Remember the whole Net Neutrality thing that got batted down thanks to Verizon and a coalition of the goonish nature? If you didn’t believe that it would have a serious impact on the rest of the internet then you were wrong, dead wrong. We are seeing now the first of what will probably be many problems with the internet being controlled by a select few companies and how they could possibly adjust their services to block or significantly slow down connections for certain services. The first company to cave into the newly-formed Comcast monopoly after the purchase of Time Warner is Netflix.
According to a report from the NY Times, Netflix and Comcast have come to an agreement where Comcast will provide “premium” access for Netflix customers to the Netflix service to improve the speeds for streaming videos. This means that if you have Comcast internet you should be able to get better quality for Netflix videos, it also means that this is the first step in what will be something that becomes common; internet providers forcing everyone to pay them or else see problems with service.
The good, for right now, is that this does not seem to have a direct effect on the average consumer. The consumer isn’t paying Comcast for premium access to Netflix, instead Netflix is fitting the bill to improve how Netflix and Comcast play together, but what about those services that don’t want to pony up for their customers? We are entering into dangerous waters right now.