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Netflix weighs in on net neutrality in India, after softening role in US

After stepping down from their prominent role in the net neutrality debate in the US, Netflix cautiously entered the dialogue in India yesterday, by filing a partial response to Indian telecom regulator TRAI's latest consultation paper on net neutrality. What Netflix said in their TRAI filing... Netflix's submission to TRAI argued for regulations banning paid prioritization, blocking, and throttling (slowing down) of Internet traffic. Paid prioritization is a concept where ISPs can be paid by content providers to put their content on a "fast lane", giving it an edge over the rest of the Internet. However, Netflix focused more on defending Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), in the bulk of their submission. CDNs are networks that Internet companies deploy around the world to improve data transfer speeds and cut costs. In its consultation paper, TRAI passingly mentioned the possibility of regulating CDNs. Netflix vigorously defended Open Connect, its own homespun CDN, and said that CDNs "[benefit] consumers, ISPs and Internet users in general". Netflix reasoned that CDNs are not anti-competitive, and that they reduce costs and improve speeds for both Internet users and ISPs. ...and what they didn't [caption id="attachment_168420" align="alignright" width="321"] Click to read: TRAI questions Netflix left unanswered[/caption] While Netflix touched on their usual arguments in favour of net neutrality and mounted a disproportionate defense of their CDN, they answered less than half of the questions TRAI asked in the consultation paper. While conceding that net neutrality should be enforced by a group where all stakeholders are represented, the submission skipped a series of questions on just how…

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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