140 Comments

Summary:

Netflix submitted an unusually blunt filing to the FCC that blasts Verizon and Comcast, and says the agency should use its “Title II” power to enforce net neutrality.

Netflix launched a new user interface almost half a year ago - but on the new Fire TV, users still get the old UI.

Netflix came out swinging in its submission to the FCC over proposed internet “fast lanes,” arguing Wednesday that this would be a bad idea and that the agency should instead focus on forcing broadband providers to deliver the speeds they promise to their customers.

In its 28-page filing, which coincides with the close of an initial public comment period, Netflix singled out Comcast and Verizon for degrading its movie streams to “nearly VHS quality” and for holding subscribers ransom in a battle over who should pay for upgrades to internet infrastructure.

While many companies — including Comcast — have said the FCC should preserve a “free and open internet,” Netflix’s submission is unusually blunt and specific about the measures to take. Notably, Netflix told the FCC that it should reclassify the internet providers as so-called “Title II” services, which would allow the agency to treat them more akin to public utilities and bar them from favoring one website over another.

The reclassification proposal has so far been a third rail in the debate over how the FCC should address “net neutrality” after its previous rules collapsed in court in January. Comcast and others bitterly oppose reclassification, arguing it will undermine their ability to innovate.

Netflix, however, makes the case that the FCC has no other choice, and points out that two previous attempts at regulating internet providers as “information services” failed due to a poor legal framework.

The company’s filing also highlights the recent controversy over “interconnection points” and who is to blame for congestion points at deeper reaches of the internet that caused Netflix traffic to degrade for Comcast and Verizon subscribers. According to Netflix, the cable giants deliberately failed to maintain these points, with the result that:

“Due to Comcast’s degrading its interconnection points, the first customer received less than 6% of the broadband service she had purchased from Comcast, while the second received only 1%.”

Netflix has been forced to pay tolls to Verizon and Comcast to ensure its traffic flows through, but argued that it shouldn’t have to do so. Instead, Netflix said, the ISPs should have to deliver the internet speeds they promised to consumers — regardless of which website they choose to watch:

It is called the Inter-net for a reason. That is, the Inter-net comprises interconnections between many autonomous networks, all sharing common protocols [...] online applications and services like Netflix are why consumers purchase broadband access services in the first place. If ISPs want online applications to share their costs, perhaps they should also be willing to share their revenues.

The company also took aim at the FCC’s “fast lane” proposal, arguing that it creates a perverse incentive for the ISPs to create congestion so that they can then turn around and demand money for traffic to pass through. Arguing that “no rule is better than a bad rule,” Netflix also claimed that the FCC’s suggestion that it would ban “commercially unreasonable” arrangements would prove unworkable in the real world.

Finally, Netflix also attempted to strike a personal chord with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. The company cited a highly-publicized sketch by comedian John Oliver that compares Wheeler to a “dingo,” and points to a report in which Wheeler’s wife discovers her video is stuttering and asks, “You’re chairman of the FCC, why is this happening?”

The filing also calls for more transparency for the ISP’s and a “rebuttable presumption” test in which they would have to deliver the speeds they promise. Here’s a copy with some of the key parts underlined:

Netflix FCC Comments

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140 Comments

  1. If they promised something to their customers they should be obligated to produce. This Third Rail idea sounds suspiciously like insider information that a select few will profit from.
    Leslie

    1. ‘Third Rail’ is an expression that means a proposal that neither side in a political discussion is willing to make. It gets its name from the electric ‘third rail’ in train systems that people will get electrocuted if they ‘touch’.

      1. No need for those quotes. People get electrocuted if they touch the third rail in train systems. It’s unclear if they get ‘electrocuted if they ‘touch’ the third ‘rail’ in train ‘systems’.

        1. Adam’s quotes are correct. Per Oxford Dictionaries, quotation marks are to be used “to mark off a word or phrase that’s being discussed.” Examples provided include:

          What does ‘integrated circuit’ mean?

          He called this phenomenon ‘the memory of water.’

          Next, a hollow spout, known as a “feeder tube,” is placed in the hole.

        2. Adam’s quotes are correct. Per Oxford Dictionaries, quotation marks are to be used “to mark off a word or phrase that’s being discussed.” Examples provided include:

          What does ‘integrated circuit’ mean?

          He called this phenomenon ‘the memory of water.’

          Next, a hollow spout, known as a “feeder tube,” is placed in the hole.

          1. His quotes are correct in the first sentence. It’s unclear whether the quotes around ‘third rail’ are correct in the second sentence because that isn’t referencing the words from the article that are being discussed, but a literal third rail in a train system. The quotes around ‘touch’ are very clearly incorrect, because that is, without question, not a word that is being discussed.

      2. That is one way to look at the third rail. Without the third rail no one is going anywhere! It provides the power to move forward.
        Leslie

  2. @sw08 here here :)
    Forcing truth in advertising good
    Crony rules and regulations favoring netflix at the expense of others bad

    1. Nonsense, Netflix needs to be treated just like any other content provider in a real open, neutral net. It’s beyond time for the ISP and internal carriers like Comcast, Verizon and ATT deliver the high speed service we all pay for. They are making money hand over fist off the high prices we all pay to connect to the net. They have lots of money to upgrade and take care of the bottlenecks they create.

      1. Netflix does deserve to be treated like anyone else… sending 30% of the internet traffic should result in a bill commesurate with that. Netflix should be paying the majority of the large ISPs and routing directly on each of them instead of choking all of the interconnections.

        People half their size pay CDN’s to do that for them. Netflix thinks they’re too big to fail and can force the rest of the internet to accomadate them.

    2. What does this mean? I pay for 105mbps from comcast. If I go to speediest.net I get rated at 105mbps, but if I stream a movie from netflix it won’t allow the stream in hi def. if I however use my VPN service to mask my traffic from Comcast and try to stream from netflix, it works! Comcast is throttling netflix, plain and simple.

      1. or the other way around.

