Net Neutrality

Netflix Neutrality

Oops, never mind!


While the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was considering how and whether to institute net neutrality rules on Internet service providers last year, the streaming video company Netflix was urging it on. As National Journal reported last September, the company expected the rule both to "protect its profits" and to garner "goodwill from Web activists and liberals."

So when the FCC officially passed its package of net neutrality rules—including a major overhaul of the way broadband Internet service is classified, changing it from a lightly regulated Title I information service to a more heavily regulated Title II telecommunications service—you might have expected Netflix to be among the first to cheer. Instead, the company signaled its discontent, with CFO David Wells telling fellow industry insiders, "Were we pleased it pushed to Title II? Probably not. We were hoping there might be a non-regulated solution," according to a March report in Variety.

The company quickly clarified that it supported the step overall, even if the reclassification was not its preferred option. Even still, the remark was telling: Net neutrality's biggest corporate cheerleader didn't want to take this route to change.