Time Warner Cable Attacks Netflix's 'Super HD' Play
Cable Operator Insists Netflix Is Withholding Content
Last week we noted that Netflix had started offering Ultra HD and 3D video streams
to customers whose ISPs signed up to use the Netflix Open Connect content delivery network (CDN). The move comes after Netflix starting ranking ISPs by streaming quality
each month, clearly as a way to drive ISPs to sign up for Open Connect. As we noted last week, it seemed likely that at least a few of the larger ISPs would balk at this, given traditional tensions over past network neutrality issues.
Time Warner Cable gets the honor of being the first ISP to complain, the cable operator tells MultiChannel News
that while they're currently in negotiations with Netflix for the new streams, they apparently don't like it.
"While they call it 'Open Connect,' Netflix is actually closing off access to some of its content while seeking unprecedented preferential treatment from ISPs," Time Warner Cable said. "We believe it is wrong for Netflix to withhold any content formats from our subscribers and the subscribers of many other ISPs. Time Warner Cable’s network is more than capable of delivering this content to Netflix subscribers today."
Netflix has countered by insisting that "Open Connect provides Netflix data at no cost to the location the ISP desires and doesn't seek preferential treatment."
You'll recall of course that Netflix and Time Warner Cable have had a contentious relationship, given Netflix's challenge to traditional television. Netflix also has a history of attacking usage caps as anti-competitive, unnecessary and a symptom of an uncompetitive broadband market
, while Time Warner Cable has tried to shove those caps down consumers' throats
using often flimsy justifications.
Sonic.net CEO Dane Jasper, who has signed up to be a Netflix Open Connect partner, tells me that participating isn't really all that big of a deal, nor much of a headache for the benefits it delivers to users.
"It's an easy process, just like Akamai or any other CDN edge cache," notes Jasper. "Depending upon scale of the service provider, it's one or more servers, deployed at one or more locations in the service provider network." Jasper said his ISP was already part of Open Connect because they directly peer with Netflix today. "Due to ongoing growth in usage, we are also deploying Open Connect servers in our network core shortly too," said Jasper.
Granted Time Warner Cable's outrage runs a little shallow, since they're currently being accused by Google
of witholding sports content to thwart Google's entry into the Kansas City broadband and television markets. While naming, shaming and ranking ISPs to embarrass them into using Netflix's CDN may not be the height of tact, it's certainly nothing worse on the behavior front than we've seen from any of the largest ISPs.
Re: TWC is full of hot air I have tried Netflix, Hula Plus, and Amazon Prime Video....and I have come to the conclusion that the OWNERS of the content are the problem, and not the streaming service provider.
At the end of the day, these streaming providers are at the mercy of the content owners, who are really pissed that they aren't going to be reaping such large profits from customers, as they have been accustomed.
They want all houses to pay $80 plus bucks per month to them, plus rain down minutes of commercials, and for the consumer to be happy with it.
I think I will sit on the sidelines, without a TV, and NO cable or streaming services, and wait for the CONTENT owners to see the light..."We aren't going back to a HUGE monthly fee for entertainment(cable)...we want affordable choices(streaming providers)".
The way I see it -- if I DON'T support(spend money) the cable industry or streaming providers, they will have to figure out another way to SELL us the content we like....think about that. We really have the upper hand, the consumer, but you have to take a stand, and drop cable for awhile, send them letters...or just sit back down on the couch and continue "taking it".
| |cdruGo ColtsPremium,MVM
Fort Wayne, IN
Re: TWC is full of hot air
said by onlinemedia6 :From the consumer's point of you, you are pretty much correct. However from Netflix's point of view, they have to deal not only with the content companies to get the rights to the video, but they also have to deal with the major ISPs to get the content servers closer to the customer.
I have tried Netflix, Hula Plus, and Amazon Prime Video....and I have come to the conclusion that the OWNERS of the content are the problem, and not the streaming service provider.
Where the content is at does directly impact the customer normally as long as the bandwidth is sufficient whatever path it needs to take across the internet. However the amount of bandwidth needed for all streams isn't sustainable or scalable to just host everything themselves as traditional website would. The less traffic Netflix has to send across the network from their pipes to the ISPs pipes to your home decreases their costs, the ISPs costs, and network congestion in general.
Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Ho hum! Most ISPs won't care
said by FFH:Word from Netflix in another article was that much of the content today is already SuperHD, and that the vast majority of the content library will soon be completely SuperHD-ready.
Most of the major ISPs like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T won't care. The faster connection & caching servers to Netflix is nice; but the Super HD content is limited; it won't run on most devices; and very few customers will care. So there is no real incentive for these ISPs to go out of their way to cut a deal with Netflix - definitely a "we'll get around to it sometime" attitude.
Re: Netflix Thug like Behavior.
said by Skippy25:Please reread my comment. I stated that it was my impression that Netflix is placing their caching servers on the ISP's network so Level 3 is not involved in serving the content to the user since it is coming from a server that is already on the user's ISP network. The only involvement of Level 3 is when Netflix wants to connect to the ISP Hosted Server to add new content.
