Netflix is trying to shift the cost of its service on to all Internet subscribers, AT&T claimed on Friday.
“As we all know, there is no free lunch, and there’s also no cost-free delivery of streaming movies. Someone has to pay that cost,” Jim Cicconi, a senior executive vice president for AT&T, wrote in a blog post.
Cicconi is firing back over Netflix’s blog post from Thursday in which the online video site called for new federal rules to ensure it can connect to Internet providers for free.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings warned that without government intervention, Internet providers could extort payments out of websites, ultimately strangling competition and growth online.
Last month, Netflix agreed to pay for direct access to Comcast’s network. The agreement ensured smoother movie streaming for Netflix’s Comcast subscribers, but it was the first time the video site had ever had to pay for such a direct connection deal.
AT&T and Verizon have now said they are trying to broker similar agreements with Netflix, which accounts for about 30 percent of all Internet traffic. In his blog post, Hastings urged the Federal Communications Commission to enact new net-neutrality rules that bar Internet providers from “charging a toll” for interconnection deals.
“The essence of net neutrality is that [Internet service providers] such as AT&T and Comcast don’t restrict, influence or otherwise meddle with the choices consumers make,” he said.
But AT&T’s Cicconi argued that broadband companies have to invest huge sums of money to increase the capacity of their networks to meet the heavy demand of Netflix users.
Netflix is essentially asking for all Internet customers to bear the cost of upgrading networks for just its users, Cicconi argued.
“Mr. Hastings’ arrogant proposition is that everyone else should pay but Netflix,” he wrote. “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.”
What We're Following See More »
"Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who wrote the explosive dossier alleging ties between Donald Trump and Russia," says in a new book by The Guardian's Luke Harding that "Trump's land and hotel deals with Russians needed to be examined. ... Steele did not go into further detail, Harding said, but seemed to be referring to a 2008 home sale to the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev. Richard Dearlove, who headed the UK foreign-intelligence unit MI6 between 1999 and 2004, said in April that Trump borrowed money from Russia for his business during the 2008 financial crisis."
"The British publicist who helped set up the fateful meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016 is ready to meet with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's office, according to several people familiar with the matter. Rob Goldstone has been living in Bangkok, Thailand, but has been communicating with Mueller's office through his lawyer, said a source close to Goldstone."
"Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak said on Wednesday that it would take him more than 20 minutes to name all of the Trump officials he's met with or spoken to on the phone. ... Kislyak made the remarks in a sprawling interview with Russia-1, a popular state-owned Russian television channel."