“While the network neutrality debate in Washington has focused on what actions a broadband access provider might take to filter, prioritize or manage content requested by its subscribers, Comcast’s decision goes well beyond this. With this action, Comcast is preventing competing content from ever being delivered to Comcast’s subscribers at all, unless Comcast’s unilaterally-determined toll is paid – even though Comcast’s subscribers requested the content. With this action, Comcast demonstrates the risk of a ‘closed’ Internet, where a retail broadband Internet access provider decides whether and how their subscribers interact with content.”
link: Level 3 Communications Issues Statement Concerning Comcast’s Actions | Business Wire
This is a quote from a online article written by Level 3 a tier 1 Internet providers. Who is complaining because Comcast is charging a recurring fee for transmitting online movies and other content to Comcast customers. One of Level 3 main customers is Netflix who is a competes with Comcast on Demand Movie service and Xfinity. As a Comcast customer this behavior is not surprising. Unfortunately this is what happens when the company that owns the pipes also owns content. If Level 3 hadn’t agree to pay I may have been unable to get Netflix streaming even though I had paid for it. I wouldn’t be surprised if Comcast tries to do the same thing to other companies who carry video such as Google, Amazon, Apple. The only thing that maybe stopping them is that they are trying to get the FCC to approve their merger with NBC.
As more and more people start to stream video from the Internet and it becomes a bigger competitor to traditional media. I suspect that this kind of action will be more common. Old media will try anything it can to hold on to its territory anyway its can. The FCC needs to hurry up and make their ruling on Net Neutrality. For a long time the argument about net neutrality was an academic one, but now with actions like this its is becomes a real world problem. Just another reason to dislike Comcast.