“At the heart of the current net neutrality debate is Netflix, which earlier this year began paying cable provider Comcast to prioritize its service, allowing content to be delivered to users faster. The streaming service has since struck a similar deal with Verizon,” Stephen Robles writes for AppleInsider. “Those deals apply to the so-called ‘last mile’ of the Internet — the lines owned by a cable provider that connect to your home.”

“When you access Netflix on your Apple TV, the entertainment provider does not have a direct line to your modem or Wi-Fi router. That direct line into your home is instead owned by whatever cable company spent millions of dollars physically laying cabling or fiber to offer your neighborhood Internet service,” Robles writes. “That movie or TV show you begin streaming on your Apple TV must travel down two roads to get to your house: from Netflix to the cloud (Internet) and from the cloud to your device.”

“Until recently, these “roads” from content providers to the cloud and back down to the user have been treated like open pipes, completely unregulated. For years cable companies had no issue leaving these pipes wide open, as most of the content being delivered were static websites, images, Flash, and the occasional low-resolution video,” Robles writes. “The concern is that if cable providers keep cutting those types of deals, renting a movie from iTunes could be a different experience on Comcast than it is for Time Warner customers. If Apple paid Comcast for prioritization on its network, their customers could rent a movie and begin watching quickly, while Time Warner customers could still be waiting for it to buffer.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

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