GOOGLE HAS RAISED a finger at ISPs that have signed paid deals with Netflix for prioritised 'fast lane' access to their networks.
Under such arrangements, Netflix pays the ISP for a direct connection to the ISP's servers, thus bypassing the existing internet infrastructure of peering long-haul carriers.
Google, however, has announced that it is offering the streaming service a fast lane from its content servers over the Google Fiber service, free of charge, saying "it's really a win-win-win situation", with obvious advantages for Netflix and its customers, but also for Google, as it only has to transport Netflix data over the 'last mile'.
Google Fiber is capable of speeds of up to 1Gbps, many times faster than its competitors, but is presently available only in a few US cities.
In addition to the win-win-win argument, the decision to offer free peering to services such as Netflix is sending a strong message to ISPs such as Comcast and Verizon, which have insisted that Netflix enter into paid agreements for faster connections.
Google is one of the companies that signed an open letter to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging it to reconsider its proposal to establish a tiered internet system offering chargable 'fast lane' internet services.
The proposals are subject to a 60 day consulting period while views are sought from all sides. It is feared that the loudest voices might be the side with the deepest wallets and that could be the ISPs, so today's announcement by Google represents strong support for the campaign to preserve net neutrality. µ
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