Verizon Sends Cease And Desist To Netflix Over Video Quality Error Message, Netflix Caves (Sort Of)

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News Posted: Tue, Jun 10 2014 11:39 AM
Netflix and Verizon are in a bit of a spat at present. The issue is that some Netflix users on Verizon networks started seeing an error message when experiencing a laggy connection that said “The Verizon network is crowded right now” followed by a note that said Netflix was “Adjusting video for smoother playback”.

It certainly seemed to be a direct shot at Verizon by Netflix, and the former was (predictably) none too pleased. In addition to a scathing blog post penned by Verizon’s David Young--”This claim [of the Verizon network being the cause of lag] is not only inaccurate, it is deliberately misleading”, he wrote in part--the company actually sent Netflix a cease and desist letter demanding that the streaming video provider take down the error message, threatening litigation for non-compliance.

netflix error
Credit: Yuri Victor/Washington Post

Netflix appears to be complying, but in any case it’s not admitting to anything and hasn’t mentioned Verizon at all. Instead, Netflix’s Joris Evers addressed the issue in a blog post discussing the company’s monthly ISP Speed Index report.

“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,” wrote Evers, who also stated that this particular trial would end on June 16th.

netflix isp speed

In a dig to Verizon, Evers continued, “Some broadband providers argue that our actions, and not theirs, are causing a degraded Netflix experience. Netflix does not purposely select congested routes.” Netflix is saying that it’s the fault of the last-mile providers, like Verizon, are to blame for congestion.

Evers went on to rail against ISP toll booths, asserting that these ISPs are effectively double-dipping by making service subscribers as well as content providers to pay for access to one another.

One thing is clear: These two giants are at the beginning of what may be a very ugly slugfest. The best-case scenario is that some long-standing problems pertaining to Internet access and content provision are brought to light for very public scrutiny and maybe--just maybe--we’ll see some improvements to how things are done.
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Jordan replied on Tue, Jun 10 2014 2:09 PM

Wasn't it Verizon that held Netflix customers hostage a few months ago until Netlix paid a high speed fee? That was the beginning of the whole net neutrality crap the government is trying to pull on us. It's only fair for Netflix to tell its customers who is really at fault for their crappy streaming service.

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Well Verizon sucks and it's about time another company said so . HAMMER them netflix !!

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im with netflix on this one verizon

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BurntChz replied on Tue, Jun 10 2014 3:25 PM

It was actually Comcast that was blackmailing Netflix first, and they got their way. Now it looks like Verizon's turn. The president has been set, so it's not surprising to see more companies try the same tactics.

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realneil replied on Tue, Jun 10 2014 7:52 PM

I never had any problems with my Comcast connection to Netflix until Comcast started demanding money from Netflix. Then I could barely stand to watch any movies at all. It really was lagged.

After Netflix caved-in and started paying Comcast, the service returned to normal.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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Now if we could get this for all the other isp's that are having fun throttling....

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