AT&T has an interconnection deal with Netflix for faster, smoother video

HANDOUT IMAGE: CEO of Netflix Reed Hastings talks with press on the red carpet at the Google/Netflix White House Correspondent's Weekend Party at United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. on May 2, 2014. (Photo by Tony Powell)

AT&T has become the latest company to sign a deal with Netflix to ensure that the company's streaming videos get to consumers without lagging or delay.

Netflix said Tuesday that the two companies had reached an agreement on interconnection in May.

"We're now beginning to turn up the connections, a process that should be complete in the coming days," the company told the Washington Post.

As recently as March, AT&T rejected Netflix's request to interconnect for free. Broadband providers have argued that Netflix should bear the costs for a recent surge in video traffic over their networks. Netflix, by contrast, has fired back that broadband companies should be responsible for making sure that content their customers request gets to them reliably.

Netflix earlier this year signed interconnection deals with Comcast and Verizon amid controversial negotiations that are the subject of an ongoing probe by the Federal Communications Commission.

Since May, Netflix and AT&T "have been working together to provision additional interconnect capacity to improve the viewing experience for our mutual subscribers," an AT&T spokesperson told the Post.

News of the AT&T deal was first reported by Mashable, citing two unnamed sources. Like the agreements with Comcast and Verizon, the terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on telecommunications and the Internet. Before joining the Post, he was the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic.



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