        1. What does that even mean…

          1. He means that Netflix could be the one causing the bad connection, but i would say that it also happends with youtube. Even if they did cause it, the internet providers should be obligated to give us what we pay for.

            1. How could you even suggest such a crazy notion? That doesn’t even make any sense.

            2. It makes a lot of sense since they’re the front runners pushing for net neutrality. I’ve noticed lately on my Roku that every channel that i have works just fine except for Netflix lately. It has had slow load times, and I honestly think they’re trying to demo what it would be like if certain sites were throttled. Or, they’ve pissed off some higher ups and they’re already being throttled.

            3. That would be stupid. People would drop Netflix if they can’t stream the movies the way they should be. Netflix would have nothing to gain to choke down there own connections.

            4. FreeTheInternet Guest Saturday, July 19, 2014

              Netflix has a great deal to gain if they can get ISPs to tailor their services to serve Netflix requirements. I love Mr. Hastings comments that Netflix should get a free ride on the Internet. I think he should start arguing that all companies should be able to connect to the internet for free, rather than just his organization. Small business could truly benefit if they did not have to pay for Internet connectivity, or other services like phones, rent, copiers, employee salaries, etc.

            5. @freetheinternet , How can you say that. Netflix pays for its internet just like the rest of us!

            6. Noone is getting a free ride, and your misinterpreting what was said. Hasting’s is pointing out that netflix subscribers use an incredible amount of bandwidth, so they should pay more. Hasting’s looks at services like netflix and hulu as a threat because they are loosing money/customers while these services are creating congestion for them. ISP’s see the economy and the $$$ of the internet slipping through their fingers. This is all about shareholder stock and new revenue streams.

            7. Netflix customers do pay more for high speed. the ISP’s charge more for higher speeds than the slower conections. They are violating their customers trust if they throtte down the speed to less than they are getting paid for.

            8. The problem with that is this: I already pay for my bandwidth. Data is data, if I am paying for 25 Mbps then the data I am requesting–NO MATTER WHAT IT IS–should flow at or near 25 Mbps. If my ISP cannot deliver that bandwidth to me then they should not be selling that package in my area.

      2. And the Consumer should be able to sue Comcast and any other provider for not delivering what we are paying for. And it should not have to be a “Class Action” suit we should be able to sue individually and tie up Comcast and the legal system until something is done about it.

        1. Mr. Biggelsworth utraa Monday, July 21, 2014

          You can sue Comcast, many people due all the time….In small claims court. If your interested I advise you to look up how to track your internet speed. If after a month you see that Comcast’s average is below what is promised take them to small claims court and sue them. Comcast’s lawyers are all for naught in small claims and a little bit of evidence goes a long way. I have a friend who has sued and won against Comcast 9 times for a sum of around 5000$.

  3. These other commenters are wrong. I feel like I have been sexually assaulted by Verizon and their fees.

    1. How does someone feel sexually assaulted by fees, lol?

    2. Nobody is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to stay connected.

      1. With everything being electronic these days, the internet and “being connected” are no longer just a luxury. So yes, in the modern world, we virtually HAVE to be connected somehow. Sadly, there are limited options, none of them great.

  4. Netflix may increase the flow of other traffic on the inter-net by *holding its breath* for common sense from the FCC :/

  5. Is the FCC working for Comcast and Verizon or the People of the USA???? I pay for it. Give me the Internet Speed that I pay for. Let Comcast do there thing and there will not be an Internet just Comcast Net

    1. Thanks to the Retardlickons since Reagan, the FCC is working for Comcast and Verizon. Duh.

    2. This is y i dont give verzion or comcast my money directly or indirectly, bunch of greedy basterads.

  6. Comcast claims up to X speed, but it’s bullshit because the next tier implies more speed without actually being able to give it to you, just charges you more for potential speed. In my state they are merging with another cable company reducing consumer options even more.

  7. Note to people reading these comments:

    The ones that are positive toward comcast and verizon are paid commenters. They have been paying marketing companies to comment in their favor across the web on various websites. They have been ousted on a few occasions and it’s quite funny.

  8. Normally I would be strongly inclined to side with Netflix, however; I can’t help but think to myself: “Is this what the world is coming to?” Are we so spoiled here (in the U.S. in particular) that this is an issue at this level? We have THINGS, but those things aren’t good enough and probably never will be. Meanwhile children are dying in wars that have nothing to do with them…just saying.

    1. You are saying nothing, corporate shill. A consumer is not greedy for demanding services paid for. Period. We do NOT have it better. We have it worse. The ISP’s argument is even more rediculous because they have received our tax dollars to maintain the very infrastructure they claim to not have the money to fix, TWICE! I can’t even imagine how many MORE children would starve due to the lack of technological innovations in science that would come about from stifling the internet with “fast lanes”. How would it NOT have the same effect on small business as a Walmart coming to town???

    2. Except those people in those other countries are getting a faster and freedom filled internet connection you corporate hack.

    3. The rest of the world had 50+MB/S while here in the USA we still had 56K dialup just ten years ago (AOL). Now were putting up with 5-10 MB/S while in Romania they get over 200 MB/S. We pay $100+ for packages that promise 20, 40, even 60 MB/S but in reality we get less than 10 on a good day. You SHOULD be concerned. This greed shit has gone on too long.

      1. jeffrey james snyder Edward Kenway Sunday, July 20, 2014

        NSA is taking all the juice out of the system because of it’s massive spying program.

      2. 100% right. Only in America do we throttle or retard tech for the sake of a dollar:(

    4. The United States has slower internet speeds then the majority of countries in the world, including Syria. It’s okay to complain.

      1. And what is the percentage of households that are connected in the USA, versus the percentage of households that are connected in other countries such as Syria?  It’s like an Interstate highway; if everybody and their kid sister is trying to drive on the same stretch of road at the same time, nobody is going to get anywhere.

        1. I bet less people in Syria has running water, and it doesn’t mean that those who have it have higher pressure in the pipe.

