Netflix CEO Reed Hastings urged regulators and consumers Thursday to fight for stronger net neutrality rules, confirming that he paid Comcast for a deal to stream his movies more quickly and that such agreements should be prohibited. Hastings’ comments, posted on a company blog, are his most extensive commentary on the subject since the much-ballyhooed agreement in February that would have Netflix install new servers that connect directly to Comcast’s network instead of going through third-party data distributors.
Netflix is paying the fiber optic piper, but doesn’t much like it according to the first comments from its CEO since the FCC’s net neutrality rules were declared unenforceable. “Some big ISPs are extracting a toll because they can — they effectively control access to millions of consumers,” said Netflix head Reed Hastings in a blog post today. He calls out Comcast, Verizon and AT&T by name, saying that ISPs “are willing to sacrifice the interests of their own customers to press Netflix and others to pay.” Netflix customers have experienced poor video quality and long buffering times, which led the company to pay off certain ISPs to alleviate the network congestion.