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Cable Companies: We're Afraid Netflix Will Demand Payment From ISPs 200

Dega704 (1454673) writes While the network neutrality debate has focused primarily on whether ISPs should be able to charge companies like Netflix for faster access to consumers, cable companies are now arguing that it's really Netflix who holds the market power to charge them. This argument popped up in comments submitted to the FCC by Time Warner Cable and industry groups that represent cable companies. (National Journal writer Brendan Sasso pointed this out.) The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), which represents many companies including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Cox, and Charter wrote to the FCC:

"Even if broadband providers had an incentive to degrade their customers' online experience in some circumstances, they have no practical ability to act on such an incentive. Today's Internet ecosystem is dominated by a number of "hyper-giants" with growing power over key aspects of the Internet experience—including Google in search, Netflix and Google (YouTube) in online video, Amazon and eBay in e-commerce, and Facebook in social media. If a broadband provider were to approach one of these hyper-giants and threaten to block or degrade access to its site if it refused to pay a significant fee, such a strategy almost certainly would be self-defeating, in light of the immediately hostile reaction of consumers to such conduct. Indeed, it is more likely that these large edge providers would seek to extract payment from ISPs for delivery of video over last-mile networks."
Related: an article at Gizmodo explains that it takes surprisingly little hardware to replicate (at least most of) Netflix's current online catalog in a local data center.
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Cable Companies: We're Afraid Netflix Will Demand Payment From ISPs

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  • Re:What? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ShaunC ( 203807 ) on Friday July 25, 2014 @10:48PM (#47536453)

    To some extent I'm sure it's still happening. As a Comcast subscriber I have access to an online streaming service called "WatchESPN" that lets me watch various ESPN channels on my computers or phones, as long as I'm on my Comcast internet connection. I don't use it, but I guarantee you that part of my monthly fee is paying for it, just like I don't watch any of the ESPN TV channels but I know a big chunk of my monthly cable TV fee goes straight to them. Of course ESPN also offers ESPN3.com which requires an additional monthly subscription on its own.

    There used to be a chart with a nice breakdown of how much the average cable subscriber's bill goes to each of the content providers. ESPN was by far the biggest chunk, Disney/ABC took a good portion, etc. I'd love to see a recent breakdown if anyone has one.

  • so it's only ok... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Friday July 25, 2014 @10:49PM (#47536457)

    So it's only ok when you do it, then? What a hypocritical joke. I have a better idea: just focus on providing the most reliable bandwidth on the network for your customers as possible and let them provide the content.

  • by Hamsterdan ( 815291 ) on Friday July 25, 2014 @11:09PM (#47536549)

    Cable companies have been gouging customers for decades (high prices, low speeds, low quotas, even worse in Canada), they're trying to extort streaming services. They're afraid of competition and are doing everything they can to stop them instead of competing.

    The problem is ISPs are also TV providers in most cases, something that should never have been allowed. Of course they'll try to protect their TV business. Here in Canada (Montreal), Both Bell and Videotron sell internet and TV services, why do you think they have such ridiculous quotas? 60GB is not that much, especially when watching Netflix.

    ISPs should welcome those servers since it will cut down on traffic, not charge Netflix.

  • Re:What? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mc6809e ( 214243 ) on Saturday July 26, 2014 @12:52AM (#47536863)

    Yeah, i don't see how their supposed 'netflix is going to extort us' scare is supposed to work. Everything I remember about how the internet works pretty much invalidates the idea.

    I think they're looking at how cable companies have to pay content providers to broadcast their content.

    Disney, ESPN, CNN, etc all charge the cable company for their content. If the cable company doesn't pay, then their customers don't get the channels.

    Will this happen with websites or Netflix? It doesn't seem possible, yet it's hard to know just where all this is going.

    Consider facebook. What would happen if suddenly facebook demanded an ISP pay them for access by the ISP's customers? Who would the customers blame? Would they simply give up on facebook or would they hound their ISP to pay up?

