Netflix Super HD Anti-Competitive?

Netflix has always touted itself as a supporter of the open Internet, so its recent announcement and requirements to qualify for Super HD leave many in the Internet access community dumbfounded by its actions.

It wasn’t very long ago that Netflix started a slew of neutrality debates and anti-competitive campaigns that resulted in several government investigations. That spew from Netflix is apparently one-sided.

In an effort to attract free peering and bandwidth from ISPs (Internet Service Providers) Netflix is offering Super HD streams to providers that join their Open Connect peer program. The problem is the program has very strict requirements that only the largest providers can meet.

While peering is great for the Internet as a whole, the hefty requirements to become part of their Open Connect Program and to obtain Super HD streams are out of the question for many smaller ISPs. Customers of smaller Internet providers may have the bandwidth requirements to stream Super HD, but will never see it because Netflix refuses to provide those streams without a peering arrangement.

What’s makes the whole situation worse is that Netflix is advertising Super HD streams to users on their website, and at the same time falsely blaming and portraying that the ISP is the reason for Super HD being unavailable to them.

“Your Internet Provider is not configured for Super HD yet”

We should be very clear that it is not a configuration problem with the ISP. It is Netflix that refuses to peer with smaller providers, and it is Netflix that is refusing to provide the Super HD stream to the user.

Netflix users all pay the same fee to access the service and expect they will be treated equal to other users. This ploy by Netflix to gain bandwidth and last mile access at the expense of ISPs and of their own users is deceitful, we expected better.

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