Netflix faults Comcast in Level 3 dispute

In long-awaited comments, Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) has issued a statement implying that Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is trying to squash it by making it difficult--or more expensive--for Level 3 Communications (Nasdaq: LVLT) to offload traffic onto Comcast networks. The two carriers have been in a vicious peering/traffic management (depending on which side is talking) dispute over what most concede is Comcast's unwillingness to accept heavier loads of Netflix traffic flowing over Level 3 networks.

"Most network operators that provide consumers with access to the Internet also provide these consumers with multichannel video programming. As such, companies like Comcast, Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI) and Cablevision Systems (NYSE: CVC) have an incentive to use their network infrastructure in a manner adverse to our continued growth and success," according to a Netflix statement reported by Rapid TV News.

Level 3 has accused Comcast of erecting a "toll booth" to get more money for what it believes is peered traffic. Comcast has said it's not peering if there's more traffic coming in than going out. Netflix, while siding with Level 3, says it's waiting for the FCC which, to date, has fudged around about whether the issue is a net neutrality violation or not.

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