Online streaming services are getting slower, and major ISP’s are getting more powerful. 2014 has been a controversial year in terms of the architecture of the Internet, and unfortunately it looks like things aren’t going to be getting better any time soon.
One of the most controversial topics this year has been the throttling of streaming services by major ISP’s as they levy for payments from services like Netflix, who produce a high portion of bandwidth on their networks. This process has been brought to the forefront when Netflix and Comcast devised a paid transit agreement in February, which gives Netflix direct access to the Comcast network for an undisclosed sum of money.
The specifics of this deal are shrouded in complexity, however the bottom line seems to be a lose – lose situation for the average Internet user who pays ISPs for bandwidth and streaming services for TV shows, video chat, music, and more. Not only does this deal set a dangerous precedent, but it could pave the way for a compromised version of Net Neutrality in the future. “The Peering Problem” examines, the past, present, and potential future impact deals like the Comcast & Netflix agreement could have on the shape of the Internet.