Irony not dead: Comcast claims it is Net Neutrality's best friend


Ah Comcast… Here with another helpful reminder that the distinction between ‘lawful evil’ and the other kinds really breaks down once you reach the point where ‘lawful’ is a mutable concept within your grasp.


Hey Netflix! We can’t hear you with Comcast’s #$% in your mouth Could you please take it out so we can hear you?

Cory, when you write “Insert sound of record scratching”, a lot of people here 30 years or younger looks like a blank.

On the other hand, a lot of people over 50 probably have no idea what is meant by net neutrality, so I guess it all evens itself out.

Useless comment over. Interesting read Cory. Keep up the good work in sticking it to “the man”.

1 Like

Smart people gullible.

Off-topic, but records are actually seeing a big revival:

Simultaneously, there’s been a drop-off in cable TV subscriptions.

Every time I see these articles I am so thankful I dodged that bullet when I discovered my new house was already wired for FiOS. I had Comcast all scheduled to come out despite their bait-and-switch sales, outright lying, and ignoring my desires to push packages on me that met none of my requirements. Because they are literally the only other option here.

Why not lie? In our modern corpophilic culture, there are no consequences for lies. If you’re big enough, there are no consequences for pretty much anything. Even if he only convinces a couple of percent of the public that Comcast is the good guy, he gets it for free so why not?

Comcast is the last company in the world that I want to defend, but the Comcast-Netflix story has been very poorly reported in the media (including here).

This isn’t a net neutrality issue, it’s a peering issue between Comcast and one of the bandwidth providers (Cogent?) that Netflix uses.

In the end, this arrangement will give better service to customers and cut Netflix’s bandwidth costs. The loser here is Cogent.

1 Like

Where I lived, it was between them and Brighthouse, so I went with Brighthouse. Which seemed okay to me–never noticed anything amiss, but I also didn’t look deeply. Just canceled that account in preparation for a move, and the weird thing was that the customer representative told me, probably five times over, that once I get to wherever I’m going, to please call them if I should have ANY questions. I don’t plan to call them when I have trouble figuring out the mix ratio for brownies, but it did seem weird in a :notes: Please, please don’t go :notes: sort of way.

1 Like

If they’re bound by an FCC agreement to remain neutral, then what are the consequences when they breach that agreement? Nothing? Because they broke the agreement for three solid months, then brokered a bribe from Netflix. So much rage.


AND! Cory didn’t write this either :wink: It was Chris Morran.

Cory didn’t write that part, it’s from the source.

You know, if it weren’t for the DRM, this could be handled a lot more efficiently. Transparent packet caching is a real thing and it works, but not when you’ve heavily encrypted everything. ISPs should be complaining to media providers that the DRM is killing them, ironically those two companies are one in the same thanks to our screwed up vertically integrated media landscape.

Yes, Netflix uses a lot of bandwidth. It also pays for that bandwidth. It’s being recieved by people who also paid for their bandwidth from companies that took $360 billion in government assistance to upgrade their networks, and then just pocketed it. And now they’re complaining that they don’t have the capacity to handle today’s network demands and want everybody to pay the more money. Note that they’re not promising better service or anything, they just want more money.

Netflix is only a bad guy in that it exposed just how much the ISPs have been ripping off the public for years now.


Your argument about everybody has paid for their bandwidth and Comcast wants to double-dip isn’t quite correct.

The end user buys bandwidth from Comcast. Netflix buys bandwidth from a bunch of different people, including Cogent. Cogent had a peering agreement with Comcast that allowed them to send a certain amount of traffic into Comcast for some fee (or perhaps for free if the agreement was for balanced traffic). Because Netflix traffic is almost entirely one-way, Cogent was operating outside of the agreement with Comcast so Comcast did what their agreement says they can do - demand money from Cogent. Cogent didn’t want to pay and so Comcast did the other thing their agreement allows - throttle.

Customers complained loudly and so Comcast and Netflix made a deal for Netflix to peer directly with Comcast. This saves Netflix money and gives a better experience to customers.

Netflix always had the option of using a different network. Comcast customers who watched Netflix on their Apple TV devices never experienced this problem because (for some reason) Netflix sends Apple TV streams over Level 3 and Level 3 was operating within their agreement with Comcast.

This has nothing to do with net neutrality.

