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The news emerged as Netflix revealed its Netflix ISP Speed Index for March 2014. “This month’s rankings are a great illustration of how performance can improve when ISPs work to connect directly to Netflix,” Netflix spokesperson Joris Evers wrote in a company blog post. “In the US, the average speed on the Comcast network for Netflix streams is up 65 per cent from 1.51Mbps in January to 2.5Mbps in March.”
In February 2014, Comcast and Netflix agreed what they described as “a mutually beneficial” interconnection agreement designed to provide Comcast’s broadband customers with a high-quality Netflix video experience for years to come.
The pair said that working collaboratively over many months, they had established a more direct connection between Netflix and Comcast, similar to other networks, that is already delivering an even better user experience to consumers, while also allowing for future growth in Netflix traffic. Netflix receives no preferential network treatment under the multi-year agreement, terms of which were not disclosed.
The announcement is evidence of a shift in the balance of power in favour of Internet access providers following an Appeal Court ruling mid-January that eliminated ‘net neutrality’ rules that prohibited Internet providers from prioritising content.
Comcast jumped six spots higher on the list — leapfrogging Time Warner Cable, Verizon, AT&T U-verse and other providers, with its customers benefiting from the best Netflix performance in 16 months.