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Verizon and Netflix Trade Barbs in Streaming Dispute
Verizon and Netflix Trade Barbs in Streaming Dispute

By Joe Flint
June 6, 2014 7:06AM

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Who's causing the slow streaming of Netflix content? Netflix is blaming a crowded Verizon network, while Verizon says the problem is most likely congestion on the connection that Netflix has chosen to use to reach Verizon's network. Netflix has been very vocal in criticizing Internet service providers over streaming issues in the past.
 



Netflix and Verizon are in a spat over who's to blame for slow streams. Recently, Netflix started displaying a message to customers whose viewing experience was being delayed by buffering.

"The Verizon Network is crowded right now," the notice said.

Asked on Twitter about the notice, Netflix spokesman Jonathan Friedland said, "we're always testing new ways to keep members informed."

Verizon doesn't think Netflix is keeping its customers informed with the truth, however. David Young, Verizon's vice president of federal regulatory affairs put out a statement on its public policy blog Wednesday saying Netflix is misleading its customers about what's really going on.

"The source of the problem is almost certainly NOT congestion in Verizon's network," Young said. "Instead, the problem is most likely congestion on the connection that Netflix has chosen to use to reach Verizon's network."

Young added that, "it would be more accurate for Netflix's message screen to say: 'The path that we have chosen to reach Verizon's network is crowded right now.' However, that would highlight their responsibility for the problem."

Netflix has been very vocal in criticizing Internet service providers over streaming issues. Many of the ISPs have fired back that Netflix, which accounts for a large chunk of Internet traffic, is trying to shift the blame away from itself and attempting to turn business disputes into a public policy issue.

In February, Netflix reached a deal to pay Comcast in return for a direct connection to the cable giant's broadband network. Previously, Netflix paid third-party providers for such access to Comcast's network.

Netflix struck a similar pact with Verizon.

But since those agreements, Netflix has suggested that if it hadn't agreed to pay, its customers would have received an inferior product and has tried to use the deals to make the case for a need for tougher regulation of the Internet.

The ISPs have countered that Netflix is trying to confuse consumers and lawmakers by attempting to tie its streaming issues to net neutrality and an open Internet.

"It is sad that Netflix is willing to deliberately mislead its customers so they can be used as pawns in business negotiations and regulatory proceedings," Young said.
 


© 2014 Los Angeles Times (CA) under contract with NewsEdge. All rights reserved.
 

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Trikein:

Posted: 2014-06-08 @ 11:46am PT
Lets see, if I pay my ISP 60$ to deliver content, and pay Netflix 8$...who should more responsible for the problem? Hmmm..yea..I don't see Verizon winning this one.

JimmyXP:

Posted: 2014-06-08 @ 11:36am PT
Verizon (and other internet providers) are all about limiting total monthly download to increase its revenue. It's business. Consumers needs to make demands by quitting Verizon.

jnffarrell1:

Posted: 2014-06-08 @ 11:27am PT
ISP trades one barb while Netflix automates dispensing 50 harpoons per user per night. Of course, Netflix is only involving 1% of the user base, but if the ISP wants, Netflix can dial it up to 100%.

Hemant Vakharia:

Posted: 2014-06-08 @ 10:29am PT
I am a Verizon customer for a long time. I started with DSL which was quite good. Then they came out with advertisements and calls to customer suggesting that if we move to FIOS we will never face any problem with streaming of video/audio and will experience a great download speed. So I moved to FIOS. Then they came out with FIOS Quantum (which I call version 1), practically saying that at additional $10/month my internet experience will change, so I agreed to that. And now they have started following up about FIOS Quantum - 2 with another slab of $10/month. These are all money making gimmicks and when they fail to deliver on their promises, they blame Netflix on one side for not having a direct connection blah blah blah, and also blaming me by politely suggesting that I should have moved to FIOS Quantum 2 to prevent streaming problems that I am facing. Verizon, Comcast etc. are having virtual monopoly and therefore they resort to these unethical methods to grow their revenue by harassing customers like us.

BigV:

Posted: 2014-06-08 @ 9:36am PT
The "Good" people @ Verizon company would never mislead their customers about there services. It is not Verizon's choice on what I can and can not connect to on their network, hence why this is a net-neutral issue. I paid Verizon to get to the Internet, and I paid Netflix to stream video to me.
The fact that the people at Verizon are bitching because their huge network can not support the requests of their customers.
"We" are all streaming Netflix, so the hell what, fix your freaking network. This is not rocket science. I would bet that if Verizon would quit buying congressional votes with their lobbyist, they might have a couple of dollars to continue expanding the network and provide proper internet services to their customers.

TiredOfBS:

Posted: 2014-06-08 @ 9:18am PT
These Big telecoms lie more than Netflix, but they both lie. It's all about greed. Verizon want to get at profit anyway they can and Netflix represents an opportunity. Either way The telecoms need to invest in the infrastructure which is one of the slowest in the world.

James:

Posted: 2014-06-08 @ 8:38am PT
I believe that its obvious that the Verizon network is running slower, they test network points from around the country and they have the data to back up slow and buffering of internet on Verizons networks. If Verizon doesn't want to look like the bad guy they are better off fixing their infer-structure and supplying their customers with promised services from companies not apart of Verizon or a subsidiary of it.



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