Netflix has secured direct access to AT&T’s broadband network under a deal it hopes will improve video quality for Netflix subscribers who rely on AT&T for Internet service, according to an AT&T spokesperson. Netflix recently worked out similar deals with Comcast and Verizon, two of the nation’s largest Internet service providers.
Netflix had complained that increased congestion in the Internet pipes was slowing down its videos, but ISPs demanded it pay to improve the situation. Netflix did not want to, as doing so would undercut its belief in net neutrality; Netflix views Internet access as a public utility.
There is obvious self interest here — Netflix’s service depends on videos buffering quickly — but most companies in Silicon Valley share its opinion.
Also read: Netflix Signs Streaming Deal With Verizon
Cable companies rebuffed, and Netflix has since agreed to pay to please its customers. Comcast came first, then Verizon, and now AT&T, in a deal first reported by Mashable.
AT&T ranked near the bottom of Netflix’s latest report detailing the speed of various ISPs. Despite the recent deal, Verizon ranks just above it.
“We reached an interconnect agreement with Netflix in May and since then have been working together to provision additional interconnect capacity to improve the viewing experience for our mutual subscribers,” an AT&T spokesperson told TheWrap. “We’re now beginning to turn up the connections, a process that should be complete in the coming days.”