AT&T says Netflix's call for free interconnection as an "arrogant proposition"

March 22
10:45 AM 2014

AT&T Senior Executive Vice President for External and Legislative Affairs Jim Cicconi said the call of Netflix for a free interconnection was an arrogant and unfair move that would pass the burden of paying for the content provider to be able to enjoy faster broadband connection and enhanced services to others, Reuters reported.

Cicconi, who wrote his views in a company blog post, was reacting to the call of Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings who urged that more safeguards be put in place for net neutrality rules. Open Internet rules called on Internet service providers to give online users with equal and unrestricted access to all legal content without having to pay extra fees, the report said.

Cicconi said, "As we all know, there is no free lunch, and there's also no cost-free delivery of streaming movies. Someone has to pay that cost." He added, "Mr. Hastings' arrogant proposition is that everyone else should pay but Netflix."

The thrust for net neutrality received a setback in January after a US appeals court rejected rules which asked Internet service providers to give equal treatment to all types of web traffic. The decision could pave the way for mobile carriers and broadband providers to ask content providers to pay more if they want speedier Internet access and improved services, the report said.

In response to customers griping about the slow service, Netflix signed an interconnection agreement with Comcast Corp last month so it would be able to deliver movies and TV shows faster to its subscribers. Hastings had said in his post that Internet service providers should provide content firms with sufficient networks connections at no cost. He also said that Comcast supported "weak" rules when it came to Internet traffic to which Comcast had replied that they were strongly committed to the "openness of the Internet," the report said.

Cicconi said, "If there's a cost of delivering Mr. Hastings's movies at the quality level he desires - and there is - then it should be borne by Netflix and recovered in the price of its service."

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