Chickashanews.com

Community News Network

February 28, 2014

Five things you should know about the Netflix-Comcast deal

— Edward Snowden's NSA surveillance disclosures have drawn global attention to the sometimes esoteric world of Internet infrastructure governance. Political reactions have ranged from wanting to "route around" American Internet exchange points to walling off services through data localization and nation-specific cloud computing. But these responses sometimes overlook how the Internet works in practice.

Now Comcast and Netflix have announced that they will directly interconnect their networks, rather than having Netflix traffic flow first through a third-party network. With this, another layer of Internet architecture - interconnection and peering - is under the microscope. The Internet is not actually a cloud but a collection of networks that technically conjoin, or "interconnect," and exchange traffic based on negotiated business arrangements known as "peering" or "transit" agreements.

Many have reacted with anger to this recent interconnection announcement, viewing it as a direct threat to the principle of net neutrality. But the responses here again underscore the lack of technical and economic understanding of how the Internet works - which could be attributable to the lack of transparency in this space.

Here are five things to keep in mind when you think about the Netflix-Comcast (and soon, perhaps, Netflix-Verizon and Netflix-AT&T) deal.

1. Content companies are already globally connected to Internet access providers.

Many have claimed that this is the "first time a content company has connected directly to a consumer network or paid for interconnection" and that it will threaten the open Internet. In reality, long gone are the days of a tiered system in which so-called "Tier 3" Internet service providers paid "Tier 2" intermediary networks that, in turn, paid "Tier 1" global backbone providers for access to the global Internet. Interconnection is more organic, messy and decentralized than that. Large content companies like Google and Facebook distribute and replicate their content all over the world, connecting directly to Internet access provider networks either from their own server facilities, via Internet exchange points (IXPs) or via content delivery networks like Akamai and Limelight.

From an engineering perspective, bringing multimedia content closer to "eyeballs" without clogging up a tertiary network is a no-brainer: It decreases delays and optimizes bandwidth consumption. This content distribution is particularly important for bandwidth-consumptive applications like video.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 21, 2014

  • Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive

    For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.

    July 18, 2014

  • Facebook tests button to let people shop from its website

    Members on desktop computers or mobile devices can click a "buy" button to make purchases through advertisements or other posts on the world's largest social network, the Menlo Park, California-based company said Thursday in a blog post.

    July 17, 2014

  • The terrible history of passenger planes getting shot out of the sky

    What is more clear is that, if initial reports are true, this would be the deadliest incident of a civilian passenger plane being shot down in modern memory. In some instances, the causes of the disaster are still shrouded in mystery. Here are some of the worst events.

    July 17, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • web_starbucks-cof_big_ce.jpg Starbucks sees more Apple-like stores after Colombia debut

    This week Starbucks opened its first location in Colombia — a 2,700-square-foot store with a heated patio, concrete columns, mirrors on the ceiling and walls of colorful plants.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • VIDEO: New story emerges about Texas children locked in hot car

    After footage showed Texas shoppers breaking the windows of a hot car to rescue children trapped inside, additional witnesses have come forward to correct the story behind what has become a viral video.

    July 16, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 2.12.33 PM.png Gunshots narrowly miss TV reporter

    A reporter for a West Virginia television station narrowly escaped injury or worse Monday while covering a fatal weekend shooting in Beckley.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 25 hidden secrets in "Weird Al's" "Word Crimes" video

    Yankovic's 14th album was released this week, and it warms my heart containers that he's kept up his geeky brand of humor for so long. While he has written so many incredible songs, none have spoken to my love of proper grammar.
    Until "Word Crimes."

    July 16, 2014