Comcast has said repeatedly that it has no intention of throttling Netflix’s traffic and there may be a good reason to believe it’s telling the truth. Not because Comcast executives are benevolent cherubs, of course, but more because they’re smart enough to know that throttling Netflix’s traffic would lead to a public relations battle that they would lose very, very badly.
CNN brings word that Netflix’s customer satisfaction has hit a three-year high according to a new survey by the American Consumer Satisfaction Index and has been steadily recovering from the hit to customer satisfaction it took three years ago that the ACSI says “was inflicted by the 2011 increase in fees.”
What does this have to do with Comcast? Well the ACSI last year found that Comcast was the most disliked ISP in the United States, which is pretty remarkable given that Americans now hold their ISPs as a whole in even lower esteem than airlines.
Now imagine that Comcast gets caught intentionally slowing down Netflix’s traffic and Netflix makes a major stink about it in public. This would pit one of the most liked companies in the United States against one of the least liked companies in the United States and Comcast knows that Netflix would absolutely clobber it in the court of public opinion. In fact, messing with people’s Netflix streams might be the only thing that could get the general public to rally behind new net neutrality regulations, which is something that Comcast really doesn’t want to see.