  • Re:What? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Wing_Zero ( 692394 ) on Saturday July 26, 2014 @02:30AM (#47537093)
    TV Networks already double dip. they get paid for advertising, and they get paid for a cable carrier to add them to the channel list. now they have a triple dip as they ask customers to pay to gain dvr-type access straight from their web site. (which some add commercials to as well)

    this kind of thing is why areo got hammered so quickly. they skipped the second dip for the TV stations. Now cable companies (falsely i hope) are saying that netflix may be in a position of getting a cut like a cable station or risk being blacklisted. (remember Dish network and FOX?)
  • Re:What? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Saturday July 26, 2014 @07:52AM (#47537733)
    Umm, ESPN ALREADY charges the ISPs in order for any of their customers to access EXPN360. ESPN360 is "free" to the consumer, but you can only access it if your ISP pays ESPN a fee for each and every subscriber to your ISP's service.
  • by Lothsahn ( 221388 ) <Lothsahn@@@SPAM_ ... u_bastardsyahocm> on Saturday July 26, 2014 @10:53AM (#47538319)
    The vast majority of chronic homeless people (stunk, dirty, massive backpacks) have drug addiction and/or mental illness[3]. They also make a boatload of money (often > $100,000/yr). The problem is that they lack the skills necessary to effectively use that money and reintegrate to normal society, so they're relegated to homeless life. Homeless life isn't easy either--most of them have either been around someone who's been shot, or been shot themselves. Rape is prevalent, for both genders, but especially women. [2] Life expectancy is not good[1]. In talking to hundreds of homeless people, I have only met one homeless person who was there by choice.

    Having a Starbucks cup doesn't mean that they have piles of money. It means they received > $4 in donations recently and were able to spend it. The money they earn usually quickly goes to drugs, alcohol, theft, or impulse purchases. This is why it's so key to NOT give them money. You or I would be smart enough to put the money in a bank, save, and get back on our feet. They can't (or they would have already done so).

    When I walk down the street and run into a homeless person begging, I offer to take them to a nearby fast-food restaurant. About 50% decline, and the other 50% are immensely grateful. That allows you to engage them in conversation, and offer them to take up a rehab program, which can teach them to break their addictions and gain the life skills they need to become part of society again.

    [1] young homeless women are four to 31 times as likely to die early as housed young women (O’Connell, 2005)
    http://www.nationalhomeless.or... [nationalhomeless.org]

    [2] In yet another study, 9% of homeless women reported at least one experience of sexual victimization in the last month
    http://www.vawnet.org/applied-... [vawnet.org]

    [3] According to Didenko and Pankratz (2007), two-thirds of homeless people report that drugs and/or alcohol were a major reason for their becoming homeless.
    http://www.nationalhomeless.or... [nationalhomeless.org]
  • by Lothsahn ( 221388 ) <Lothsahn@@@SPAM_ ... u_bastardsyahocm> on Saturday July 26, 2014 @11:11AM (#47538403)
    While you can rile on religion, there are numerous statistics that show that religion and spiritual beliefs help with drug addiction and alcoholism[1] [2]--main items preventing the chronic homeless from reintegrating with society. This is why the religious shelters push religion so hard. The goal in these shelters isn't just to provide a bed, but to get the person to overcome the conditions in themselves that prevent them from leaving homeless life.

    Nearly all chronic homeless have dreams of a better life, but almost none of them have goals to achieve their dreams, and are stuck in the homeless life. Is trying to give homeless people the tools they need to achieve their dreams "evil"?

    The real tragedies in shelters is the rate of rape and violence, which is especially true in (underfunded) public teen shelters. These shelters house hundreds of mentally ill or drug addicted people, who frequently rape others. Most of the homeless people I've run into (who live in a hard life--hearing gunshots nightly) refuse to go anywhere near the public shelters because of fear of their safety. That's how bad they are--that's where the real evil is.

    [1] It was concluded that among this sample of Scottish post-secondary students, having a strong religious commitment was associated with less substance use and that heavy drinking and using tobacco was correlated with illicit drug use.
    http://www.indiana.edu/~engs/a... [indiana.edu]
    [2] The one-third of prison inmates who participate in religious activities exhibit lower rates of recidivismand recidivism is due almost entirely to drug and alcohol abuse.

    Teens who do not consider religious beliefs important are almost three times more likely to drink, binge-drink and smoke, almost four times likelier to use marijuana and seven times likelier to use illicit drugs than teens who believe that religion is important.
    http://www.casacolumbia.org/ad... [casacolumbia.org]

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel