There has been a lot of debate recently over net neutrality rules placed by the FCC, particularly after a federal court ruling struck them down. Net neutrality warrants that service providers don’t discriminate between bandwidths, so ISPs and telcos can’t promote a service at the expense of regular bandwidth which may lead to an adverse effect on the user experience of their paying customers. Netflix has signed a deal with Comcast whereby the provider will no longer throttle its bandwidth, meaning that customers won’t have to put up with bad quality streams. Comcast has graciously accepted an undisclosed sum of money from Netflix for this, and Verizon believes that the streaming giant will sign a similar deal with it as well.
Today on CNBC, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdams revealed that both companies have been talking about a possible deal for well over a year now, and that it may be finalized very soon. While he didn’t explicitly mention how much money will Netflix have to pay not to have its bandwidth throttled by Big Red, he is of the view that this dynamic means that there isn’t the need for a lot of regulation in this market, and that “by doing these commercial deals,” both parties get good investments and good returns. That may be McAdams’ own views, but this certainly doesn’t sit well with proponents with net neutrality. For those who couldn’t care less about it and just don’t want their Netflix streams to be an indiscernible mass of pixels, its the promise of better streams.