Economics Internet Freedom Technology

Google Backs Netflix in Epic Battle With Comcast

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Netflix has stared paying media giant Comcast for a direct connection to the internet service provider (ISP). Netflix is looking to ensure that Comcast internet users experience fewer wrinkles when streaming videos. Netflix has a similar deal going with Verizon, another major ISP.

Google holds a different stance on the matter. They believe the arrangement shouldn’t come down to money. The tech behemoth lets Netflix use its ISP, Google Fiber, for free.

“We give companies like Netflix and Akamai free access to space and power in our facilities, and they provide their own content servers,” Google Fiber director of engineering Jeffrey Burgan wrote in a blog post on Wednesday. “Since people usually only stream one video at a time, video traffic doesn’t bog down or change the way we manage our network in any meaningful way–so why not help enable it?”

This development is yet another salvo in the ongoing saga over the tangled web of economics at the heart of the internet. As Comcast and Verizon begin charging companies like Netflix for access to their networks, many are concerned that the big name ISPs will gain too much control over whether technologies succeed on the net. Google is proverbially calling to digital arms and pushing back, hoping to prevent a future where Comcast controls internet.

Google may have another motivation, though. If you follow the money, Google owns YouTube, and it would be in its best interest not to have to pay ISPs to allow YouTube servers inside their networks. Many internet activists and freedom fighters believe that companies like Netflix should be able to “peer” at no charge.

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“Google Backs Netflix in Epic Battle With Comcast”