Net Neutrality Friday

This week the big news was the Comcast/Netflix peering deal. In some ways it was a non-event. But given the popularity of Netflix (and I am both a Comcast subscriber and a Netflix subscriber) it raised a number of mainstream eyebrows.

First, I want to say I have never had an issue with streaming Netflix over my Comcast connection. On top of that, my son and I have only come close to our "bandwidth cap" with Comcast 1 month in our time here. He streams A LOT of video to his phone over WiFi and uses Netflix. We also use our PS/3+Youtube integration. With all of that and our other activities we are still below the threshold.

The peering deal made a lot of sense for both companies. My guess is that Netflix will bypass Cogent's CDN over time with most of the US Tier 1 ISPs and directly peer with them. There is so much traffic now from Netflix that I think this will lower their long term costs. It helps the ISPs as they get some revenue out of the deal though probably not as much as they want.

The number of services that may encounter these scaling and growth issues is very limited. You need to be a site that delivers LOTS of video OTT. Right now there are only 2 - Youtube and Netflix. Given that Youtube is free and Google buys lots of stuff from lots of ISPs it is not clear that Youtube causes the same consternation from the ISPs as Netflix.

But on the Google front, they have announced a major expansion of Google Fiber. Interestingly, none of the cities to date are in Verizon properties. This means that Google is not going after FiOS. Google is going into Centurylink and AT&T properties where there is essentially no FTTH. I don't expect this to stir up much as the cable companies can already do DOCSIS 3.0 (100 Mbps) anywhere they want. I still don't thin Google is going to want to be an Access Player long term and will probably end up selling the properties. But it is FUN to talk about!

I think I can get back to general topics on Fridays going forward! If some telecom regulatory issue comes up, Friday's will my days to talk about it!

Have a great weekend!

Jim Sackman
FocalPoint Business Coaching
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