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Net Neutrality and the ComFlix Deal

Some folks are in a bit of an uproar regarding the deal between Comcast and Netflix. They believe it is the beginning of the end for internet neutrality. Netflix has agreed to pay Comcast but it's not so Netflix can receive priority over other data. The story is that Netflix pumps out a lot of data and that data with its rich HD content tends to overload equipment at Cogent Communications. The company that connects the Netflix network to Comcast and other internet service providers. Apparently, for some time, the connections between Netflix and Cogent have been running at capacity. The solution to this issue would be to simply upgrade the interconnects between Cogent and Comcast. The problem was who would pay for the upgrade? Netflix really didn't have the leverage to make Cogent or Comcast pay since most of its traffic is one directional toward the Comcast network, so it decided to pay Comcast to connect directly to its network. Thus eliminating the middle man, Cogent. Netflix states that this won't increase customer pricing. Whether it was Cogent or Comcast, Netflix would have had to pay someone to handle the large amount of traffic it sends.

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