Level3: Comcast Feud Not Simple Peering Dispute
Again insists this is about Comcast protecting TV revenues from Netflix
Earlier this week Level3 ignited somewhat of an Internet firestorm by proclaiming that Comcast was violating net neutrality by demanding they pay a new connection fee
to deliver Internet video services to Comcast customers. Comcast quickly responded, insisting that this was just another balanced exchange peering dispute
, the likes of which we've seen tier 1 backbone providers (most frequently Cogent
) engaged in over the years. With the PR pendulum swinging in Comcast's direction the last few days, Level3 is back with a new missive
, in which they go so far as to define the Internet and insist this is not your typical peering dispute:
The dispute between Level 3 and Comcast is not a peering dispute, which relates to connection of Internet backbone networks. At issue is a fundamental interconnection disagreement between Comcast, as a provider of local high speed Internet access to consumers who pay Comcast for access to content, and Level 3, which delivers content to residential broadband access providers like Comcast in response to consumer requests. Unlike "peering" in the Internet backbone, where competition abounds and prices have been declining steadily, Internet carriers that have content requested by Comcast subscribers have no choice but to exchange traffic with Comcast. Comcast is using this dominant position to demand payment for traffic delivered at its customers’ requests. You simply cannot "route around" Comcast to provide requested content to Comcast’s subscribers.
Level3 takes things a bit further, noting why exactly Comcast would like this framed as a run-of-the-mill peering dispute:
Comcast is attempting to transform the dispute with Level 3 into a peering dispute because, if it is successful in re-casting the debate, one of the traditional criteria for peering – balance of traffic sent versus traffic received – could be used to turn even the largest Internet backbone providers into paying customers of Comcast. Why? Because the vast majority of the traffic on Comcast’s consumer broadband access network is requested by and flows to Comcast residential subscribers. This means that all of the traffic on Comcast’s consumer access networks is and will be decidedly "out of balance" (meaning more traffic flows to Comcast than flows away from Comcast). This is true of any network that provides residential Internet access to consumers.
Level3 again levels the charge that Comcast is simply using their size to exert pricing leverage on Level3, in order to drive up the cost of Netflix streaming broadband video services, the business for which Level3 recently re-acquired from Akamai.Update
an interesting exploration of the fight by Voxel's Adam Rothschild, who paints neither Comcast or Level3 in a particularly flattering light.
144 comments .. click to read
TheWiseGuyDog And ButterflyPremium,MVMReviews:
East Stroudsburg, PA
|reply to JasonOD |
Re: This is crap
said by JasonOD :The content is something Comcast MUST deliver to its customers unless it does not want to provide those customers with service. It should not be paid for simply providing data it is required to deliver to fulfill its contracts with its customers. The customers have already paid Comcast to deliver the data. This in fact was EXACTLY what the original discussion of Network Neutrality was about. If Level 3 were simply dumping the traffic at the first gateway and expected Comcast to carry it across country that would make it a different situation. Level 3s's statement makes it clear that is not what this is about.
Ok, it's not lost on me that the requests are coming from Comcast's customers, but L3 can't expect Comcast to be a 'free' partner in their business model- as in free to dump the massive amount of bits L3 is getting paid to handle by Netflix without any expectation of carriage expense.
said by statement :
10. Q: Comcast says that it is charging other companies that deliver video content to it for its subscribers. Comcast says that it is just treating Level 3 the same. Why should Level 3 get a special deal?
A: Level 3 cant confirm what arrangements Comcast has with other companies. But, as we all learned long ago, two wrongs dont make a right.
Level 3 does not seek a special deal, but as in any interconnection between large networks, the terms and conditions of the interconnection must be tailored to the size and scale of the networks exchanging traffic. For example, it would be unfair to Comcast for Level 3 to interconnect with Comcast in only one location, forcing Comcast to carry large volumes of traffic around the U.S. for termination to its customers.
But it is equally unfair, and far more disconcerting given Comcasts market power over its subscribers, for Comcast to demand that Level 3 buy service from Comcast on terms and at prices dictated solely by Comcast. [
Warning, If you post nonsense and use misinformation and are here to argue based on those methods, you will be put on ignore.
Not so fast, Level3
said by Level3 :Bullshit. You're not the only company that interconnects with Comcast, and you can perfectly well buy transit through somebody else who interconnects with Comcast.
Internet carriers that have content requested by Comcast subscribers have no choice but to exchange traffic with Comcast. Comcast is using this dominant position to demand payment for traffic delivered at its customers requests. You simply cannot "route around" Comcast to provide requested content to Comcasts subscribers.
For those interested, here's Comcast's settlement-free peering policies:
They look pretty darned reasonable to me. If Level3 doesn't want to keep the peering at equitable levels, Level3 can buy transit from Comcast (Comcast offers either general transit or comcast-customers-only transit: »www.comcast.com/dedicatedinternet/), or anybody else who interconnects with Comcast. Many of these companies offer such services:
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org