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I worked at Netflix when OpenConnect was introduced and I don't remember anyone internally thinking it was unnecessary (though, even at the time, the company was large enough that you didn't know everyone). Quite contrary, this was the era of the 250GB / month cap from Comcast and we could observe clearly that they were throttling Netflix traffic. OpenConnect, the ability to deploy the CDN directly into the internal network of these ISPs served multiple purposes--not the least of which was to expose the fact that they were holding Netflix for ransom. So, to say that was the executive foreseeing things is a bit of revisionist history. It doesn't lessen the impact or importance of OpenConnect; but, it grew out of a very real impasse with a very large ISP.

Ultimately, Netflix did end up paying Comcast in 2014 and, surprise surprise, the throttling stopped.

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