Netflix inks streaming deal with Time Warner Cable

Netflix signed a deal with Time Warner Cable to bring faster streaming speeds to subscribers starting this month, both companies confirmed.

After signing similar agreements with Comcast, Verizon and AT&T, the new agreement with the country’s No. 2 Internet provider means that Netflix has signed deals with the four largest Web service providers in the country.

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The deal to connect Time Warner Cable subscribers directly to Netflix's servers — rather than going through a middleman company — was signed in June and went into effect this month, representatives from both companies said. Time Warner Cable subscribers throughout the country should be experiencing faster connections and smoother streaming by the end of the month.

The companies did not disclose how much Netflix paid Time Warner Cable to connect directly to its subscribers.

Such interconnection deals as the ones Netflix signed with the four big Internet companies won’t be covered under the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposed regulations for net neutrality. Net neutrality is the concept that Web providers such as Comcast or Time Warner Cable should not be able to slow or block access to some websites, or to provide "fast lanes" on the Internet to those who can afford to pay for it, such as Netflix.  

Still, the FCC has pledged to review the deals.

CEO Reed Hastings has called the deals an “arbitrary tax” against Internet companies and has aimed to rub them out. A lobbyist the company brought on this year is focusing specifically on the interconnection agreements among other tech issues, according to federal disclosure forms.