Netflix is taking another stand for Net Neutrality in a letter that the company sent to shareholders as it announced its first quarterly results for 2014.The video streaming service didn’t just express its support for Net Neutrality, but it also slammed the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, as well as the subpar broadband speeds offered by AT&T.
“If the Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger is approved, the combined company’s footprint will pass over 60 percent1 of U.S. broadband households, after the proposed divestiture, with most of those homes having Comcast as the only option for truly high-speed broadband (>10Mbps),” Netflix notes in its letter.
The company notes that Comcast is already in a dominant position, which allows it to capture “unprecedented fees” from transit providers and services such as Netflix, referring to the deal that the streaming service has been forced to agree to in order to offer subscribers the quality they deserve.
On the bright side, however, Comcast is now providing a much improved experience to their broadband subscribers, according to Netflix’s ISP performance index.
“The combined company would possess even more anticompetitive leverage to charge arbitrary interconnection tolls for access to their customers. For this reason, Netflix opposes this merger,” Netflix clearly states in the letter signed by Reed Hastings, chief executive officer, and David Wells, chief financial officer.
As mentioned, the company also didn’t shy away from slamming AT&T Fiber, which Netflix says is slower than DSL offered by other companies. “The surprising news is that AT&T fiber-based U-verse has lower performance than many DSL ISPs, such as Frontier, CenturyLink & Windstream. This reinforces our view that connectivity to the broader Internet is critical to the quality of experience consumers receive,” Netflix writes.
With a healthy dose of sarcasm, the company points out that should AT&T desire so, they could interconnect directly with Netflix and help improve their customer’s experience. That being said, Netflix points to hundreds of customer comments on AT&T’s anti-Netflix blog post, which indicates that the ISP’s customers expect a good quality service considering how much they pay for Internet service.
Netflix has been on a war path against American ISPs for a while now, urging the FTC to enforce Net Neutrality rules that would offer greater protections for open Internet rules and give consumers equal access to all content without restrictions for the same price.
Ever since the company was bullied into signing a deal with Comcast, after the ISP continuously dropped Netflix speeds over several months, the battle has become more targeted and Hastings hasn’t shied away from pointing the finger at the ones that carry the blame.