AT&T exec takes to the Internet, takes Netflix to task in the process

In a blog post published Thursday night, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings took aim at Comcast—you know, the company Netflix paid in order to get better network access— for its stance on net neutrality. So naturally, AT&T had to chime in.

Someone get the popcorn.

In a post published to the AT&T Public Policy blog, AT&T executive Jim Cicconi took issue with Hastings’ insistence that “ISPs must provide sufficient access to their network without charge.” Cicconi counters that somebody needs to pay for high bandwidth usage, and that it shouldn’t all fall on the ISPs and their customers.

“In the current structure, the increased cost of building [network] capacity is ultimately borne by Netflix subscribers. It is a cost of doing business that gets incorporated into Netflix’s subscription rate,” Cicconi wrote. “In Netflix’s view, that’s unfair. In its view, those additional costs, caused by Netflix’s increasing subscriber counts and service usage, should be borne by all broadband subscribers – not just those who sign up for and use Netflix service.”

Cicconi went on to argue that the arrangement Netflix wants would be like Netflix passing the cost of mailing DVDs to its customers on to non-customers.

Netflix has yet to reply to AT&T’s criticism, but one thing’s for certain: This debate is far from over.

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