        2. I don’t think the road builders should charge more for the road maintenance because semis drive on it. Comcast just pissed they are loosing tv subscribers to netflix and they are trying to tax them for it. There is no internet”clog”. It is manufactured through throttling.

  9. Just to be clear, I completely agree with the position of Netflix here regarding net neutrality. But most internet service providers say “up to” x-mbps, so I doubt they have a real legal obligation to provide anything. Of course, the fact that these ISPs don’t seem to be required to specify a minimum connection is, on its own, troublesome.

    The least we can do is what Hungary did in 2008: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2010/08/the-federal-communications-commission-reported/

  10. How do you argue with Netflix case? Comcast advertises “up to 25 mbps” for $29.99/month. They are not delivering on their contract unless they deliver “25 mbps” at least some of the time.

    Of course they have options:
    1) List the internet services to which they are unable our unwilling to deliver 25 mbps.
    2) Add fine print like the drug manufacturers do listing all the reasons why you may not receive 25 mbps. … this fine print must be included in every add that promises “up to 25 mbps” service.

    Easy choices … tell your customers the truth or get out of business.

    1. “Up to” implies that you won’t get anything OVER 25 Mbps…not that you’ll ever actually get that 25 Mbps. I think if you do a lot of searching, most companies say you are supposed to get at least 65% to 70% of the “up to” speed, otherwise you might as well go down a speed tier and get the lower price. Of course they can always blame outside carriers and providers for the slowdown…and they do…

    2. But, of course, the rate you can receive also depends on the rate the sender can send. You will not receive 25 Mbps from a www site that has a 10 Mbps connection to the Internet, or a 100 Mbps connection shared by 100 simultaneous receivers. Netflix needs to pay for it’s connection too. That’s what this is about. Netflix is trying to dump some of it’s bandwidth costs onto your ISP bill, instead of your Netflix bill.

      1. By your logic that would mean that Youtube would have to be charged for half of my bandwith while Netflix the other half because that’s pretty much what my usage is composed of. That’s the stupidest thing i’ve ever heard.

        1. Good thing you didn’t design the Internet, then, because that’s how it works. Senders pay. As in every other transportation system. No surprise Netflix would like to change this.

        2. Suppose you wanted to watch live video from a friend at 1 Mbps. Do you believe your ISP is obligated to provide a 1 Mbps connection to your friend’s house because you have already paid to receive 1 Mbps? Or, do you think your friend also must pay for their connection? And, if your friend wanted 10 people to watch, wouldn’t your friend need to pay for a 10 Mbps connection? Get it?

          1. senders do pay….yes….netflix is paying for it’s connection, but the bandwidth is being reduced between Netflix and the consumers at “bottlenecks” in the ISP’s networks…Netflix is sending at a higher rate than it’s customers are recieving at…when the customer is paying foor that bandwith as well…THAT is Netflix’s beef. if you have a 100Mbps connection, and netflix is trying to send you 100Mb/s of video (on a connection that they are both paying and well within the limits of) to a user that is paying to be able to recieve that bandwidth, and it is being throttled back (as verizon and comcast are doing INTERNALLY, and INTENTIONALLY to reduce congestion while still charging both the end user and netflix premiums for transfer rates that they are not being given, there is a problem. that is netflix’s beef…they pay exhorbitant sums of money for their bandwidth…but it is being held back by the network and the end user experience is suffering from it. I have verizon fios, and my connection struggles to play HD content from netflix, and usually drops to standard def…believe me…that’s not what I payed for a big flatscreen to see. I’m paying netflix and verizon for a service and a connection to carry it….the connection is not delivering as promised…not even close, however if I try to stream high def video elsewhere, it comes in crystal clear and almost instantly…netflix is being throttled back.

            1. Netflix is being throttled where it attempts to enter the ISP network, the same way your home ethernet traffic would be throttled if it attempted to enter your ISP network through a dial up modem. If you want to put more data into the ISP, you need to pay for a faster connection. That is how ISP’s manage and finance capacity on their networks. Accepting additional data may require capacity build-outs through the entire network, which, you know, might mean trucks rolling out to 100’s of neighborhoods. That costs money. The capacity to receive 100 Mbps from anywhere in the world does not suddenly materialize when you purchase a 100 Mbps connection to “the Internet.” Capacity only appears when someone on the other end also purchases the ability to send at that rate to you. Netflix supposedly accounts for 30% of US Internet traffic. Do you suppose they are paying 30% of the operating cost of the Internet?

            2. I have Netflix and everything I get from them is in HD. I do not have Comcast or Verizon. I am a small co-op that provides to about 6 counties. Nothing is getting choked out through them, It sounds like Comcast and Verizon don’t have the equipment to handle the amount of information being sent because if I’m getting everything in HD from a local carrier just fine, its obvious Netflix isn’t the culprit.

            3. Netflix is being throttled? No, my connection to Netflix is being throttled and I am not getting what I am paying for. People in the United States pay a lot more for internet and ours speeds are slow. What are the companies doing with our money? They are certainly avoiding upgrading their network for a faster, better network.

            4. Tim, Netflix does not contract with Comcast or Verizon for their internet connection, so they are not being throttled at that point. Their connection is being degraded when their service provider has to connect with Comcast and Verizon to provide service to the home user. If they were using either of those two services for their ISP, it would be a simple Service Level Agreement dispute which would be easily resolved. Unlike home users, when a business contracts with an ISP, they are guaranteed a given throughput.

