The NY Times reports that Level 3, the company that transmits Netflix streaming movies and TV shows, is being charged a "recurring fee" by Comcast due to the amount of traffic they're sending to Comcast customers:
Level 3, which helps to deliver Netflix’s streaming movies, said Comcast had effectively erected a tollbooth that “threatens the open Internet,” and indicated that it would seek government intervention. Comcast quickly denied that the clash had anything to do with network neutrality, instead calling it “a simple commercial dispute.”
The dispute highlighted the growing importance of Internet video delivery — an area that some people say needs to be monitored more closely by regulators. Net neutrality, which posits that Internet traffic should be free of any interference from network operators like Comcast, is thought to be on the December agenda of the Federal Communications Commission.
Comcast posted a response to the allegations:
Now, Level 3 proposes to send traffic to Comcast at a 5:1 ratio over what Comcast sends to Level 3, so Comcast is proposing the same type of commercial solution endorsed by Level 3. Comcast is meeting with Level 3 later this week for that purpose. We are happy to maintain a balanced, no-cost traffic exchange with Level 3. However, when one provider exploits this type of relationship by pushing the burden of massive traffic growth onto the other provider and its customers, we believe this is not fair.
It'll be interesting to see if this increases Netflix's cost to stream a movie, currently estimated at 3-5 cents.
Thanks to LazarusO, Dave, and everyone else for sending this in.