Verizon Claims it Will Still Charge Netflix Extra Connection Fees Regardless of what the FCC Does


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Dec 30, 2010
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Verizon has moved into the "pouty-face, foot-stomping, breath-holding" phase of a temper tantrum with the FCC. In a filing earlier this week, Big Red informed the FCC that it was planning to charge Netflix extra fees for uninterrupted service regardless of whether the Title II regulation goes into effect.

For those who have missed any of the rigamarole, ever since the courts struck down "Net Neutrality" at the behest of Verizon's lawsuits, Netflix has had to pay extra interconnection fees to ISPs (like Verizon, Time Warner Cable, Comcast and AT&T) in order to ensure uninterrupted service. Since then, the FCC has been mulling over reclassifying ISPs under the Title II ruling of the Telecommunications Act, which would effectively classify them as telecommunications entities and allow the FCC to regulate them like common carrier utilities.

Verizon isn't having any of that argument though. Their latest filing claims that even if the FCC does reclassify ISPs as common carriers, that doesn't give them the authority to enforce a Net Neutrality stance, and Verizon plans to charge those extra fees to Netflix anyway.

The execs at Verizon took it even further than that though. They basically argued that if the FCC tried to enforce Title II and stopped Verizon from charging that extra interconnect fee to companies like Netflix, then they would be forced to pass those fees on to consumers instead, which would mean higher costs to its customers. Here's a snippet from their official filing,

“In addition to chilling investment, regulation of interconnection agreements would impose little more than a massive fee-shifting from large content providers onto broadband customers. After all, if Netflix and other large content providers do not contribute to the costs of handling their disproportionate traffic volume, then broadband providers — and their customers (including the majority who are not Netflix subscribers) — will have to bear the full cost instead.

Netflix’s recent interconnection agreements with AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon are not symptoms of a problem, but rather examples of the continued success of market-based arrangements in accommodating the explosive growth and evolution of the Internet,”

While their argument seems logical from a surface evaluation, if you read between the lines, it becomes obvious that they are basically holding their own customers hostage in order to pressure the FCC. Verizon is basically saying, "don't mess with us FCC, or we'll shoot the customer with extra charges!" This becomes especially true when you consider the fact that Verizon has already recouped its investments in upgrading its network infrastructure, and much of their build-out was supported with government funded subsidies.

They (and other ISPs) currently have far more bandwidth capacity than needed, even in high traffic areas of the country. The obvious proof of that can be seen in AT&T's recent activations of much higher bandwidth capacities in certain areas due to the looming threat of Google Fiber coming to those areas. Most (if not all) of the ISPs need do nothing more than flip a switch to activate large swathes of currently unused bandwidth, yet Verizon is arguing they will be "forced" to pass on extra fees to consumers.

Let us know what you think of Verizon's hardcore stance.

Source: ArsTechnica
VZW's shareholders are up in arms about the carrier's losses; this is a knee-jerk reaction to the FCC. Wheeler is going to do what benefits the ISP/Cable industry because he has to go back to them when this is all over. Watch for all your costs to go up BEFORE Net Neutrality is ruled upon so the carriers/ISPs can not be blamed for raising rates AFTER the ruling-thereby proving the consumer wrong.
Charter has notified me that my internet service is increasing $5 eff: 1Jan2014. They do not want to be proved wrong by increasing my costs afterwards. I have no alternative and Charter knows that.
Folks, it is only going to get uglier from here on out...
Verizon was just fine when it came to handling the Netflix load on their network until they figured out yet another way to gouge someone for more money.

Once the talks with Netflix began Verizon slowed down Netflix streaming speeds until the negotiations were over and that is underhanded. I still don't see how they believed gimping Netflix speeds wouldn't be noticed.

I understand it takes a lot of money to maintain an infrastructure of this size, but they are raking in hundreds of millions monthly.
So many reasons I've never had, nor will ever have, Verizon services. The list of crap they've pulled on customers to kill unlimited data; this stunt; signing Netflix to such a deal in the first place....the list goes on, and grows daily. AT&T is no clan of saints...but they're not Verizon either. Yay.
It's just Verizon being Verizon did any of you expect anything different?
To be clear, this is about Verizon the ISP, and not Verizon Wireless...because I don't think some of yall realize this

From what I can tell, very few people understand that this has NOTHING to do with net neutrality. The bandwidth hogs (Netflix) and providers are simply battling over how consumers should pay for it. And that's only an issue with regard to competition keeping rates competitive.
What is their "justification" for these fees?

I mean, I pay for 15GB per month. What does it matter if that bandwidth is used for Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, FoxNews Video, Pandora, etc?

Data is data, so why does some data cost more?
My relationship with Verizon is finally making me understand the mindset of battered women. I don't like how I'm being treated but I just can't leave...
They've got us by the gonads.
In my case the best service where i live; plus, it's the only national provider with service where my folks live.
Not sure why VZW is complaining. If anyone on a limited data plan streams NetFlix, they will use up all their data and cut into some extra data which would increase VZW's profit. Why complain? Just let the uneducated user stream NetFlix and capture the extra money that way.

VZW can have my unlimited data when they take it from my cold dead hands!
To be clear, this is about Verizon the ISP, and not Verizon Wireless...because I don't think some of yall realize this
Oh. You're right. I missed that. Well, I still stick by what I said above for Wireless...