Comcast Accuses Netflix of Throttling it’s Own Bandwidth

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Internet watchdogs TekSyndicate broke news on Saturday of a new accusation posted to the Comcast Corporate Blog on by Senior Vice President Jennifer Khoury.  The post accused Netflix of double dipping, and throttling their own bandwidth to be able to accuse Comcast.  According to Comcast’s logic, Netflix would then be “forced” to pay Comcast for higher bandwidth, turn off the throttling, and then stick all the blame on Comcast.  As they say in their post: “Netflix’s decision to reroute its Internet traffic was all about improving Netflix’s business model.”  They go on to defend their position saying, “Comcast has a multiplicity of other agreements just like the one Netflix approached us to negotiate….”

The article went over recent news posted by the group about Comcast’s confirmed throttling of Netflix’s bandwidth by the company (including a insider source that emailed them with information about the throttling).  Making Comcast’s accusations much less likely.  The Huffington Post also confirmed, adding that this is just the latest in the war of words between these two.

This all comes on the heels of a recent FCC announcement that has basically reversed their earlier attempts to fight the cable companies on net neutrality.  According to the Huffington Post, “then the battle between Netflix and Comcast is set up to only grow more contentious”.

4 Responses to Comcast Accuses Netflix of Throttling it’s Own Bandwidth

  1. My disgust and anger over this can hardly be expressed, though I can hardly say this is shocking. For starters I, like most other people with a technical background, staunchly support net neutrality and what it stands for. The ability to share information freely without hindrance to people across the globe is a key part to success and progress of our society. When net neutrality is violated, society itself is hurt as society benefits from the sharing of ideas. I think its pretty clear that act utilitarianism would say that Comcast’s actions are wrong, and I think rule Utilitarianism would say the same.

    Now, I think we can all agree is that the people at Comcast are liars and have been throttling the connection speeds for Netflix. An action which is undeniably wrong if we were to put our faith in act utilitarianism. Now I understand that it’s a business, and that Comcast needs to make money. However, Netflix already pays for a connection to the internet. Netflix’s connection comes with a specification for upload and download speed. The same goes for the consumer, who also pays an ISP (in this case Comcast) for a certain upload and download speeds. The consumer is already paying to connect to Netflix’s servers, and Netflix is already paying their provider to enable that connection. Comcast attempting to charge Netflix sounds like double dipping on their part. Which feels unethical, but I can’t say why except for the fact that they are taking more than they deserve.

  2. This kind of thing is very interesting to me. Isn’t it, well, an internet service provider’s job to provide an internet service? It’s essentially one job, and one that continues to rake in record profits. Now, with TWC trying to merge with Comcast, we are looking at roughly 30% of all pay TV subscribers being united under one monopoly.

    Both companies have a track record of being pretty anticompetitive, so I’m pretty worried about what would happen with a company spanning itself from New York to Los Angeles. Would that be what’s best for consumers? Bloomberg Businessweek seems to think so, but I’m not convinced. We’ll have to see how the FCC reacts, but sources seem to not be looking so good.

    A final point to make is: What would happen when you have so many subscribers on one network? Not only is it anticompetitive, but that company could forge exclusive deals with content providers, essentially shutting out any independent form of television production. In short, DirectTV and Dish customers should probably care about this stuff. When there are many players, content providers are forced to share their content with multiple sources. We could see that go away.

  3. Comcast and netflix have been in the news a lot lately i feel. for comcast it is because of the huge merging with time warner and for netflix it is for the raise in monthly prices they are going to implement here in the near future. i have also heard talks about some cable companies that may be going into business with netflix and making a netflix subscription part of the monthly payment and one would be able to access netflix right from their cable box.

    in this case i feel that comcast is someone out of line. by putting the blame on netflix they will only really hurt the subscribers of netflix, if they would decide to punish netflix in some way. and i fell, though i don’t know for certain, that comcast isnt really struggling right now. now i know that they are their own company but they should really be thinking about their costumers too, because if they do things like this too often im sure they will see a dramatic decrease in clients.

  4. I have always been confused as to how and why internet service providers (as well as cable companies) can consistently be among the worst companies at providing customer satisfactory care. Its incredible that these two types of companies always seem to have some sort of monopoly-like choke hold on various local markets and there is never any sort of customer friendly alternative. To me, it seems like it would be relatively simple for some internet service provided to model itself around maximizing customer satisfaction and then for them to slowly become wildly more popular than the existing companies. Even if services were slightly more expensive, I feel as though people would be willing to pay $10 or so per month more in exchange for guarantees against things like throttling.

    Now we are starting to see things like internet websites/companies (such as Netflix in the case of this article) being accused of throttling. In the end of the day, it seems as though every company involved in these various internet markets is looking to do whatever they can to save a few dollars and every time it is the customer who ends up “paying the price,” so to speak. Personally, I am completely unaware as to what it is intrinsically about cable/internet providing that creates so many companies who care so little about customer satisfaction. Maybe in the future, some of these companies will move away from all of their various forms of corner cutting and move towards making money by enticing potential customers with quality service.