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Netflix Verizon congestion message was a 'small scale test'

updated 04:54 pm EDT, Mon June 9, 2014

Verizon drops places in latest Netflix speed rankings

Netflix will soon stop its customized error message warning of issues with specific Internet service providers (ISP), the video streaming company has advised. At the same time as releasing ISP speed results for May, Netflix states it will stop the customized notifications when its "small scale test" concludes on June 16th, before deciding whether or not it will extend the practice to other markets and ISPs.

The warning message claimed the ISP "network is crowded right now" as the app buffered to show the stream at a lower bitrate. Verizon objected to the message, calling it "deliberately misleading," and sent a cease-and-desist letter to Netflix ordering the removal of the notice and to produce a list of subscribers who saw the message.

In a blog post, the company advised the message was part of a test "that lets customers know, while they're watching Netflix, that their experience is degraded due to a lack of capacity into their broadband provider's network," with ISPs showing "significant and persistent network congestion" being targeted.

"Some broadband providers argue that our actions, and not theirs, are causing a degraded Netflix experience," notes the blog, possibly in reference to Verizon's blaming of Netflix's transit network choice. "Netflix does not purposely select congested routes. We pay some of the world's largest transit networks to deliver Netflix video right to the front door of an ISP. Where the problem occurs is at that door - the interconnection point - when the broadband provider hasn't provided enough capacity to accommodate the traffic their customer requested."

Netflix goes on to call paid interconnect agreements wrong, claiming ISPs are "double-dipping" in receiving payment from subscribers and from content providers for the same data. "We believe these ISP tolls are wrong because they raise costs, stifle innovation and harm consumers."

In the latest Netflix ISP Speed Index for the United States, Verizon Fios dropped to 10th place from 8th place with an average speed of 1.9Mbps, with Verizon DSL also dropping one place to 16th, at a speed of 1.05Mbps. The top three, Cablevision Optimum, Cox, and Charter, scored 3.03Mbps, 2.94Mbps, and 2.87Mbps respectively.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. unicast reversepath

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 04-14-14

    It appears that Verizon is not concerned about appearing to be ignorant or anti-consumer.
    If I had to choose between service with Verizon or cutting the cord, I would choose the latter.

    I seem to remember Verizon's CEO commenting several years ago that customers should not expect to get a useable cell phone signal from their home. How nice.

    IMO the company was and still is run by a bunch of unethical dishonest creeps.

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