Comcast to bill content providers for access to subscribers

Level 3 Communications, which will help stream Netflix, says cable giant will charge for delivery to its customers

Topics: Comcast, NBC, Network Neutrality,

Level 3 Communications, an Internet backbone company that will support Netflix’s movie streaming service next year, is complaining that cable giant Comcast wants money for the right to send data to its subscribers.

The company says the fee violates the principles of an “open Internet” and goes against the Federal Communications Commission’s proposed rules preventing broadband Internet providers from favoring certain types of traffic.

However, the spat may be more reflective of the complicated commercial relationships of the Internet, where it’s not always clear who should be paying whom.

The charges come at a sensitive time for Comcast Corp., which is trying to get regulatory clearance to buy NBC Universal.

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