Netflix and Time Warner Cable confirmed that it they have struck a paid interconnection deal, an agreement that follows similar, recent pacts that Netflix has reached with Comcast, Verizon Communications and, most recently, AT&T.
“We reached an agreement with Time Warner Cable in June and began the interconnection between our networks this month,” Netflix said in statement, confirming news first reported Tuesday by GigaOm. TWC issued a similar statement.
Once executed, the interconnection agreement should improve the quality of the Netflix streams that are delivered via TWC’s access network. Netflix, in its ISP Speed Index for the month of July, said TWC delivered an average Netflix streaming speed of 2.16 Mbps, ranking the MSO in 6th place among the major U.S. ISPs ranked by the streaming giant.
Netflix has reluctantly signed interconnection pacts with the nation’s largest ISPs, preferring that ISPs instead join Open Connect, Netflix’s private content delivery network that relies on edge caches. Netflix has labeled such paid interconnection deals as an “arbitrary tax” on the company and other over-the-top video service providers. Netflix has also urged the FCC to include paid peering and interconnection deals into the discussion as the Commission pursues new network neutrality rules.
TWC, now in the process of being acquired by Comcast, and Netflix had previously butted heads over Open Connect when Netflix required that ISPs be part of its private CDN in order for their broadband subs to receive Netflix’s menu of “Super HD” and 3D content. Netflix altered that policy last fall, opening access to that content to all ISPs, not just those that were members of Open Connect.
Update: A Netflix spokesperson said the company expects its interconnection agreement with TWC to be its last in the U.S., adding that Netflix connect directly with hundreds of ISPs globally, and 99% of those agreements don't involve access fees.