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Charter Promises Free Interconnection With Time Warner Cable Acquisition

15 Jul, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Netflix endorses merger following Charter’s letter to the FCC

Charter Communications July 15 — in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission — promised to extend free high-speed interconnections to streaming video services through 2018, provided regulators approve its $55 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable.

In a separate letter to the FCC, Netflix applauded Charter’s new peering policy, calling it a “welcome and significant departure” from other ISPs that are charging the subscription streaming pioneer additional fees to ensure its subscribers have smoother streaming experiences.

Netflix has inked peering arrangements with Comcast, CenturyLink, Level 3 and Verizon. Amazon Prime Instant Video, Facebook and Google-owned YouTube have additional deals with AT&T and Sprint. The pacts ensure smoother video streaming for the services’ subscribers.

“Accordingly, Netflix supports the proposed Charter/TWC transaction if it incorporates the merger condition proposed by Charter,” Christopher Libertelli, president of global public policy with Netflix, wrote in the letter.

Indeed, Charter’s pledge does include 18 technical criteria that must be met by streaming services to qualify for free interconnection. One stipulation, for example, mandates that any party seeking a peering connection must interconnect its streams at each of Charter’s third-party “points of presence,” or Internet exchange points.

Charter said streaming parties must adhere to any new Internet exchange point within 90 days. The cabler said it reserves the right to alter the interconnection policy so long as it does not result in “payment for interconnection.”

Payment for interconnection for smoother streaming to its subscribers is a major reason Netflix publicly denounced and likely contributed to Comcast’s failed $45 billion acquisition of TWC in April.

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