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 »
"The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump's associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign, multiple US officials briefed on the matter tell CNN. But a White House official said late Thursday that the request was only made after the FBI indicated to the White House it did not believe the reporting to be accurate."
Sen. Susan Collins, who sits on the Intelligence Committee, "said on Wednesday she's open to using a subpoena to investigate President Donald Trump's tax returns for potential connections to Russia." She said the committee is also open to subpoenaing Trump himself. "This is a counter-intelligence operation in many ways," she said of Russia's interference. "That's what our committee specializes in. We are used to probing in depth in this area."
"Top lawyers who helped the Obama White House craft and hold to rules of conduct believe President Donald Trump and his staff will break ethics norms meant to guard against politicization of the government — and they’ve formed a new group to prepare, and fight. United to Protect Democracy, which draws its name from a line in President Barack Obama’s farewell address that urged his supporters to pick up where he was leaving off, has already raised a $1.5 million operating budget, hired five staffers and has plans to double that in the coming months." Meanwhile, NPR has launched a "Trump Ethics Monitor" to track the resolution of ten ethics-related promises that the president has made.