Netflix agrees to pay AT&T to ensure smooth video downloads2014-07-30 09:05 by Daniela
Tags: Netflix, AT&T
Netflix has reached an agreement with AT&T to give its streaming service direct access to AT&T's network, with the goal of reducing buffering when subscribers watch shows like House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black.
"We reached an interconnect agreement with AT&T in May and since then have been working together to provision additional interconnect capacity to improve the viewing experience of our mutual subscribers," a Netflix spokesperson said. "We're now beginning to turn up the connections, a process that should be complete in the coming days."
The announcement of the deal, struck in May, comes as Netflix has been waging a public campaign against such fees, which they present as tolls, and calling on the Federal Communications Commission to review the market.
And AT&T and Netflix have been arguing on the topic for months. AT&T policy exec Jim Cicconi unloaded on Netflix and its CEO, Reed Hastings, in March, claiming that the streamer was looking for a "free lunch" and proposing that all broadband users pay the freight for Netflix streaming. Cicconi and Netflix policy exec Chris Libertelli traded barbs on the topic again in June at a panel at the Aspen Institute, an argument that took place after the two companies had already inked the deal.
Historically, peering agreements have been a common part of how the Internet operates - and haven't required payments between companies - by allowing users and content providers to send data across numerous networks. The goal was to balance traffic from one provider's network to another's.
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