Somehow it just feels wrong to insert the words “not a” between “Comcast” and “villain”, but that actually may be the case when it comes to the cable giant’s very public dispute with Level 3 Communications. As you may recall, Level 3 has accused Comcast of charging it extra fees to carry Netflix video traffic, while Comcast is defending its actions as a reasonable response to Level 3’s unreasonable traffic demands.
Comcast’s most recent attempt to justify its actions calls the dispute nothing more than a commercial disagreement that is fairly common in the industry. According to Comcast:
“Level 3 has low-balled its way into a new business deal [with Netflix] that will significantly increase the amount of Level 3?s traffic Comcast would carry. and suddenly wants to seriously disrupt settled economics of Internet traffic to meet its new business plan. Its position is not based on any principles of fair play on the Internet, but instead is merely the result of its rash bid to carry Netflix traffic at radically low rates, based on the flawed assumption that it could use its Tier 1 Internet backbone status to cram its CDN traffic onto others’ networks on a settlement-free basis.”
According to Comcast, then, Level 3 bit off more than it could chew when it made its content delivery deal with Netflix and expected Comcast to make up the difference without additional compensation. Level 3 then cried foul in a very public manner when Comcast tried to charge a reasonable rate for the additional traffic.
Do you believe Comcast’s side of the story, Insiders? Could one of the most hated companies in America actually be on the right side of an argument for once?