Verizon earlier this week told the FCC in a filing that it’ll still charge Netflix interconnection fees, Ars Technica reports, no matter what the Commission decides in the future when it comes to net neutrality.
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Netflix is already paying various ISPs to ensure that its customers get a decent streaming experience, including Verizon, Time Warner Cable, Comcast and AT&T, but the company has voiced its concerns more than once regarding these payments, urging the FCC to look into these agreements.
Verizon says that the FCC can’t use Title II regulation — reclassifying ISPs as common carrier, as President Obama asked the FCC to do — to force them out of interconnection deals with Netflix and other companies that might be interested in paying ISPs to ensure that end-users are able to enjoy their online services at optimal speeds.
The company added that costs would ultimately be paid by end-users in case such interconnection deals would be banned.
“In addition to chilling investment, regulation of interconnection agreements would impose little more than a massive fee-shifting from large content providers onto broadband customers,” Verizon wrote. “After all, if Netflix and other large content providers do not contribute to the costs of handling their disproportionate traffic volume, then broadband providers — and their customers (including the majority who are not Netflix subscribers) — will have to bear the full cost instead.”
“Netflix’s recent interconnection agreements with AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon are not symptoms of a problem, but rather examples of the continued success of market-based arrangements in accommodating the explosive growth and evolution of the Internet,” Verizon says.
Even though the FCC can’t regulate interconnection deals, and ISPs could still charge fees to Netflix and other Internet companies, Ars says the Commission might get involved and insist for more reasonable interconnection rates and intervene in future disputes.
The FCC is yet to decide the fate of net neutrality, with a vote expected only next year.