Netflix inks deal with Comcast to speed streaming

Listen
 (Shutterstock Photo)

(Shutterstock Photo)

Fresh on the heels of the announced acquisition of Time Warner Cable, Comcast is partnering with Netflix on a deal to improve video streaming.

For Netflix, it means it won’t have to pay a third-party provider to get its content into Comcast’s broadband pipes. It will now connect directly.

Experts say the interconnection agreement should mean better streaming quality for Netflix subscribers, including, reportedly, those in the Philadelphia area.

Christopher Yoo is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who specializes in communications and technology law. With Netflix accounting for roughly a third of all traffic on the Internet during peak times, he says this could be the first in a string of new agreements between Netflix and internet service providers.

“If the pipes are going to get bigger to expand to be able to carry all this traffic at a level that consumers want, the Comcasts of the world are going to have to find new ways to generate revenue,” Yoo said.

The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Verizon and AT&T also announced Monday their efforts to strike streaming deals with Netflix.

Some experts have voiced concern that direct interconnection agreements could hurt smaller companies unable to pay for improved service.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.