Verizon Public Policy on Netflix

Owen DeLong owen at
Fri Jul 11 17:08:17 UTC 2014

> Well... if you make a phone call to a rural area, or a 3rd world country, with a horrible system, is it your telco's responsibility to go out there and fix it?
> One might answer, "of course not."  It’s a legitimate position, and by this argument, Netflix should be paying for bigger pipes.

Uh, no… Because in this case, you’re making a phone call FROM a rural area or 3rd world country with a horrible system to a large metro with excellent phone service. Then, you’re attempting to reverse the analogy and ask the service you’re calling  in the large metro to come fix your rural 3rd world telco at their expense.

> Then again, I've often argued that the "universal service fund" used to subsidize rural carriers - which the large telcos always scream about - is legitimate, because when we pick up the phone and "dial," we're paying for the ability to reach people, not just empty dial-tone.  This is also legitimate, and by this argument, Verizon should be paying to improve service out to Netflix.

USF is a great idea on paper. Its implementation leaves much to be desired. I’m all for subsidizing GPON to rural areas, but I’m not so excited about the fact that these GPON subsidies that I’m paying for are causing the telcos to implement GPON in rural areas while ignoring places like the capital of silicon valley. That’s right, you can’t get GPON in most of silicon valley, but you can in much of South Dakota and even many parts of Alaska.

> Either way, if one is a customer of both, one will end up paying for the infrastructure - it’s more about gorillas fighting, which bill it shows up on, who ends up pocketing more of the profits, and how many negative side-effects result.

Not really. At the end of the day, this is about whether or not an eyeball network should be able to double-dip and force content providers to increase their costs in order to subsidize lower pricing for residential broadband services. Allowing that to happen comes with a number of negative side effects, not the least of which is it creates a barrier to competition on the content side.

> Methinks all of the arguments and finger-pointing need to be recognized as being mostly posturing for position.

On this, we agree. However, overall, I think that the access networks are the ones trying to do real and lasting harm to the consumers in the equation, which is a long standing tradition among $CABLECO and $TELCO type organizations, most of whom operate more like law firms than communications companies.


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