Netflix CEO Advocates for ‘Strong Net Neutrality’

26 March 2014Technology

Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, writing on the company’s blog:

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. The traditional form of net neutrality which was recently overturned by a Verizon lawsuit is important, but insufficient.

This weak net neutrality isn’t enough to protect an open, competitive Internet; a stronger form of net neutrality is required. Strong net neutrality additionally prevents ISPs from charging a toll for interconnection to services like Netflix, YouTube, or Skype, or intermediaries such as Cogent, Akamai or Level 3, to deliver the services and data requested by ISP residential subscribers. Instead, they must provide sufficient access to their network without charge.

It’s easy to discount Hastings’ argument because he is the CEO of Netflix – a business that benefits directly from strong net neutrality. Potential conflicts of interest aside, strong net neutrality makes sense to me.

Building large communication networks is risky and expensive, leading to natural monopolies. Without regulation – in this case, regulation preventing ISPs from charging for connectivity – network operators can exploit their monopolies to unfair advantage.

(Via The Loop)