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Netflix Antes Up for Direct Access to Comcast Broadband

The deal could smooth the path for regulatory approval of Comcast’s recent $45 billion deal for Time Warner Cable

Netflix has cut a deal with Comcast for direct broadband access, the two companies said Sunday.

Comcast had previously denied Netflix’s request to connect to its broadband network free of charge, which meant that Netflix users’ were forced to stream programming through third party internet providers to access Comcast’s network.

Terms of the multi-year deal were not disclosed, but by agreeing to pay and break the deadlock, Netflix will be able to provide a smoother streaming experience for broadband customers, the companies said in a joint statement Sunday.

Also read: Why Comcast’s Time Warner Cable Purchase Could Choke Internet Access

The agreement comes less than two weeks after Comcast unveiled a $45 billion deal to acquire Time Warner Cable.

That deal will draw scrutiny from federal regulators, and already has drawn fire from competitors and consumers. The agreement announced Sunday means Netflix likely won’t be among the critics, and could mean Comcast will offer similar terms to Time Warner Cable households if its acquisition is approved.

If regulators do OK the purchase, Comcast will service one-third of U.S. broadband households and almost half of the bundle market for internet, television and phone service.