With net neutrality in flux, disputes over the path of web traffic have taken on an unexpectedly high profile — but at least one high-profile fight may be coming to an end. GigaOm has discovered evidence of a new peering arrangement between Comcast and Netflix, allowing for a more direct route through the network that would result in faster speeds. According to this test by App.net co-founder Bryan Berg, Comcast is now serving Netflix traffic through direct connections, suggesting a fundamental change in the peering connections between the two networks.
As the leading web video provider, and thus a substantial portion of the traffic served on most networks, Netflix has faced constant conflict with providers over bandwidth and peering issues. In recent months, that conflict has caused Netflix performance to crater on both Verizon and Comcast networks, unfortunately coinciding with the arrival of the second season of Netflix's high-profile House of Cards series. For beleaguered customers of Netflix, Verizon and Comcast alike, this news suggests some relief may finally be in sight.
We have reached out to Comcast and Netflix for comment, and will update with any response.