            5. Thanks Matt for stating the issue correctly. Tim, you don’t sound like a moron and I don’t believe for a second that you don’t understand the illogic of what you’re saying. You sound like a shill, and I WORK FOR COMCAST. That said, here’s why fast lanes are fair: say you built a highway. It’s a toll road because you built it to make money, and that’s ok because we live in America. You charge each vehicle that accesses your road $1. Now a big company moves in. They drive huge dump trucks and they use your road. Their trucks take up half the lanes, cause half the wear and tear and use the space of 3 cars, but you’re still only charging them a dollar per truck. Now you’re making less money than you planned to make when you built the road, which took crazy money to build. Your 3 choices are a) eat the loss, b) raise the toll for everyone, or c) charge the dump trucks more. Your company is profitable and could probably absorb the loss, but so could the trucking company. Which do you choose? The truth is, you could easily sneak in price increases to everyone, a dime a month for ten months, and no one would notice. Instead, you decide to charge the trucks more. Now imagine that all anyone talks about is how many dollars you collect at the toll booth and how you’re such a greedy bastard, not because you decided to charge everyone more, but because you decided to charge the trucking company more. I’m not saying Comcast isn’t greedy, but poor ol’ Netflix isn’t exactly drowning in competition, and their rates aren’t going down either. Ditto Youtube. Seriously, people. Pay attention to the whole argument, not just the side telling you what you want to hear.

            6. Firstly, the road was built with the full knowledge that it would be carrying lots of dump trucks – in fact its a mostly dump truck road, secondly the tolls are being fully pre-paid for all the dump trucks that travel down the road by the people at the end of the road. What the road company wants to do is extract ‘protection money’ from the truckers even though their tolls have already been paid by the people at the end of the road. Sounds like the road company want to be paid twice for the same service. And why is that the road company’s own trucks always get through on time, but everyone else’s trucks don’t?

            7. Not sure what you mean by your last statement but your first is irrelevant and your second is wrong. The people at the other end of the road are the cars in my analogy. They are paying for their access. Netflix has the dump trucks and it must pay for its own access. The fact that the road company may be profitable entirely through tolls paid by cars does not mean it doesn’t have the right to charge the dump trucks more. After all, if the dump truck company passes the extra transportation costs on to its customers, you can bet it won’t go back and lower them later if it wins the legal battle. And if they end up negotiating a LOWER rate, it isn’t obligated to pass the savings on to its customers either, and probably won’t. Both companies have a responsibility to be ethical, but both also have a responsibility to maximize profit and shareholder value.

      2. Absolutely ridiculous. Netflix pays for their end of the connection (to their ISP) and is not trying to get away from that, which should be obvious to anyone. What is happening is that Comcast and Verizon are trying to charge for Netflix to go THROUGH their connections at a fraction of the speed that they promise to their customers. Imagine if every network between you and any website that you visit wanted to charge a “toll” to that website (i.e. the sender)? How many websites would simply disappear overnight? This is what Verizon and Comcast are trying to implement.

        Really, think about it: Netflix already pays their ISP for all the traffic they send on their end. Why should they have to pay AGAIN, for Comcast, Verizon, and every other random network between them and the viewer to relay the traffic?

        How about email, for example? Would you like to have to pay each network hop for each email message that you send?

        1. “Imagine if every network between you and any website that you visit wanted to charge a “toll” to that website (i.e. the sender)?”

          That is exactly how the Internet works. Do you think people build networks so they can carry traffic for free? Networks only exchange traffic for free when traffic is roughly balanced in both directions, or when the volume is negligible.

          Netflix pays Comcast for the same reason you would pay Comcast if you want to send data into the Comcast network. Most www sites do this through 3rd party aggregators. They pay for a connection to a data center, who pays for a connection to a transit network, who pays for a connection to Comcast. Larger content providers save money by cutting out the middle men.

          1. Tim, dude, you are an idiot and you sound like a paid idiot of verizon or comcast. You keep saying that netflix has to pay for sending through the ISP, they aready are arent they? Dude anyone can see that V and C are trying to squeeze more money out of Netflix. The fast lane crap is just that, CRAP. It is a way for ISP’s to squeeze more money from content providers and lock out innovation for those with little money. Rich gettin richer….don’t ISPs already make billions? C and V are trying to change the rules on they’re own because if the public truly see what is happening as Netflix has so greatly stated, they will be held accountable. Please ppl don’t let these greedy ppl get away with it! STAND UP AND STATE YOUR CASE PEOPLE!!!

            1. Chuck, you should actually look up the “rules” you are saying Verizon & Comcast are trying to change. I will explain what Netflix is trying to do. They want to put their data on the Internet for free via their very one sided Open Connect agreements; look it up. This would save Netflix almost all delivery costs on the Internet. They are passing the costs onto ISP’s which try to ask why should they foot the delivery costs for Netflix who is making all the money off this data. Netflix is making tons of money now that they do not use nearly as much of USPS.
              Now you will say that ISP’s are already taking in $$$ from their customers. Correct, but now a minority of customers are taking up most of the ISP’s bandwidth and making the ISP’s upgrade their networks. Now that ISP costs are higher due to a minority of customers, who should pay those ISP costs to upgrade the network? The minority of the customers through the ISP charging Netflix? OR should all customers’ bills go up to fund those minority of customers using Netflix? This is the million dollar question that no one wants to understand… I believe your anger clouded judgment will say that the ISP’s should eat the costs entirely.

          2. How are Comcast’s benefits?

          3. When I am able to upload like a thousand high-quality photos to my Flickr account with no hassles in a really small amount of time, but can’t watch a video on Netflix because the thing JUST WON’T LOAD …. tell me how that makes sense.

            1. Tim is correct about ISP to ISP peering points, transit links are normally balanced with send and receive. Netflix “was” paying a 3rd party for Internet access. That 3rd party was trying to strong arm Verizon & Comcast to pay for more bandwidth to them. Verizon and Comcast ask why should they pay for this 3rd party’s bandwidth especially when it is NOT balanced traffic. This is how the Internet has ALWAYS worked, it’s not rocket science. Cogent, the 3rd party ISP, is who was to profit therefore should foot the non balanced link. Very pure & simple. They refused to do it…
              Netflix also said screw USPS, let’s get a free ride off the Internet and ditch our costs off to the ISP’s. Hastings should shut his mouth and be glad he’s making a much higher percentage now that he’s using the Internet.
              Instead Hastings is trying to get tirade started and get people on his side and it’s working.
              Look at both sides instead of following your hatred of ISP’s.

