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Google Backs Netflix in Epic Battle With Comcast

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Netflix is now paying Comcast for a direct connection to the internet service provider, as it seeks to ensure that Comcast customers experience fewer hiccups when using its video streaming service. And it’s doing much the same with Verizon, another major internet provider. But Google believes this kind of arrangement shouldn’t involve money. The tech giant lets Netflix inside its ISP, Google Fiber, and it doesn’t charge a penny.

 

“We give companies like Netflix and Akamai free access to space and power in our facilities, and they provide their own content servers,†Google Fiber director of engineering Jeffrey Burgan wrote in a blog post on Wednesday. “Since people usually only stream one video at a time, video traffic doesn’t bog down or change the way we manage our network in any meaningful way–so why not help enable it?â€

 

The post is yet another salvo in the ongoing battle over the economics at the heart of the internet. As Comcast and Verizon begin charging companies like Netflix for access to their networks, many are worried that the big name ISPs will gain too much control over which technologies succeed on the net or which don’t, and companies like Google are pushing back, hoping to prevent a future where Comcast is a de facto gatekeeper for the internet.


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