Netflix denies building any 'fast lanes'

Despite what FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai might think, Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) says it has never instituted a "fast lane" that interferes with ISPs that are working on caching systems to accelerate content across broadband networks and is actually helping ISPs.

In a letter to Pai, Netflix Global Public Policy Vice President Christopher Libertelli defended the OTT provider's Open Connect program and denied it in any way hampers the ability of ISPs to deliver traffic.

"Open Connect does not prioritize Netflix data," the letter said. "Open Connect uses 'best efforts' Internet services into and out of its content caches. When an ISP asks Netflix to localize an Open Connect cache within its network, it does not disadvantage other Internet content."

Not only that, the letter added, Open Connect "helps ISPs reduce costs and better manage congestion which results in a better internet experience for all end users."

Netflix contended that "only ISPs can speed up or slow down data that flow over their last mile … (and) Netflix data does not travel faster than other Internet content—unless an ISP is artificially constraining capacity to other data sources."

The letter also knocked down Pai's contention that Netflix is impeding ISPs from developing open caching systems.

"Netflix has not impeded the use of proxy caches," the letter said.

The controversy arose when Netflix declined to join an industry consortium, The Streaming Video Alliance, aimed at improving streaming technology, an action that drew Pai's attention.

For more:
- Netflix has this letter
- Ars Technica has this story
- TechCrunch has this story

Related articles:
Pai raps Netflix for not joining Streaming Video Alliance
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