AT&T Fires Back at Netflix – Calls Strong Net Neutrality Desire ‘Arrogant’

Posted by at 12:13 pm on March 22, 2014

The Netflix and large ISP peering arrangement war of words is heating up. After Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ remarks, AT&T has also penned a missive, suggesting that ISPs follow strong net neutrality provisions giving cost-free data to the streamer is nothing less than suggesting “that people who don’t subscribe to Netflix should nonetheless pay for Netflix.”

AT&T points out that it believes that the Netflix post “really comes down to which consumers should pay for the additional bandwidth being delivered to Netflix’s customers.” The post notes that “it’s simply not fair for Mr. Hastings to demand that ISPs provide him with zero delivery costs — at the high quality he demands — for free. Nor is it fair that other Internet users, who couldn’t care less about Netflix, be forced to subsidize the high costs and stresses its service places on all broadband networks.”

Additionally it points out that “when Netflix delivered its movies by mail, the cost of delivery was included in the price their customer paid.” AT&T believes, contrary to the net neutrality principles, that “if there’s a cost of delivering Mr. Hastings’s movies at the quality level he desires – and there is – then it should be borne by Netflix and recovered in the price of its service.”

AT&T clearly has a vested interest in forcing Netflix to pay it for enhanced bandwidth for its users. Current (weakened) net neutrality rules make no provision for the payments, which Netflix “reluctantly” shelled out after evidence surfaced of degraded streaming quality, “to ensure a high quality member experience.”

“Mr. Hastings’ arrogant proposition is that everyone else should pay but Netflix,” concludes AT&T’s post. “That may be a nice deal if he can get it. But it’s not how the Internet, or telecommunication for that matter, has ever worked.”

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