISP is slowing the traffic that they paid for down intentionally in violation of if not the letter of their contracts then at the very least the common understanding and spirit of the contract.

    And if the courts didn't find that behavior to be fraud then the bad marketing and political fallout would do the real work.

    By paying, netflix took all the heat off the ISPs and allowed them to get away with it.

    Netflix... making bad decisions yet again.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      peering and CDN's have been around since the 90's and are considered best practices today to distribute video content on the internet
      netflix has contracted with peering services and CDN's in the past
      everyone knows the games cogent and level 3 were playing taking on netflix at cut rate prices and refusing to pay their part of the peering costs

      this is why they never sued any ISP, the case would be laughed out of court once discovery was done and all the evidence was presented

      • Help me understand. You're saying that Netflix is not paying enough for their connection fees?

        If so, then it would more reasonable for them to pay that cost up front to their provider rather then pay off every ISP that might receive the content.

        Furthermore, I thought they were hosting through Amazon's servers. As such, I would think that the connection fees would be paid by Amazon and then Netflix pays amazon for use of their systems.


        that was my understanding of their relationship.

        • Also, if Amazon is hosting the content, how could they throttle Netflix without throttling the rest of Amazon? Unless they are looking in the packets, they probably can't tell what belongs to Netflix, and what doesn't. So they should just encrypt the data, even with something that isn't resource intensive to prevent the ISPs from peeking at what's in the packets. It doesn't even have to be very secure. Just encrypted/encoded enough to stop the equipment from scanning the packets to find out what's inside
        • by alen ( 225700 ) on Wednesday April 23, 2014 @12:42PM (#46824851)

          AWS is only the authentication part. the content is spread around their leased data centers and colo sites

          i did some googling and since 2008 netflix used contract with limelight for CDN and lots of third party peering services. as well as transit from cogent and L3. problem is they always cut profit thin deals where the value for the provider was mostly learning to deal with the traffic. even limelight said they made almost no profit on the netflix deal.

          instead of paying more in network costs like HBO and everyone else does netflix came out with their own CDN and wanted ISP's to host them for free. unlike the current arrangements where CDN's pay the ISP's for hosting and bandwidth. and netflix started super HD right at the time they screwed up their distribution system and went on their PR parade saying how bad all these ISP's are.

          i don't know what the deal with AT&T and Verizon is but with comcast the difference is netflix is paying comcast directly instead of the other services they used to
          pay. win/win for everyone and cutting out the middlemen

          and if you look at netflix's financials their tech costs are less than 1/10 of revenues and content costs are 3/4 of revenues. their problem is they are just a low margin middle man for content and make very little profit

          • So again, they're not paying proper freight for their hosting services?

            • by alen ( 225700 )

              if you google "netflix data centers" and read all the industry info, no
              they always found vendors with cut rate deals
              everyone does streaming now and the quality is almost always better than netflix. why is that?

              i've streamed from Vudu, itunes, HBO, amazon, PBS, smithsonian, red bull and lots of other services outside my pay TV package and the quality is better than netflix. yet people think there is some conspiracy against netflix. i'll rent a movie 2-3 times a month on itunes and it never buffers on my 15/1

    • When cable providers and stations have a spat, its common to see a runner of "this station might be affected by X.. call them at ###-###-#### and tell them you want to keep this channel

      They really annoy me, but it might be very, very effective for netflix to give users notice that its their ISP's uplink that is not sufficient.

      • yep, that's mostly where I am with the issue.

        Let comcast answer to their customers. And then when comcast stone walls them, let them answer to congressmen wondering why we tolerate these semi state sponsored monopolies.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    In nearly four years, AT&T hasn't managed to pull off a credible streaming app for Uverse.

    Epic fail.

    Now they want to try to develop a Netflix service? Good luck with that AT&T.

  • If they want this service to reach full potential, they are going to have to lift their 120 gigabyte per month data cap for their DSL customers. My girlfriend and I routinely go over that data cap with the likes of Netflix and Hulu, etc... Unfortunately, Time Warner is slow, routinely goes down, and is still more expensive than paying the penalty.

    I realize the data cap has other services in mind, but if they are going to show up on my Roku, they need to understand that they are joining an ecosystem.
    • They won't raise the cap. Using their service just won't count against your cap
      • by Anonymous Coward

        They won't raise the cap. Using their service just won't count against your cap

        That would open the door to discrimination claims. Instead they will bundle a "free" gig with every rental. Most people are not going to understand why that is as bad.

    • It's 150GB for DSL, 250GB for U-verse. However from what I can see they are not actually enforcing this. Their metering web site never works and always says try back later. If they really are charging you for going over the cap, then I suspect they're only enforcing for non-uverse customers. For uverse they are supposed to not count television usage as part of the cap, even though it's coming over the same network, so presumably they would do something similar for their own service?

  • Amazon Prime and Netflix both have largely overlapping and largely low-quality streaming video choices. Most explanation say that it's due to licensing choices (new releases, HBO, etc) or complexities (old TV) by Hollywood rights holders.

    But, Amazon and Netflix bring other value to the table -- Amazon prime provides cheaper package delivery, Netflix can get you most anything you want to watch in the mail on a DVD. Apple has value through its large installed base of hardware and its pretty early engagement

  • For AT&T products and services. They are the Devil.

  • Their internet service is excruciatingly slow. That, and the electronics boxes they put at the end of each block keep exploding. Maybe their video service will work better, but I am skeptical. Not too much that AT&T has done at the consumer level has worked out too well.

  • Is going to be 10 bucks an hour. Kind of like how the ads use to say and Windows NT 100.00 per hour. Then everyone and his brother got a computer.

"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain