Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

Chasing Arrows

Over at freedomtotinker, Steve Shultze explicates an interesting dispute between Comcast and Level 3.

Historically, money flowed this way:

L3 <- Comcast             for L3 to deliver Comcast's customers' traffic
                          to the rest of the Internet
      Comcast <- Akamai      to place equipment in Comcast's facilities

                 Akamai <- Netflix   to distribute Netflix's content

But recently L3 decided to get into the CDN business and signed an agreement with Netflix to serve their content--- but from L3's facilities. Their picture of the world:

L3 <- Comcast             as before, but now there is some additional Netflix traffic
                          which Comcast should pay for
L3 <- Netflix             

This makes it pretty obvious why Comcast is upset, and is claiming that the picture should now look like:

Netflix -> L3 -> Comcast           for access to Comcast's customers

Reversing that arrow will not be easy; but, L3's assumptions of additional responsibilities (to Netflix) gives Comcast more leverage than if they were just another (very large!) customer.
Tags: finance, internet
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