The WSJ reports that Apple and Comcast are discussing a deal that would lead to the cable giant to provide priority streaming services to Apple’s set-top box.
The deal is still in it’s early stages. According to WSJ, the deal will result in Apple getting access to Comcast’s wiring which means Apple’s streaming services might not have to suffer with network congestion.
Network congestion causes videos to either load very slowly or not load at all. This is faced by almost all major streaming services and if Apple’s doesn’t suffer from the same, it could provide Apple with an extra edge.
Basically, the last mile between the customer’s homes and the exchange will offer special treatment to Apple resulting in Apple’s service not suffering from excessive network traffic. Special treatment would only be provided over the last mile because of FCC’s Net Neutrality rule which doesn’t allow any Internet Service Provider to provide special treatment to anyone.
“Under the plan Apple proposed to Comcast, Apple’s video streams would be treated as a ‘managed service’ traveling in Internet protocol format—similar to cable video-on-demand or phone service,” the WSJ wrote. “Those services travel on a special portion of the cable pipe that is separate from the more congested portion reserved for public Internet access.”
Some time back, Netflix too had signed up a deal with Comcast to allow Netflix a more direct route through Comcast’s infrastructure, resulting in faster streaming and lower buffering times.
Recently, Comcast announced it’s merger with Time Warner. These two commanded the majority of the United States in terms of subscribers and their merger further degraded the power of the consumers. But if the Apple-Comcast deal goes through, we consumers indeed are in a very dire state.