      3. you need to tell people you work for isp s. only they will agree with u

  11. Justin Andrews Wednesday, July 16, 2014

    We should start a petition to congress for this! its true, big corporations are holding bandwidth hostage until they can force others to pay more! We pay them enough, forever!

    1. Congress doesn’t care what we think. They are only interested in which company will pad their back pockets

  12. “Comcast and others bitterly oppose reclassification, arguing it will undermine their ability to innovate.”

    I guess that’s cool if by innovate you mean create new ways to legally steal from people and kill the internet.

  13. I find it funny that a company who limits their own bandwidth(which i have seen on smart tv’s speedtests) wants to make other companies bandwitdths higher.

    Netflix buffers down to 1.5 mpbs on a regular basis even to my 300mpbs customers.

  14. FUCK Comcast, Verizon, their subsideries and share holders (of which I am one). Netflix proposes a brilliant solution—think of the internet like electricity I pay my bill and the lights come on. They don’t sputter and dim and then brighten when I pay for “high speed electricity.”

    1. Do you know what a brown out is?

    2. Great that all I need, a 400.00 internet bill.

  15. For those of you who don’t get it, Netflix is paying (toll) Verizon and Comcast for there users to stream movies & TV shows in HD. However, Verizon and Comcast are not letting Netflix users to stream in the best quality. So why should Netflix continue to pay the toll to Verizon and Comcast if Netflix isn’t getting it’s money worth? And if Netflix users aren’t getting the quality of service (streaming) Netflix provides, thats less money for Netflix. And if thats less money for Netflix, Netflix might just have to stop paying the toll and that mean less money for Verizon and Comcast. Simple as that

  16. We have a new customer special with Comcast paying $40 a month for 50mbps for internet only. The speedtest.net tells me I’m getting from 10 to 15mbps this is ridiculous.. There should be a minimum stated when they sell you these internet packages. I expect to get the speed I pay for at least 50% dang…

    1. According to a recent article, the FCC supposedly did a study of ISPs to determine if they were providing the speeds their customers were paying for. The study showed that most of them were providing the paid for speeds if not faster. The criteria they based this on was that the ISP provided 80% of the speed to at least 80% of their customers surveyed. In a nutshell, if you are paying for 50Mbps and aren’t getting at least 40Mbps, you need to be contacting your ISP to get that fixed.

  17. I still recall that not too long ago we had a “glut of fiber” in the ground that has yet to be used. So whatever happened to that? And why do we still have slow connectivity? I guess money is always the key factor to “flow”

    1. Google is slowly buying up the dark fiber (unused fiber lines) and offering internet services in select cities. They offer actual “high speed” gigabit internet, not the slow “high speed” of Comcast or Verizon.

  18. Nextflix should start installing its own fibre network. I’m sure Google will help them

  19. Comcast and Verizon are unbridled evil. Their strategy is to remove choice from consumer and business and extort money from both. You’re looking at PAC money in action.

  20. From a technical standpoint, I wonder if all the backbones, trunks, and other infrastructure of the Internet are even CAPABLE of say hundreds of millions of paying customers streaming the maximum speed bitstreams they are paying for from a source such as Netflix. How far behind is the infrastructure REALLY? How much more money needs to be spent to make it capable of doing what the ISPs promise? Are we talking about something that is going to take YEARs or even decades in some areas of the nation? Does anyone even know? It seems that even if net-neutrality is passed, all the ISPs have to do is downgrade the speed claims of all their packages (but still keep charging you the same amount) and then what? We’d all be stuck with even worse service than now, since in many areas of the nation there really isn’t any competition.

    1. Good question. Historically, ISP’s operated with contention ratios of at least 20:1. This means you would only get your full connection speed when 19 out 20 customers were idle. Though it sounds like a cheat, this “statistical multiplexing” is one of the main innovations of the Internet that made it work. Would consumers have paid 20x the price for that reserved capacity? Instead, you pay for a lot less, but get a 20X speed boost, as long as other people are idle. This works for conventional www surfing. You download a page and then your connection is idle while you read it. Or, even with short form video content like YouTube, you spend time searching for it, sharing it, etc. If you fall asleep the video stops. TV is something entirely different, and is going to require a lot more back end capacity. Early Netflix users were able to exploit the unused capacity of their neighbors. Now as more people sign up, more capacity is needed. Netflix is being asked to pay for it and they don’t want to. They probably know their demands are commercially ridiculous, but it may help them in their negotiations with ISP’s and the PR helps divert customer dissatisfaction away from them onto their ISP, which is always an easy target, as evidenced by the idiotic commentary here.

      1. Tim, how much is Comcast paying you? We, the taxpayers, PAID ISPs TWICE (as in 2 times) to upgrade their networks. Did they do it? No. So yes, lets blame Netflix for providing content we want, because it’s their fault somehow… Netflix pays for their internet connection and I pay for mine. I should be getting my speeds and Netflix should not be paying for me to get my speeds when I already paid Comcast!

        Your claim of congestion is laughable. Why does the rest of the world, Europe, etc. have gigabit speeds, while we are still so slow in the U.S.?

        1. Dave, you have no idea what you are talking about. No ISP has dedicated residential bandwidth, even in Europe. ISP’s have capacity trends that they use to keep the bandwidth available, but if everyone tried to use the Internet at once, it would come to a crawl. Even the backbone tier 1 ISP’s do not have that bandwidth capability.
          Instead of your hatred blinding you, do some research and learn what you are talking about.
          If you want dedicated bandwidth, you will pay many more times what you are paying now.
          This brings me to the point, now that the minority of users (Netflix) are costing ISP’s more money to upgrade the networks, the ISP’s have to in turn get that money back. Do you want your parents who browse the web and maybe email to have their bill go up for the Netflix users?
          Yes, I work for an ISP, I know what I am talking about and I try to be very open to debate. The conclusion that I come to is that Reed Hastings is trying to get a free lunch from ISP’s by using their infrastructure to reach their customers. FYI, the ISP I work for did not take tax incentives to upgrade their network.

  21. I don’t think either side is giving us the whole story. Publish the raw data for anyone to analyze. The community will publish their findings.

