Comcast, then Verizon, AT&T and now Time Warner Cable. That’s the list of ISPs that have less-than-politely declined Netflix’s free OpenConnect setup, and instead decided they’ll take a payment from the streaming service in exchange for connecting its network directly to theirs. Time Warner cable confirmed the deal to Gigaom, saying it was reached in June and implemented this month.
Time Warner Cable signed a direct interconnection deal with Netflix, making it the fourth of the big four U.S. ISPs to sign paid peering agreements with the streaming video provider. Presumably, this agreement should improve the Netflix viewing experience of Time Warner Cable’s broadband subscribers who also like to tune into Netflix fare. Time Warner confirmed the deal happened in June and the implementation has been rolling out this month. The interconnection doesn’t come as a huge surprise given that Netflix has signed agreements with Comcast, Verizon and AT&T in the last few months after fighting with the providers directly and through its transit providers Level 3 and Cogent. That fighting unfortunately left consumers caught in the middle between Netflix and ISPs as the quality of their video streams suffered and both Netflix and ISPs blamed each other. While Netflix has signed these paid peering agreements with ISPs, it is still arguing before the FCC and in the court of public opinion that these agreements violate the spirit of network neutrality.