The New York Times has an article talking about the net neutrality spat between edge provider Netflix and broadband access provider Verizon. Netflix posted a warning to its subscribers blaming Verizon for a slow down in viewer streaming. Verizon has taken issue with the warning, saying that the warning “is self-serving, deceptive, inaccurate and an unfair business practice.”
Sounds like Netflix wants its cake and the chance to eat it, too. Probably a doughnut would be the better pastry of choice not only because its National Doughnut Day, but because Netflix’s argument has a whole in it.
Netflix’s data traffic accounts for 34% of North America’s downloads, according to The Wall Street Journal, testament to America’s appetite for video services online. With that amount of traffic there is bound to be congestion. According to The Journal:
“Overall, Internet traffic is becoming a much more concentrated affair, even as regulators in Washington debate rules to encourage new competitors by maintaining, in theory, equal access to broadband subscribers. The biggest online brands like Netflix, Google,Apple AAPL +0.59% and Amazon account for a dominant share of Americans’ personal data usage. The growth is fueled by the large size of video files offered by a few of the most popular sites.”
Hope you read the above paragraph carefully for the net neutrality side note. Not only are we seeing heavy video traffic, but heavy traffic coming from an increasingly concentrated source of edge providers. Netflix and Google talk about strong net neutrality while distracting their grassroots supporters from the lack of “search neutrality” on the edge provider/content producer side.
I have no problem with concentration. It signals the market that it may be time to invest in a little disruptive technology. Let it concentrate then blow it up. What I have a problem with is the posturing on the part of Google, Netflix, and other large edge players seeking to optimize their positions on the Internet with a little deception of their own. Just be honest about it.