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Netflix CEO: Reluctantly paid Comcast for streaming deal

CEO Reed Hastings wrote in a blog post that Netflix is forced to continue to make streaming deals, but at the same time the company will fight for net neutrality rules.
By Ananth Baliga   |   March 21, 2014 at 10:52 AM   |   Comments

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LOS GATOS, Calif., March 21 (UPI) -- Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said Thursday that he strongly supports net neutrality rules and that they reluctantly paid Comcast to seamlessly stream their content.

The new agreement with Comcast would have Netflix install dedicated servers that connect directly with Comcast's network and will ensure smooth streaming for their subscribers. The deal came after U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia tossed out the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules in January.

"To ensure the Internet remains humanity's most important platform for progress, net neutrality must be defended and strengthened," Hastings wrote. ISPs "must provide sufficient access to their network without charge."

This is the first time Hastings has come out and voiced his opinion on the issue. Hastings said that there is a need for strong net neutrality rules and that agreements like the one Netflix struck with Comcast should be prohibited, but defended his company's decision to go ahead with such a deal.

"While in the short term Netflix will in cases reluctantly pay large ISPs to ensure a high quality member experience, we will continue to fight for the Internet the world needs and deserves," he wrote.

The FCC has said that it will craft new rules based on the court's rulings and try to enforce net neutrality principles on a case-by-case basis.

According to technology firm Sandvine, Netflix occupies nearly a third of North American data traffic. Netflix, like other content providers, has been using third-party distributors to store and move its content to service providers.

Netflix is reportedly in talks with Verizon for a similar deal -- Verizon was the complainant in the court case against the FCC's net neutrality rules.

[Netflix]
[USAToday]

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