Netflix is making the case to consumers that rules are needed to keep online providers from demanding fees for delivering streaming shows smoothly to customers, reports Bloomberg.
The warning came in a blog post from Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings, and comes after Netflix recently agreed to pay Comcast millions to provide improved speed and reliability to customers.
“To ensure the Internet remains humanity’s most important platform for progress, net neutrality must be defended and strengthened,” Hastings wrote. “The essence of net neutrality is that ISPs such as AT&T and Comcast don’t restrict, influence or otherwise meddle with the choices consumers make.”
On some big Internet service providers, Netflix’s performance “has been constrained, subjecting consumers who pay a lot of money for high-speed Internet to high buffering rates, long wait times and poor video quality,” Hastings wrote. He added that as soon as Netflix agrees to pay “interconnection fees,” capacity is provided and high-quality service returns.
“If this kind of leverage is effective against Netflix, which is pretty large, imagine the plight of smaller services today and in the future,” Hastings wrote.
Bloomberg’s report adds: “In today’s posting, Hastings didn’t call directly for government intervention. The company is taking its fight directly to the consumer in an attempt to get them to seek change from lawmakers, said Daniel Ernst, an analyst at Hudson Square Research in New York.”
“This is a battle for public opinion that’s going to take a very long time to play out,” Ernst said.