Netflix picking a fight with ISPs?

Given that Netflix could be facing semi-adversarial
relationships with the studios, now that it has agreed to delay renting new
releases from Warner Bros. you might expect it to keep a low profile on other

Not hardly.

The video rental company – and, increasingly, Web streaming
service – is asking the Federal Communications Commission to adopt rules to
protect viewers of streaming video. That, effectively, puts the company in a
potential face-off with ISPs.

The Washington
first noted the filing, which foreshadows a battle between Netflix and
big internet providers – specifically Comcast.

“The recent announcement of the proposed merger of Comcast
and NBC Universal serves to exacerbate the growing concern that MVPDs
(Multichannel Video Programming Distributors) will use their control over
programming networks to stifle competition, including the growing competition
from online video providers like Netflix,” it writes.

The debate, at its heart, is the ongoing one about Net
Neutrality. Netflix is worried that large cable operators, who also run large
Internet operations, will restrict bandwidth of competing services.

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