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Netflix tells Australian ISPs how to tap its fat video pipes

Video-on-demand outfit reveals download-enhancing peering plans ahead of local launch

Netflix has announced that it is ready to work with Australian internet service providers (ISPs) to ensure its content reaches their subscribers quickly and at low cost by offering them “peering” arrangements.

The video-on-demand outfit has posted on the Australian Network Operators Group mailing list, explaining it is “ available on the Equinix Exchange, Megaport and NSW-IX Sydney” and is “accepting routes”.

That's a big-ish deal for local ISPs, because peering means an ISP can hook straight into Netflix's traffic rather than relying on a third party interconnect. That means faster data flows and ultimately a better customer experience. Video-on-demand is all about rapid access to jitter-free video, so pity the ISP that doesn't peer with Netflix and therefore earns itself a reputation as a less-than-stellar carrier of its moving pictures.

Netflix looks to have its bases covered: the three peering services it mentions are substantial, reliable and known to major ISPs.

One small wrinkle: the message we've linked to above appeared today, a week ahead of Netflix's launch. That's enough time to set up peering, but not a lot of time to get things finely-tuned.

The good news is that iiNet's and Optus' announcements of un-tolled Netflix downloads probably means at least two major ISPs have already sorted out how they'll ship Netflix to their subscribers. ®

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