    Hiding behind a hearsay, generalization and fancy graphics does not help anyone. It is just a marketing exercise.

  22. They’re dumb pipes so lets classify them as such. That way when the conflict interests get crazy with all the content they are buying up, consumers arent held for ransom.

  23. Everyone should know by now. The FCC is one more Government joke.
    They have all ready made up there minds on the sale of Time Warner to Comcast.
    They have all ready made up there minds on the fast lane crap.
    All the FCC is doing now is blowing hot air out there a$$ to make it look like they are doing something.
    Buy the end of the year Comcast will get Time Warner. And they will start the caps on your net use. And start the SO CALLED FAST LANE CRAP.
    And all that is, is the High speed net you have now. But with a NEW NAME and a NEW PRICE.
    And this all = Total bull shit..
    The US Government way…
    And if you think I am full of it… Fine. See me in Jan 2015.. And tell me I am full of it then..
    I hope I am WRONG! But I bet not!

  24. Robin Bressler Saturday, July 19, 2014

    Verizon and Comcast are like the mafia. Using threats to extort money out of companies that do business online. Does anybody else get the impression that somebody at Verizon has said ” That’s really nice internet connection you got there. It would be a shame if something were to …a happen to it.” ?

    1. every time i send a letter to the fcc my internet connection slows down, so much that ive been wondering how many emails it will take to stop it altogether . and att isnt even in this discussion!!

  25. I fear leaving things to these companies will keep American internet service among the slowest and most expensive in the world. Doea anyone remember when companies took pride in their country and being the best in the world? Now most of them seem like souless blood suckers and even in their greed like spawns of Satan.

  26. I ‘m glad there are many experts at figuring out what the problems here are. I am however just a consumer citizen who is fed up with all of this b.s. If Comcast or whoever promises a certain speed then I don’t want to hear any more b.s. as to why it is not as advertised or I have to pay more etc etc. Leaving this up to these companies I feel is a sure way to keep America with among the slowest and most expensive internet service in the world and that is a disgrace.

  27. All Comcast and Time warner are interested in is how much money they can steal, this capitalism is breaking the USA. No wonder we don’t need God. Money is their God. I can’t change it, but taxes and big business is breaking us poor people. To bad our Congress is so interested in their back pocket.

  28. The ISP’s are all pigs, but their objective is to please the shareholder and that means increasing profits. Upgrading equipment is expensive. They look to Netflix to fund that for them, when thousands of websites utilize their infrastructure.

  29. Internet speeds may vary and are not guaranteed that’s the fine print that creepy billionaires use to rob the customers that they could care less about

  30. Netflix is going to screw us all, they want the internet to be a utility, remember all your utilities are metered. You will soon be paying for usage on your home internet just like you do on you cell phones.

    1. what you think they do now? bandwidth cap… only idiots would agree to pay for that crap though. “hogging the servers” is load of B.S

  31. Just to get this straight – we pay a monthly fee for a certain download speed, and the ISP’s (Comcast and Verizon in particular) want to ALSO charge the high-bandwidth sites such as Netflix to deliver their content…

    Talk about taking two bites from the apple ~

  32. Video on youtube where this guy was getting 300KB during a netflix stream, but soon as he did something to make it look like he wasn’t using Netflix. It skyrocketed up to 3000KB

  33. Randall Chartier Sunday, July 20, 2014

    All you have to know about Verizon is that they will sell you a contract and after they have your signature they may remove cell towers from service in your area. So that you cannot make or receive calls – then lie to you on top of that and tell you they’re fixing the problem when they created the problem in the first place. Evil people – right up there with AT&T…….

  34. Tim,

    Reading you comments makes us happy that we hired you.
    Your check is in the mail.

    Sincerely,
    your friends at Comcast

  35. Chris Baker Sunday, July 20, 2014

    I totally agree with Netflix on this one. I’m kind of surprised that Netflix has not sued Verizon and Comcast for at least a billion dollars each over slowing down there customers connections because they have caused harm to the Netflix brand by slowing down customer connections.

    1. Verizon and Comcast customers should get on the phone and call and bitch, Basically saying, Look here, I’m paying you for such and such a speed, You are slowing down my Netflix on purpose, do you want me to go elsewhere or keep me as a customer? That should do it, as that is what I did and they knew I meant it!

  36. I had comcast’s 50 mbs service but only receiving 12 mbs paying twice as much. When I complained they said their guarantee was only up to what kind of guarantee is that. Can you imagine the service if comcast gets even more control? If you think that they treat us bad now pray that they don’t get more control.

  37. Oh that’s going to happen with Tom Wheeler at the helm of the FCC. For those of you that don’t know, Tom Wheeler was the biggest meanest lobbyist for the Cable TV and Internet companies. He’s Comcasts “boy”. He should step down or be removed from his position, he should have never been appointed head of the FCC, to many conflicts of interest.

  38. Netflix is right on this one ISP’s have one job provide Internet it is NOT their job to filter, alter, or inhibit content.
    ISP’s ARE a utility i see no reason they should not be treated like one. This classification should also be forced on cell phone service providers as you are paying for bandwidth and that’s it
    Only 5ish % of all revenue goes into paying for hardware so they can bite me on this point.
    Advertisers pay enough to keep cable running your monthly bill is profit this is proven fact(radio).
    U.S. has 3rd rate internet speeds when compared to the rest of the world for 1 reason there is no profit in going faster unless they can add drama and price…

  39. All of you commenters who are saying Netflix is responsible really have no understanding of the situation.
    Let me try and explain it.
    Cable Providers, are pushing the FCC to allow them to create what they are calling Fast Lanes. Basically higher cost setups for people who want to get streaming video-vs- people who just want to read yahoo.
    This would give the Srvice providers the ability to break the internet up into packets, like they do already with your television service. The other effect of this is that it would limit communication on the internet to only people who exist within the parameters of your selected framework.

    Netflix is arguing that this is a ripoff to the consumer and as evidence, they are pointing out that the Providers are willfully limiting the signal strength to the consumer and not delivering the promised service.

