Level 3 Communications Issues Statement Concerning Comcast's Actions

Matthew Petach mpetach at netflight.com
Tue Nov 30 13:14:25 CST 2010

On Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 6:27 AM, Sean Donelan <sean at donelan.com> wrote:
> On Tue, 30 Nov 2010, Bret Clark wrote:
>> Seriously this has nothing to do with L3 but more with Netflix...it's
>> clear that the Netflix business model is eating into Comcast VoD business
>> and so they are strong arming other providers to affect Netflix's business
>> model. But as others have stated what would happen if Comcast starts coming
>> after every service provider's hosting services that Comcast doesn't like?
> Comcast claims it offered Level3 the same CDN deal it has with other Netflix
> CDN competitors.  Level3 didn't want the same deal.  According to
> Comcast, Level 3 wants a 'special' deal.  Of course, Level 3 spins it the
> other way and claims that it offered Comcast a settlement-free deal, but
> Comcast didn't want it now.

Keep in mind that the "previous" CDN deal that Comcast had was
*charging* Akamai to host servers within the Comcast network, at
least according to the scuttlebutt from the grapevine.  Long-time
listeners will recall that Patrick had long been talking about how
Akamai doesn't run a backbone.  Don't know if that's still true or not.
Level3 _does_ run a backbone, and their normal model for handling
traffic is to carry it along the backbone, and exchange it at major
exchange locations; building racks in someone else's datacenter
probably isn't their normal mode of operation, so it could be somewhat
understandable as to why they might not have been as excited as
Akamai was to pay for space, power, and bandwidth inside of
Comcast's datacenters.

I'm not sure I like the idea of pushing the Internet in the direction of
putting copies of popular web sites into every eyeball network; if we're
going to move in that direction, why not have the websites just email
disks with content to the end users, and bypass the last mile network
(oh, right, Netflix already had that model)

Or, we could build a series of private networks, and depending on which
network you chose to connect to, you can only access the content
housed within the walls of that network.  Get on NBC/Universal/Comcast,
and you can only view their HuluPlus video streams.
(oh, right--we had that too, with Prodigy/AOL/Compuserv)

It really looks like someone is trying to wind back the clock, stuff
the genie back in the bottle, and put the model for the internet back
the way it was in the good old days of the walled gardens.  It will be
interesting to see whether the rest of the community feels like the
good old days really were a better model for the Internet or not.

*fetches popcorn, and kicks back to watch history {refold|unfold further}*

(speaking only for myself, with no true knowledge of the inside situations
at any of these companies; everything mentioned here is pure hearsay,
with no basis in established fact or reality.  All opinions are mine, and
mine alone; if my employer wants them, they'll have to pay extra for them,
and I rather doubt they'd want them that badly.)

More information about the NANOG mailing list