Netflix continues to shame Verizon over "crowded" networks

Networking

by Jimmy Nicholls| 10 June 2014

Streaming service doesn't care about ISP's lawyers.

A cease-and-desist letter from Verizon demanding Netflix retract an error message claiming their network is "crowded" has been rebuffed by the streaming service.

Netflix has remained bullish despite Verizon's threat to sue last week over the matter, with the firm's general counsel David Hyman yesterday defending the error message.

Joris Evers, head of communications for Europe, said: "Some broadband providers argue that our actions, and not theirs, are causing a degraded Netflix experience. Netflix does not purposely select congested routes."

Netflix maintain an ISP speed index on prime time viewing, the results for May having just placed Verizon at a lowly tenth with an average speed of 1.9 Mbps, down two places on last month.

Evers added that the average Netflix stream is around 2 Mbps, "a fraction of the bandwidth most consumers purchase from their broadband provider".

Verizon general counsel Randal Milch said: "There is no basis to assert that issues with respect to playback of any particular video session are attributable solely to the Verizon network.

"Verizon demands that Netflix immediately cease and desist from providing any such further 'notices' to users of the Verizon network."

The streaming service has caused chagrin at many broadband providers over recent months, opposing the Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger while demanding that the FCC maintain its net neutrality doctrine preventing providers charging for premium speeds.

"Some large US ISPs are erecting toll booths, providing sufficient capacity for services requested by their subscribers to flow through only when those services pay the toll," Evers added.

"In this way, ISPs are double-dipping by getting both their subscribers and Internet content providers to pay for access to each other."

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