I believe you would be understanding wrong.
Unless Netflix has every major ISP running lines to the main server(s) that deliver the content to consumers and the caching servers they have to be running over whomever they have as an ISP (level 3) to reach those networks.
Re: Netflix Thug like Behavior.
said by elray:Apparently you don't quite realize how bandwidth works for non-residential customers. said by anon anon :
Well maybe Netflix wouldn't have to go this route if ISP didn't have caps. Only 2 hours and 45 minutes of SuperHD streaming per day would put one over a 250 GB cap.
Also Netflix already pays for it's bandwidth.
And Netflix is getting the bandwidth it paid for.
But if they want to see their customers happy with "Super" HD, they're going to have to buy some more
bandwidth. Evidently, they figured out that last-mile caching is the optimum way to go given the effects of Network Neutrality.
Time Warner is probably willing to go along and allow Netflix to pay to place their caches, but I don't think they're appreciative of Netflix' publicity stunts.
Companies pay X amount for X amount of speed, with a guaranteed 99.999% uptime regardless of the bandwidth used (1MB or 1TB a month). Netflix has the bandwidth capacity to run it via traditional streams, but then there is issue with latency and QoS. Putting it in the middle of the network eliminates outside congestion sources, and reduces the strain on the ISP and CDN networks.
Re: Netflix Thug like Behavior.
said by Skippy25:It's mainly item #1. With few exceptions, transit capacity is not the issue for a residential ISP. The last mile is where the true bottleneck exists, and short of deploying the caching server on your LAN, there's nothing Netflix can do that's going to change this.
Netflix is doing the nice thing by offering, for even free, to put content delivery servers deeper into the ISP's network so that 1.) It cost Netflix less to send the data but more importanly 2.) It saves the ISP's money and 3.) It puts less strain on the ISP's network in general.
Transit costs are nothing compared to the last mile. Transit connections provide economy of scale, are comparatively easy to upgrade as new technology becomes available, and with relatively balanced traffic ratios can be had for next to nothing.
| || It's the ISP's job to upgrade their infrastructure to support their users demand, whatever that demand is, netflix etc.|
In the traditional Netflix world, netflix pays for their bandwidth, customer's pay their upstream providers, not every destination to which they send traffic. This is the basic way that the internet has always worked. Customers be them Netflix, or the average broadband user pay money to their upstream provider and it is the provider's job to provide access to the rest of the internet both their downstream and upstream bandwidth.
That said I have to defend TW in one way, Netflix is strong arming the situation. They are ranking ISP's based on their netflix performance, which casual users may be influenced in their decision about providers.
This the agreement does benefit both companies, ISP's get to reduce their peering traffic, and netflix does the same way, by only sending one copy of a movie to the ISP's caching server.
But Netflix definitely makes out better as the cost for bandwidth is one of their main expenses. and has little downstream traffic, resulting in more lobsided peering while ISP's usually also provide hosting services and have a more equal peering which costs less. More lopsided peering agreements cost more money.
Finally the broadband rating are being used as leverage. Want to move up in the netflix performance rankings, host our servers and save us bandwidth costs.
Netflix is by no means innocent, They are the same as every ISP.
| || |said by mwf: You don't have to watch the commercials just get a dvr and fastforward it, I been doing this for 5 years is not that hard
We believe it is wrong for Netflix to withhold any content formats from our subscribers
If I am paying for satellite/cable, why do i have to watch commercials?
| |espaethDigital PlumberPremium,MVM
Sonic.net has a different cost model for transit The transit cost model for small regional ISPs is very different than large national networks like TWC and Comcast. It's the basic build vs buy scenario that comes about with scale.
Sonic.net pays carriers for transit so that they will deliver bits to them in California. No matter where the traffic originates, carriers must carry that traffic out to California to hand it off to Sonic.net's network.
Comcast and TWC have national footprints, so it makes economic sense to build out their own national backbone. This also enables them to negotiate better transit pricing by taking on traffic in regions close to the source. If a TWC customer in California starts pulling video from a server in Atlanta on nLayer's network, nLayer can dump that traffic directly to TWC in Atlanta and TWC handles transporting that traffic back to their customer in California.
Here's where it breaks down: say Netflix is paying Level(3) for delivering content to TWC today. If TWC dedicates connections for OpenConnect, they will substantially reduce the traffic that transverses Level(3) to reach them. This reduction in traffic will lead to a decrease in revenue for Level(3) from Netflix, which will in turn cause an increase in rates for what Level(3) will charge TWC for bandwidth. (less of a volume discount, and have to make up for some of the lost Netflix revenue) TWC has to tie up network ports that are only used for a single Internet service (Netflix), and they will incur higher last-mile costs once they get this established because the bitrates offered via OpenConnect are higher than the standard service.
Most likely this will result in increased costs for a large national ISP, and those costs would be passed down to all ISP customers regardless if they are Netflix customers or not. Netflix, however, sees a huge financial benefit from the reduced transit costs. When you're dealing with $7.99/mo accounts, I'm not sure you can see enough of a cost drop to offset how much broadband rates would go up.