Netflix Also Talking Deals With AT&T, Verizon

Following Sunday’s announcement that Netflix had agreed to start paying Comcast for a better, more direct connection to the cable company’s broadband network, both AT&T and Verizon said they are working on a similar deal with the streaming video service.

First Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam told CNBC on Monday that no agreement with Netflix had been reached but, “Both [Netflix CEO] Reed [Hastings] and I have talked about it and we think it’s in both of our interests.”

McAdam revealed to CNBC that Verizon and Netflix have been discussing improving the connection between the streaming video servers and the ISP for “about a year.”

And then last night a rep for AT&T confirmed to that, “We’re in discussions with Netflix to establish a more direct connection between our networks, similar to agreements we have with others, so that AT&T broadband customers who use Netflix can enjoy an even better video experience.”

In the last year, Verizon and Comcast customers have increasingly complained about the quality of Netflix streams coming into their homes. While some accused the ISPs of throttling access to the website, the problem has appeared to be at the “peering ports,” those points where Netflix’s bandwidth providers connect with the ISPs’ networks.

The ISPs had traditionally opened up more ports as Netflix traffic surged at peak times, without asking for any financial consideration in return. Verizon and Comcast reportedly began allowing traffic to bottleneck by balking at opening these ports.

The Comcast deal gives Netflix servers a more direct connection to the Comcast network. Companies like Google already have similar “paid peering” arrangements with many of the nation’s largest ISPs to prevent data logjams and increase data speeds to the end user.

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