Netflix Fast Lanes blog turns into a slalom

Netflix posted an entry on their blog yesterday designed to clear any misunderstandings you or I might have in regards the now infamous Internet Fast Lanes.  The post is titled “The Misconception About Internet Fast Lanes”.  The opening statement reads like this…

  • While some media reports have suggested otherwise, Netflix and other Internet content providers are not using fast lanes to deliver their content to consumers.

The Netflix fast lanes definition is rather self-serving.

  • Simply put, a fast lane is where one person’s data travelling on an Internet Service Providers (ISPs) last-mile network gets priority delivery over another’s
    Netflix twist and turns on Fast Lanes

    Netflix Fast Lanes’ Clinton-type definition

So according to Netflix’s Bill-Clinton like definition (I did not have Fast Lanes relations with that content) , what they are paying for is not last mile priority but it is preferential treatment at the starting gate?  They then go on to explain to the uninitiated the best methods operators to effectively manage their networks – Priceless!

  • From a network architecture standpoint, fast lanes aren’t that useful if you’re managing your network effectively. From a marketing perspective, however, they might be quite useful as a way to sell “premium” access to content providers.

The blog then goes on to state that while Netflix is vehemently opposed to fast lanes, they have had to pay to get preferential delivery their content to the ISPs.  Netflix’s CDN  – Open Connect Content Delivery Network (CDN) being similar to other CDN platform (Akami, Amazon, Limelight,etc..) and a widely accepted model of paid content distribution.  So this is OK, according to Netflix yes, because it isn’t in the last mile?

Then Netflix slide back the other way and use the same argument against the ISPs

  • While the largest ISPs have said they’re not interested in creating fast lanes, one need only look at how they have sought to monetize their network interconnection points to get a glimpse of the future.

So what’s it going to be, is it good or bad?  Luckily they come back and clear it up in the last paragraph.  Just as well too as it was becoming rather confusing

  • Right now, there are no paid fast lanes on the Internet. That’s a good thing. A large part of the debate about net neutrality is focused on ensuring it stays that way

The twists and turns of the Netflix Fast Lanes post is symptomatic of the current Net Neutrality debate.  So many interested parties are pushing and pulling, with very little true concern for the consumer.  The focus should move away from “so-called” Neutral and we should be discussing what is Fair!

NetFlix Fast  Lanes post [here]

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