    I personally have spoken to Cox communications a number of times when I was unable to play MP games on xbox because mu 50MPBS kept choking down to 14mbps I tested it on my computer as well as my router.

    You should all be siding with Netflix on this. They are working in your best interests.
    For Clarity, Korea has standard internet speeds that are more than 3 times faster than our highest offered speed.
    Think about that.

    1. you are COMPLETELY WRONG! COX was not choking you. XBOX live’s servers only allow you to stream at about 15Mbps. there was no choking you were hogging up all of your own bandwidth. There is no way a provider can make a web service provider like say Microsoft to Guarantee you get speeds at the MAX you paid for at your ISP. An internet fast lane will allow streaming like your Xbox to not be affected by the massive amount of netflix streaming.
      NETFLIX is who needs to locate servers across the country or globe so that all their data is not originating from one or two locations.

      1. Sorry to say Wedmer, gaming usually only needs a top of 500kbps, not 14Mbps. Your credibility is shot with a statement like that.

  40. I like what Hungry did by guaranteeing a minimum bandwidth. It will make ISP’s work together to provide a better internet.

  41. Forcing ISP’s to deliver the speed they promise is an easy task. Since most all providers sell packages that promise speeds Up To x amount of Mb. Key words are “UP TO” that speed. ISP’s can not guarantee every website sends data at the total speed purchased. There are too many variables to internet speeds to force ISP’s to guarantee speeds at the max for a certain account. NETFLIX is the trouble! their service is causing the congestion that is slowing websites like my own. If they account for 30% of total internet traffic during prime time it is clear that they are the source of the congestion. It is like having Millions of buckets to fill but everyone wants to fill only one bucket. There is an overflow of data trying to fill the one bucket. NETFLIX needs MORE BUCKETS!!!

  42. The internet seemed to be fine until our government (FCC) decided to stick their nose in it. Anything this government touches turns to shit.

    1. Nice simple (-minded) philosophy. Too bad it is completely wrong, and in every way..

      For example, OSHA, enacted in 1978 under “liberal” Jimmy Carter, reduced industrial deaths in the US by 98%, almost overnight. Complete and total success.

      Point-of-fact: the internet was invented, supported, and even solicited by the United States government, under DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), and many other non-DARPA government research contracts.

      There would be no internet without DARPA.

      Well, ok, technically, not correct, so, saying it a different and more correct way, there would be no American-dominated internet without DARPA. DARPA was created so there would be no more Sputnik-like technological “surprises”, so perhaps without the US Government intervention in the form of DARPA, we would all be programming in Russian instead of everyone programming in English.

      So, no, actually the government does quite a lot of things right.

  43. When you buy water do they sell it to you at one price if you flush your toilet and another if you use your sink? The water company does the same thing that many ISP’s do, they charge you more if you use too much. In many cases if you use more than 2000 gallons in a set period then you pay a higher rate for anything above that 2000.

    This is the type of greed that I can’t stand. What is next? Local gas prices and different prices if you go onto the highway? This is greed, this is a company trying to cover its costs by forcing one provider of serves to pay for it all. Do we force walmart to pay for the entire US highway system just because they use if more often than others? No they pay based on a system that is fair to all that use the infrastructure.

  44. ValleyBoy13 Sunday, July 20, 2014

    Tim,

    I am already paying for my bandwidth. I expect to get what I pay for.

    Comcast is “triple dipping”. Charging me for my end, charging Netflix at it’s end, and then charging Netflix AGAIN (a higher cost premium) because Netflix dares to use the bandwidth that Netflix and I ALREADY paid for.

    “Do you suppose they are paying 30% of the operating cost of the Internet?” This is ridiculous. To the contrary, I suppose that Comcast, ATT, Verizon, etc customers ALREADY pay 100% of the cost of the internet, with the Federal government kicking in a big pile of money, and local governments granting discounted utility property rights.

    Your technical arguments might or might not have some merit in a world where US customers get internet access at reasonable speeds and costs.

    Instead, US internet is the slowest and most expensive internet in the world while having the most profitable ISP’s in the world.

    The history of this is that the ISP’s (along with cell phone carriers, mostly the same companies) initially claimed they needed these very very high rates in order to “build out” or “develop the technology”, whereas in fact what they ACTUALLY did was use these very high profits to buy each other out and reduce competition and raise rates through monopoly power, NOT at all the competitive environment they promised the high rates would attract.

    Did you notice how smoothly ATT, having been split up in the 1970’s, put itself back together again, and how the Republican administrations of the time turned a blind eye to the blatant rebuilding of an abusive monopoly ?

    Now is the time to classify them as what they are: a utility. They are just providing “dumb pipes” and gouging people at both ends. Their claims that re-classification will stifle innovation might have some merit if they had actually HAD any innovation in the last 20 years, but instead they have been dragging their feet at rewarding their shareholders a little bit and their CEO’s a great deal.

    They are utilities. Let us call them what they are, like every other country does. Speeds will go up, rates will go down (or not rise as fast), and we can begin catching up to Korea and other third world countries that out-perform our internet infrastructure.

  45. sharon Davis howard Sunday, July 20, 2014

    Comcast took me forever to get rid of them, so glad I did, they can kiss my back half, worst company that exists today, worst customer service ever. I never want to deal with any internet provider again. I vouch for Netflix all the way, and it doesn’t cost me my grocery money either, and when I call them, they are polite and answer my questions and take of my problem in a minute.

  46. the public owns our interstate highways…so why not intern the cable systems?…close the post office and put the cash into net ownership and stop this intentional delay crap

  47. Pauline Overby Sunday, July 20, 2014

    The internet is publicly owned. It was created by the Government, originally for defense. Then to schools for interchange of information. Since it used the phone lines the Telco’s started to provide access, then improved it. That pretty much stopped it in 1996, Since then tech that would help users has been stopped at the phone companies.

