(Adds Netflix statement, background)
WASHINGTON, July 29 Video streaming service
Netflix has agreed to pay U.S. broadband provider AT&T
Inc to ensure smooth delivery of Netflix content to
Internet users, the companies said on Tuesday.
The announcement of the deal, struck in May, comes as
Netflix has been waging a public campaign against such fees,
which they present as tolls, and calling on the Federal
Communications Commission to review the market.
Having brokered this so-called interconnection agreement,
AT&T and Netflix are now working to build out new network
connections for Netflix content to be delivered directly to
AT&T's servers "to improve the viewing experience for our mutual
subscribers," the companies' representatives said.
"We're now beginning to turn up the connections, a process
that should be complete in the coming days," AT&T spokesman
Michael Balmoris said.
This marks the third such agreement Netflix struck with
major U.S. Internet service providers in recent months after it
revealed similar traffic exchange agreements with Verizon
Communications Inc in April and Comcast Corp in
Consumers have also complained to the FCC about an ongoing
spat between Netflix and major Internet providers, saying they
are experiencing slow download speeds for Netflix video.
Both sides accuse each other of causing a slowdown in
Internet speeds by the way they route traffic.
Financial terms of such interconnection agreements are
secret. The FCC last month moved to privately review the current
deals, though did not indicate specific plans to regulate that
part of the market.
(Reporting by Alina Selyukh; Editing by David Gregorio and