COMCAST SEEKING FEES FROM VIDEO PROVIDERS
The company that handles Netflix’s Internet streaming, Level 3 Communications, has accused Comcast, the country’s largest cable-TV and Internet service provider, of erecting a “toll booth” on the Internet highway by demanding a recurring fee for broadband access. If allowed to stand, Level 3 Communications said, Comcast would be able “to unilaterally decide how much to charge for content which competes with its own cable-TV and Xfinity-delivered content.” Level 3 said that Comcast’s action violates the spirit of network neutrality and it appealed to legislators and the Federal Communications Commission to “take quick action to ensure that a fair, open and innovative Internet does not become a closed network controlled by a few institutions.” For its part, Comcast insisted that Level 3 is sharply increasing its traffic on its system without showing any willingness to pay for it. Comcast exec Joe Waz told today’s (Tuesday) New York Times , that his company is already receiving payment from other video providers, “and it seems to be working for everybody else. … Level 3 is trying to change the rules of the game.” In a statement, Comcast accused Level 3 of trying to force it “to give Level 3 unlimited and highly imbalanced traffic and shift all the cost onto Comcast and its customers.