Netflix Stops Accusing Verizon of Being Slow, Starts Proving It

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By Patrick Coffee Comment

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Verizon may claim to have moved on from its spat with Netflix, but the latter isn’t quite done with this business, thank you very much.

After Verizon sent a cease-and-desist letter insisting that Netflix stop accusing it of slowing down customers’ streaming speeds, the content company’s comms director wrote a blog post indicating that its “transparency campaign” would officially end next week. We might take that announcement with a grain of salt, though: the real purpose of the post was to hype the release of a new round of performance data designed to shame those very service providers.

Click through for the statement, which we read as, “We MIGHT stop bringing attention to your network congestion. Or we might not. Deal with it.”

“…we started a small scale test in early May that lets consumers know, while they’re watching Netflix, that their experience is degraded due to a lack of capacity into their broadband provider’s network. We are testing this across the U.S. wherever there is significant and persistent network congestion This test is scheduled to end on June 16. We will evaluate rolling it out more broadly.

Some broadband providers argue that our actions, and not theirs, are causing a degraded Netflix experience.

Where the problem occurs is at that door…ISPs are double-dipping by getting both their subscribers and Internet content providers to pay for access to each other.”

Ouch. Now guess which provider scored at the bottom of the list

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Of course you know, this means war–and Netflix has data on its side. Check out the letter from one communications director to another, which surfaced this morning via Quartz:

“Your interpretation mischaracterizes our messaging. The message you cite to in your letter merely lets our consumers know that the Verizon network is crowded.

In fact, it is my understanding that Verizon actually upsells customers to higher speed packages based on improved access to video services, including Netflix.

To try to shift blame to us for performance issues arising from interconnection congestion is like blaming drivers on a bridge for traffic jams when you’re the one who decided to leave three lanes closed during rush hour.

Despite our willingness to do so, you have chosen not to participate in the Open Connect Program, but instead have allowed your network connection to Netflix to degrade until we agreed to pay for augmented interconnection. We brought the data right to your doorstep…all you had to do was open your door.”

We know we’re supposed to be objective here, but…

#TeamNetflix. All the way.

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