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How Comcast became a toll-collecting, nuke-wielding hydra
Written by Daniel   
Tuesday, 07 December 2010 18:14

From ARS Technica

Wharton Business School professor Kevin Werbach dubs Comcast's actions this week a "turning point in US Internet policy." Law professor Susan Crawford calls Comcast a terrifying, hat-wearing hydra—and she's looking for a Hercules to cut it down to size. Harold Feld of Public Knowledge says that Comcast has set up a new "toll booth" on the 'Net and is now operating like Ed "use my pipes free" Whitacre. And broadband analyst Dave Burstein says Comcast has just deployed "the nuclear option."

Just what is going on here, why does it matter, and why is Comcast calling backbone operator Level 3 a big fat liar for starting the whole debate?
The facts as we know them


Comcast found itself in the middle of a renewed argument over its "evilness" yesterday afternoon as an interconnection dispute blew up into public view. Level 3 Communications, which runs a major Internet backbone along with a newer content delivery network (CDN), fired off a scathing press release accusing Comcast of (once again) threatening the "open Internet."

On November 11, Level 3 inked a deal with Netflix to serve as the streaming media company's new CDN starting January 1, 2011. In that capacity, Level 3 will cache and serve Netflix streaming video from sites across the country to avoid possible backbone congestion and to deploy streams from servers that are closer to end users.

Due to the size of the deal, Level 3 announced that it was doubling its own storage capacity and adding 2.9 terabits per second (Tbps) of CDN capacity, alongside the 1.65Tbps that it rolled out late this year. The entire Netflix streaming library, which consists of more than 20,000 titles, will be moved directly to Level 3 servers during November and December in preparation for the January rollout.
Coming to you via the Level 3 CDN:...

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