Netflix – “I did not have Fast Lanes relations with that content”

Written by on January 6, 2015 in Guest Blog with 1 Comment

Netflix posted an entry on their blog yesterday designed to clear any misunderstandings you or I might have in regards the now infamous Internet Fast Lanes.  The post is titled “The Misconception About Internet Fast Lanes”.  The opening statement reads like this…

  • While some media reports have suggested otherwise, Netflix and other Internet content providers are not using fast lanes to deliver their content to consumers.

The Netflix fast lanes definition is rather self-serving.

  • Simply put, a fast lane is where one person’s data travelling on an Internet Service Providers (ISPs) last-mile network gets priority delivery over another’s

So according to Netflix’s Bill-Clinton like definition (I did not have Fast Lanes relations with that content) , what they are paying for is not last mile priority but it is preferential treatment at the starting gate?  They then go on to explain to the uninitiated the best methods operators to effectively manage their networks – Priceless!

  • From a network architecture standpoint, fast lanes aren’t that useful if you’re managing your network effectively. From a marketing perspective, however, they might be quite useful as a way to sell ‘premium’ access to content providers.

The blog then goes on to state that while Netflix is vehemently opposed to fast lanes, they have had to pay to get preferential delivery their content to the ISPs.  Netflix’s CDN  – Open Connect Content Delivery Network (CDN) being similar to other CDN platform (Akami, Amazon, Limelight,etc..) and a widely accepted model of paid content distribution.  So this is OK, according to Netflix yes, because it isn’t in the last mile?

Then Netflix slide back the other way and use the same argument against the ISPs

  • While the largest ISPs have said they’re not interested in creating fast lanes, one need only look at how they have sought to monetize their network interconnection points to get a glimpse of the future.

So what’s it going to be, is it good or bad?  Luckily they come back and clear it up in the last paragraph.  Just as well too as it was becoming rather confusing

  • Right now, there are no paid fast lanes on the Internet. That’s a good thing. A large part of the debate about net neutrality is focused on ensuring it stays that way

The twists and turns of the Netflix Fast Lanes post is symptomatic of the current Net Neutrality debate.  So many interested parties are pushing and pulling, with very little true concern for the consumer.  The focus should move away from “so-called” Neutral and we should be discussing what is Fair!

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About the Author

About the Author: Jonathon has been lurking around the Telecoms and Internet space for the last 20 years. He is now a man on a mission – that being the reformation of the Industry Analyst business. He is working with his co-conspirators on transforming the Industry Analyst world forever as an Expert with EMI. .


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  1. Dean Bubley says:

    Actually, this is completely right. It’s correcting earlier mis-statements by the Netflix CEO which tried to conflate neutrality with paid-peering, which is a totally separate (though interesting) issue. Peering is more of a fast junction than a fast lane.

    Access net neutrality can be thought of as prohibiting “fast lanes” on the *part of the network the end-user is paying for*. This is different to mid-mile things like CDNs which are essentially access connections for distributed servers – what content/app providers pay for.

    As it currently stands, it is fair and right that content/app companies don’t pay for the user’s access connection. While some of the headline NN proposals go too far, the basic principle is absolutely spot-on & supported by pretty much everyone outside a handful of ISPs.

    There is not a single content or app company lobbying for the right to pay for priority. Irrespective of the legal & ethical issues, there is also no demand.

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