    We have some of the worst speeds and lack enough wireless in rural areas. It should by now be total wireless country wide. The Government could put a tax on all modems that use the country wide service.10 bucks per user, per modem. so every sale of a product with internet access costs 10 bucks more, one time. no internet service companies. Then there is the power line access. It works, the power companies have used it for years.

  48. Some people say that having an Anonymous VPN Service takes care of this problem since the ISP will not known who you are connected to.

  49. All internet providers have it in the fine print that the speed advertised is not guaranteed in fact if you get 70% of the speed then you are getting the correct speed.

  50. George Bush Sunday, July 20, 2014

    Slowing the internet in any way is a form of censorship of free speech.

  51. Let’s hope the judge shows some common sense , and sides with netflicks …. these companies are making Hugh profits charging a connect fee , and then a fee for decent speed , once your connected If V anc C need to install better equipment , then they should do it ..!! or stop taking on new customers

  52. Definitely some bizarre comments here, indicating that people don’t have a clue what they’re talking about.

    There is NO reason any content provider should have to pay any sort of surcharge to get their data out. This is what “we” have been fighting for since the beginning, and the essential meaning of Net Neutrality. NOBODY OWNS THE INTERNET. If they did, don’t you think there’d be a crapload of censorship? It would be almost trivial for certain people to block, say, porn or unwanted political sites. This is not allowed and should not be allowed.

    Netflix IS facing competition, people who originally scoffed at their business model are suddenly waking up to how clever it really is. Do you think it’s possible they’re behind this squeeze? Could be…

    Disclosure: I live in Canada. I get the full advertised speed of my connection, 50Mbps, 24/7 whether it’s to Netflix, Youtube, or anywhere. I even get full speed if I VPN or proxy in to Netflix for “US content”. I also own a server in a Phoenix datacenter. I know exactly how much it costs me to push data out there. But once it’s left my server, I have absolutely NO obligation to pay anyone for anything. I’ve already paid to get it into the backbone.

  53. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will go right ahead and sell us out, his bosses are dark and behind the scenes, he is a comm lobbyist and just like the monsanto rotating doors he expects to go back to them after he sells us out

  54. Nobody wants the “fast lanes” except the ISPs and a few very large content providers, and they only want it to shut out competition. Virtually all the consumers, the small internet based companies and startups are opposed to the fast lanes. So it is 10 to 1 the FCC will come down on the side of Comcast and Verizon. After, they own the FCC – or at least, they own Mr. Wheeler.

  55. Who the hell cares about quotes. We are to be talking about why we think the internet Should be kept free and no fast lanes or slow lanes. All internet speeds should be the same and the providers should provide the speeds that their customers pay for. Simple as that!

  56. Tom Wheeler’s became FCC chairman in November 2013, two months before the appellate courts ruling that overturned the FCCs ability to regulate ISPs. The appellate court gave the FCC a way to regulate the internet, however Tom Wheeler decided to favor his internet-business buddies…from wince he came. Yes…Tom Wheeler came from the wide world of the Internet & Telecommunications Industry, where he was was and still is a big player there (He owns stock in and still sits on the board of companies).

    When President Obama leaves office at the end of 2016, Tommie boy will leave too…back to a multi-million dollar job with the internet world! It’s nice to have a friend on the inside…and nicer to be able to reward them. Congratulations Tommie Boy…you have learned the game of “Pay to Play”!

    ~ N

  57. Customer need to get on board here and actually cancel their internet for a while. We’re doing it, we use the library or work for our internet needs as far as streaming we have gone back to DVD. If people viewed for 6 months to completely cut the cable.Going with prepaid phones and reducing the use. Comcast and Verizon would have no power over you inn turn netflix would mail more dvd’s and it would support the mail service which can’t spy on your mail. YET This would also affect services like Xbox Live, Playstation plus, hulu and any other service trying to end net neutrality.

  58. Netflix is entirely correct about this. Right now there are few content providers that require the bandwidth that Netflix does. But that will change. As odd as it sounds, Netflix is asking for a level playing field for themselves and their competitors. Allowing the ISPs to extort fees from content providers sets a very bad precident.

  59. The internet was created to be free to all users and not a personal communications media claimed by few. Stop Verizon and Comcast.

  60. Andrew C Elder Monday, July 21, 2014

    The silliest argument for the Cable/Phone/etc companies is that they will fail to innovate, when they’ve been failing to innovate for a long time, so why would that be a change with them, actually I think it would make them innovate by allowing and bringing in competition.

  61. Byron Alexander Monday, July 21, 2014

    Content providers should not be allowed to be broadband providers. Break up the duopolies!

  62. 97% of an ISP’s income from subscribers is pure profit. That means that 3% actually goes to the maintenance of there broadband network. This entire debate is about creating a second profit stream, which I find extremely ludicrous and unethical.

  63. The FCC absolutely should do this. Of course, they won’t. You can’t trust the government.

  64. “arguing it will undermine their ability to innovate” – In Seattle, Comcast has not done one thing to improve the infrastructure. The same cable TV lines that are in place have been there for decades. Instead, Comcast has forced ‘bundles’ and treated Internet as an ‘add on’ instead of a service. The ISPs have been miserable custodians of our Internet Infrastructure. Reclassify as Title to and get them to deliver the bandwidth that people are purchasing.

  65. Saabjock@yahoo.com Monday, July 21, 2014

    More importantly, this call underscores the fact that no regulatory committee is overseeing the practices of these companies.
    Where does that leave the average consumer.
    I’ll tell you…Up to the mercy of the company.

  66. Nunyaz Biznez Monday, July 21, 2014

    The sad fact is, that 3rd world countries, have better internet service than WE do, here in the U.S., Now.. argue that point, those sticking up for the ISP’s..!

    I’m sick & tired of all the greed..!

  67. Jerri Todd Coverstone Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    The internet needs to be ran like our highways and roads tax paid and owned by all of us

  68. Zachary Franklin Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    HEY! I HAVE A SOLUTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    How about every ISP upgrade the sorry ass excuse for network infrastructure so that there is no need for caps and throttles. Just ask Google.