If the end user were to download 24-7, they would eventually hit their data cap and Comcast will throttle the connection. Would you call that a net neutrality problem?

1 Like


So there’s nothing wrong here because:

Both of these arguments do not adress whether this is a net neutrality issue, yet they are central to the argument here, and its a slippery slope type argument which continues with:

You mean, RESTORE your Netflix experience to what it was before throttling by the ISP. If I was to smash a cup handle and I fix it with some crazy glue, or maybe I just buy a new one, I am not improving it. That’s not the commonly accepted meaning of the word improvement.

And then the non sequitur:

How is Netflix trying to pull a fast one?, I’m open to discussing this, but the “article” (propaganda piece on Mashable) does not say, it says words, sure, but none that back up the argument directly rather than handwaving it away.
(This peering issue you mention is, again, only mentioned in the “article” (astroturfing linkbait), I have a good grasp of the technical issues it refers to yet none of these are mentioned here as anything other than technobabble so not worth discussing as part of the argument either.
There may be something here but its really not as simple as the way its stated here, I’m reminded of this: :smiley: )

But the funny thing is that the real “meat” of the argument is hidden here in this paragraph, it just doesn’t mean what you say it means:

So, investors were told that everything’s fine so they don’t worry and take their money with them. And this doesn’t raise an alarm for you? The argument basically boils down to:

But if it isn’t, then why had the FCC attempted to prevent this from happening in the past?, and the minute the FCC’s power to regulate this was overruled. Throttling starts?

Yes, yes it is. For business it is.

Seems to me that what they do says quite a bit more then the spin they try to put on it. Because this is spin, its the language of business and politics du jour after all.


There is something to that argument, but really, the biggest problem here is competition, and how this makes the playing field uneven.
I mean, if the money a subscriber pays Comcast is not enough for the use the subscriber needs, then shouldn’t Comcast just hike up the price? Not if they can double dip.

This is really just a version of the app store model for ISP’s, where the ISP wants a cut of everything that’s sold through it.

Netflix released their traffic data for 2013, which showed the nosedive at both Verizon and Comcast, yet this dude you replied to claims this was Cogent’s fault. No, not unless Netflix just started peering through Cogent for only those two ISPs in November and stopped in February. I’m a crapcast customer who witnessed the drop in Netflix streaming quality first hand. It was occassionally spotty in November and December, but less than a week after the courts struck down the FCC’s net neutrality rule, Netflix became unwatchable. Nothing would stream higher than standard definition, whereas the week prior, damned near everything was streaming at 1080 or better.

You seem to be starting by saying it’s not an issue of double dipping, and then go on to describe something that is quite explicitly double dipping, but it’s totes ok no really.

I’m not sure if you just don’t understand the words people are using here or if you are being intentionally disingenuous.

Considering you also keep claiming that it’s not a net neutrality issue immediately before and after describing how it is a net neutrality issue, I’m assuming its the second.

They are charging their customers money to provide them access to various chunks of the internet, and then charging those various chunks of the internet for being accessed by their customers. In what possible way is this NOT double-dipping?

This is all about peering.

First, you can see what it takes to be a full peer with Comcast here:

Every entity on the internet has to pay somebody for their bandwidth (assuming the traffic is transiting outside of that entity’s network). If two parties are exchanging similar amounts of data, then they will normally enter into a settlement-free relationship (no money is exchanged). If the traffic is unbalanced, then money is exchanged.

Netflix buys bandwidth in lots of different ways. Previously, they were sending data to Comcast mostly via Cogent. Because the agreement Comcast and Cogent had didn’t cover the massive imbalance, Comcast throttled all Cogent traffic (of which Netflix was the biggest percentage by far). Netflix wanted to put one of their servers in the Comcast NOC to avoid this problem, but Comcast wouldn’t go for it. Instead, Netflix entered a peering arrangement with Comcast directly (ie not via a third party like Cogent). This benefits Comcast because the traffic imbalance is being paid for and benefits Netflix because they are paying Comcast less than they had to pay Cogent.

If Comcast had been targeting Netflix, then they would have also slowed down Netflix streams coming from other (Level 3) backbones, but they didn’t. If a Comcast customer watched Netflix on an AppleTV, it worked beautifully.

This is better for Comcast, better for Netflix, and better for Netflix customers. The loser is Cogent.

1 Like