Netflix and Comcast: Is the Internet screwed?
After a dispute that resulted in slow speeds, Netflix and Comcast have reached a compromise. But what does that mean for the future of the Internet?
You’ve probably been hearing a lot about net neutrality. Essentially, this term means ensuring the Internet operates on a level playing field in which service providers cannot give certain websites preferential treatment.
But a federal judge recently struck down the idea, meaning we could soon be living in a world in which the rich in bandwidth get richer and the poor in bandwidth get poorer.
To that end, Netflix just struck a deal with Internet provider juggernaut Comcast to ensure the streaming service won’t be discriminated against (after Comcast had discriminated against it). What are the terms of the deal? A boatload of money, of course. In effect, that means Netflix is paying Comcast to make sure we are allowed to access a service we already pay for on an Internet connection that we also already pay for. As a buster of ghosts once famously said, “Don’t cross the streams.”
So, is the Internet screwed? Maybe! Maybe not. This is an evolving narrative, but don’t be surprised if your John Stamos fansite starts experiencing some hiccups moving forward.