Netflix gets ally in form of Google in ongoing tussle with Comcast

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In the ongoing net neutrality battle, Google has fired the most recent shot to give Netflix a big co-sign, revealing that it doesn’t charge extra for an internet “fast lane,” and streaming-video companies are free to place their content servers in Google Fiber’s own data centers.

The company is encouraging all content providers to hook up their networks directly to its Fiber’s network in peering and co-location deals at no extra charge for buffer-free video delivery to create a “win-win-win” situation.

“We also partner with content providers (like YouTube, Netflix, and Akamai) to make the rest of your video’s journey shorter and faster,” Jeffrey Burgan, Google Fiber’s director of network engineering, said in a Wednesday blog post.

“This doesn’t involve any deals to prioritize their video ‘packets’ over others or otherwise discriminate among Internet traffic — we don’t do that.”

Burgan pointed out that Google doesn’t “make money from peering or co-location; since people usually only stream one video at a time, video traffic doesn’t bog down or change the way we manage our network in any meaningful way – so why not help enable it?”

This statement of Google, backing Netflix against the ISPs, comes as the latest addition to the reignited Net Neutrality debate as FCC debates the future of its open internet rules.

Google isn’t the only ISP to offer peering deals to Netflix for free, as many ISPs across Europe are already a part of the Netflix Open Connect program, hooking it up directly with their networks.

However, Comcast, Verizon and other ISPs have demanded that Netflix to enter “paid peering” agreements for direct interconnection. Google’s online video service YouTube also reportedly has direct interconnection deals with AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and other ISPs.

Google claims that agreeing to free peering can be the best solution for all parties involved, both economically and in terms of quality. According to Netflix’s speed rankings, Google Fiber has offered better Netflix performance compared to all the major ISPs.

Google Fiber’s customer reach is relatively small with current availability in Kansas City and Provo, Utah, and plans to expand to Austin, Texas. The company is expected to announce the Google Fiber roll out to next round of cities by the end of 2014.