Actions may speak louder than words, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to talk about your actions either: Google just explained how Google Fiber does peering — a clear stab at the big competitors that prefer paid peering deals.
Verizon just became the second ISP to get paid by Netflix for direct peering with the video service. This should lead to faster Netflix streams for Verizon customers, but possibly also more disputes about peering.
A fight between Comcast and Level 3 may be simple commercial disagreement over how much traffic Level 3 will send Comcast now that Level 3 is the content delivery network for Netflix, but many believe the spat has the potential to change how the web works.
The conventional wisdom is that Comcast is evil, therefore, Level 3 must be the innocent victim of Comcast’s capricious greed. In reality, this is a complex situation without clear-cut heroes or villains — in the network game, this is business as usual.
Netflix really was just out to save some money when it decided to switch a sizable portion of its CDN business from Akamai to Level 3 in November. Instead, it started something that may turn out to be the Internet’s equivalent to an international armed incident.
The fight that erupted today between Level 3 and Comcast involves an esoteric agreement and equally esoteric policy arguments, but at its core this fight is about money. Yet what has begun as commercial dispute may change how the web works and who pays for it.
Level 3, the middle-mile Internet provider and the newly crowned content delivery network for Netflix, has accused Comcast of violating the tenants of network neutrality as the cable company seeks an additional payment to deliver content from Level 3 to its subscribers.