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A screen grab shows the access to Netflix online, as displayed on a television screen, in Encinitas, California in this file photo taken July 25, 2011. Netflix Inc has agreed to pay Comcast Corp for faster speeds, though terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Shares of Netflix fell 1.7 percent to $425.01 in light premarket trading.
A screen grab shows the access to Netflix online, as displayed on a television screen, in Encinitas, California in this file photo taken July 25, 2011. Netflix Inc has agreed to pay Comcast Corp for faster speeds, though terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Shares of Netflix fell 1.7 percent to $425.01 in light premarket trading.
(Mike Blake/Reuters)

The next Netflix will suffer thanks to Comcast deal

Netflix Inc. may appear to be the big loser now that it has agreed to pay an annual fee to ensure faster video streaming of its service to customers of Comcast Corp., the U.S. cable giant. But don’t judge so fast. The real losers may be companies that don’t exist yet.

The Netflix-Comcast deal looks likely to be a harbinger of a two-tier internet, where telcos collect big bucks for allowing premium data speeds to flow between established properties, while small startups who can’t afford to pay are forced into a much more crowded data pipeline.