03 January 2011

Peer pressure

Level 3, a firm that slings terabits of data per second around the world on behalf of its customers, has accused Comcast, a residential broadband and television programming provider, of violating the principle of net neutrality by demanding fees to carry traffic from Level 3. Comcast retorted that Level 3 had massively increased the data flow over the two firms' connection, notably as the result of a deal to handle Netflix's streaming video delivery, and that it merely wanted to negotiate the price for bringing more data ports online to meet Level 3's needs. The crux of the matter is whether Comcast has the right to choose in what way—and at what price—other networks interconnect with its own.