AT&T 'in discussions' with Netflix over peering

Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) appears to be working its way down the list of top ISPs in ensuring it can deliver directly to its subscribers over their networks. AT&T (NYSE: T) Chief Technology Officer John Donovan, during a Brookings Institution panel discussion, said the carrier is "in discussions with Netflix" regarding an arrangement that is likely similar to deals the online video provider struck this month with Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ).

John Donovan, AT&T at Brookings

Donovan speaks at the Brookings panel. Click here for his answer on Netflix. (Screencap: Brookings / YouTube)

"We're in discussions with Netflix and certainly in the midst of a dialogue," Donovan said in response to an audience member's question.

In his response, he also toed the company line regarding the FCC's Open Internet revision, phrasing it alongside the Netflix issue.

"We have always been at AT&T an advocate of an open transparency and an Open Internet, and we have been supportive all along. We reiterated that support last year. So there's a lot of details we need to learn, and we will have a view once we see those details," he said.

The Brookings Institute panel discussion was live-streamed in conjunction with the release of a new Brookings report on the evolution of online video. Moderated by report author Darrell West, the panel featured Donovan along with Qualcomm President Derek Aberle and Turner Broadcasting's Jeremy Legg, SVP of Business Development and Multiplatform Distribution.  

Netflix, while publicly deriding Comcast for reportedly throttling the online video provider's bandwidth over its network, signed a peering agreement with the cable giant in late February that resulted in a huge spike on the MSO's ranking in Netflix's monthly Speed Index.

Last week, Netflix signed a similar deal with Verizon.

Netflix in the past couple of years has moved away from CDN-based delivery to direct delivery of its video stream.

For more:
- download the report
- view the panel discussion

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