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Saturday, March 22, 2014
AT&T Says Netflix Should Pay For Its Own Bandwidth Needs

AT&T on Friday dismissed Netflix's recent call for free interconnection as part of strong net neutrality rules, saying that such a move just attempts to force others to pay for the content provider need for faster broadband speeds.

"As we all know, there is no free lunch, and there's also no cost-free delivery of streaming movies. Someone has to pay that cost," Jim Cicconi, AT&T's senior executive vice president for external and legislative affairs wrote in a company blog post. "Mr. Hastings' arrogant proposition is that everyone else should pay but Netflix," he said.

Cicconi responded to a Thursday blog post by Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings, who wants the U.S. FCC to widely expand the doctrine of net neutrality to cover not only end customers but also the internal workings of the internet. He wants ISPs to apparently be responsible for bearing all the costs of carrying internet traffic.

Hasting's argument would force service providers to pay for the increased capacity necessary to satisfy the growing demand for Netflix video streaming at the expense of AT&T's other customers, said Cicconi.

"If there's a cost of delivering Mr. Hastings's movies at the quality level he desires - and there is - then it should be borne by Netflix and recovered in the price of its service," he said.

In January a U.S. appeals court rejected federal rules that required Internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally, a decision that could allow mobile carriers and other broadband providers to charge content providers for faster access to websites and services.

One month later, Netflix struck a deal to pay Comcast for faster online delivery of its movies and TV shows through a practice known as interconnection, after customers complained about slow service.

Comcast is seeking approval from U.S. regulators for its proposed $45.2 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable.

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