If Comcast’s Brian Roberts thinks he’s the postman, Netflix’s Reed Hastings thinks he’s the taxman


If paid peering becomes the way of the 21st century internet, don’t expect the high cost of low-speed U.S. broadband to get any better, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings declared Thursday.

Hastings, hit right at the beginning of his Code Conference appearance with questions about the comments made by his good buddy Brian Roberts of Comcast on Wednesday, reiterated Netflix’s unease with the spread of paid peering, in which content companies like Netflix pay networking companies like Comcast to ensure smooth delivery of their content to end users. Historically this has been done through a handshake agreement with no money changing hands. But Comcast is starting to throw its considerable weight around by demanding payment from content companies and the networking companies — Level 3 and Cogent, for example — that do the dirty work of routing bits over the internet, claiming that they are putting a disproportionate strain on…

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