Verizon Allegedly Already Throttling Customers After Net Neutrality Ruling

Proponents of net neutrality were dealt a major blow last month when Verizon challenged and defeated the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the U.S. Court of Appeals over what ISPS are and are not allowed to do. Other than some transparency rules, it was ruled that broadband providers need not bother themselves with net neutrality, effectively stripping the FCC of its power to enforce rules set in place. Put more simply, ISPs are now allowed to throttle Internet traffic as they see fit, and there's evidence to suggest that power is already being abused.

A blog post by David Rapheal, director of engineering for iScan Online, a security scanning company located in the Dallas area, details an enlightening online conversation with a Verizon tech support representative. Raphael initiated the online chat after both he and his boss noticed "major slowdowns" in their Internet service every evening. One thing he found they had in common was they both subscribed to Verizon's FiOS Internet service.

Verizon Chat

The representative outright admits that Verizon throttles traffic to cloud providers, among which is Amazon's AWS cloud storage where iScan hosts its content. It's also what Netflix leans on, which might explain why Raphael was seeing a drop in quality on Netflix account after 4:00 p.m. each day.

"In my personal opinion, this is Verizon waging war against Netflix," Raphael states on his blog. "Unfortunately, a lot of infrastructure is hosted on AWS. That means a lot of services are going to be impacted by this."

Ethernet Cable

That's a scary accusation and represents one of the fears proponents of net neutrality have with putting the power in the hands of ISPs. At the same time, support reps aren't always reliable sources of information, especially when it comes to topics like this. Hence, Verizon has since issued a statement denying that it's throttling traffic.

"We treat all traffic equally, and that has not changed," Verizon said in a statement. "Many factors can affect the speed a customer experiences for a specific site, including, that site’s servers, the way the traffic is routed over the Internet, and other considerations. We are looking into this specific matter, but the company representative was mistaken. We are going to redouble our representative education efforts on this topic."

Here's hoping Verizon is telling the truth.