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January 23, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Netflix chief Reed Hastings has dismissed the doomsday scenario that some tech writers have envisaged in the wake of last week’s court decision striking down the FCC’s ability to enforce Internet neutrality. In a letter to shareholders, Hastings noted that “in principle” an ISP can now require video providers that hog bandwidth such as Netflix to pay higher prices or degrade the quality of their signal. In practice, however, such a “draconian scenario,” he said, is unlikely to unfold. “The most likely case,” he said, “is that ISPs will avoid this consumer-unfriendly path of discrimination. ISPs are generally aware of the broad public support for net neutrality and don’t want to galvanize government action.” Furthermore, he added, ISPs earn higher revenue from customers who buy faster, high-quality services — something that that they would jeopardize if they degraded the quality of their service at the head-end of their pipes. Investors, apparently, were also not concerned about the possibility of ISPs cracking down on Netflix. After a quarterly report that beat expectations Netflix stock has soared more than 20 percent since the court’s ruling.