When we heard that Comcast was bullying Netflix into paying for better connectivity, we foresaw a sad streaming future. When news slipped that Verizon was doing the same thing, that pretty much confirmed it. Now Mashable is reporting that Netflix also has a similar streaming deal in place with AT&T, thus completing the trifecta of terrible.
The deal gives Netflix direct access to AT&T's servers to reduce buffering times. This peering arrangement was made back in May with AT&T emailing out a statement earlier today.
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. We're now beginning to turn up the connections, a process that should be complete in the coming days.
As is still true with Netflix's previous peering arrangements, paying to bypass internet choke points still doesn't solve the inherent infrastructure problems that exist. Also, all these additional charges being heaped on Netflix, and any other service that will need to enter into similar arrangements, will most likely be translated into price hikes for streaming services. When really, AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast should pay that price as it is their job to deliver content to you.
It's not all doom-and-gloom for AT&T customers as you'll see less frustrating load times, but the question of who pays for what when it comes to delivering content online is still one that needs an answer. Hopefully one is coming. [Mashable]