Netflix calls for strong net neutrality rules, plays ISPs’ games

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings called for the implementation of strong net neutrality rules through a blog post this week.
(Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg)

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings took to his company’s blog this week to call for the implementation of strong net neutrality rules.

Hasting’s blog post comes about two months after a federal appeals court disallowed government regulations that ensured equal access to the Internet for all users and companies. This concept of equal access to the Internet is known as net neutrality.

“To ensure the Internet remains humanity’s most important platform for progress, net neutrality must be defended and strengthened,” Hastings wrote.

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In his blog, Hastings said a strong form of net neutrality is needed to prevent Internet service providers, or ISPs, from charging companies fees that ensure they will receive high-quality service.

Hastings explained that his company recently agreed to a deal with Comcast in which it pays to ensure that Netflix users receive good video quality. The agreement came after the quality of Netflix’s services began to diminish for Comcast customers.

But while Hastings is calling for strong net neutrality, striking deals with Comcast makes Netflix a direct participant of this new world where ISPs can charge company’s for better service.

Hastings justified the deal by saying: “Netflix believes strong net neutrality is critical, but in the near term we will in cases pay the toll to the powerful ISPs to protect our consumer experience.”


Responding to Hastings, Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen said companies like Netflix can guarantee quality performance for fair prices, in a statement according to Bloomberg.

“We are happy that Comcast and Netflix were able to reach an amicable, market-based solution to our interconnection issues and believe that our agreement demonstrates the effectiveness of the market as a mechanism to deal with these matters,” Cohen in his statement.


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