Level 3: Comcast Charging For Local Access, Not Peering

Internet provider claims it has invested $14 million to support Netflix CDN deal
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Level 3 Communications objected to Comcast asking for payment for
local interconnections to the MSO's network -- which is a separate
issue from backbone peering relationships, according to company
president and COO Jeff Storey.

"We carry Netflix traffic or other
traffic deep into the Comcast network, and we hand it off to them
generally at the last point we can," Storey said, speaking at the UBS
Global Media & Communications conference Wednesday morning. "We
respond to that request [for content by Comcast's subscribers] by
handing it off at the last possible minute, not the first possible
minute."

Level 3 last week griped that Comcast was erecting a "toll booth" on the Internet
by demanding payment to deliver additional traffic, after Level 3
landed a contract as a primary content delivery network for Netflix.
Level 3 accused Comcast of violating network neutrality principles. In
response, the cable operator said Level 3 was asking to dump twice the amount of traffic on its network without paying customary CDN fees.

Storey said the crux of the dispute was that Comcast now wants to charge for access at the local network level.

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