Net neutrality is most generally considered a fight over how retail Internet service providers manage traffic on their networks, and is viewed from the perspective of the end subscriber. But on the backend, service providers are routinely negotiating terms of sharing traffic among their networks, and one of those disputes has turned ugly.
Level 3 Communications, a major Internet backbone provider, is asking federal regulators to intervene in a rate dispute with Comcast, the nation’s biggest cable operator. This week, the two firms have engage in a series of public jabs, with Level 3 arguing that Comcast is abusing its market power to extort hefty fees for transmitting video content that competes with its own Xfinity service, while Comcast retorts that Level 3 is simply trying to take a free ride and shift its bandwidth-intensive traffic onto another provider’s network. Enterprise Networking Planet takes a look.
The public sparring between Comcast and Level 3 Communications continued on Tuesday, as the Internet backbone provider renewed allegations that the cable giant is jacking up the fees it charges to relay video content that competes with its own Xfinity service, escalating a corporate spat that has opened a new front in the war over net neutrality.
On Monday, Comcast Senior Vice President Joe Waz countered Level 3’s initial accusation, saying the company “inaccurately portrayed the commercial negotiations between it and Comcast.”
Then today, Level 3 shot back, arguing that Comcast’s pricing stance was patently anti-competitive, accusing the nation’s biggest cable broadband provider of using its market power to unfairly disadvantage rival content providers.