Netflix throttles video traffic for AT&T and Verizon customers
Scandal? Netflixgate? In a stunning plot twist that would seem right at home on their own House of Cards, with the saucy headline – Netflix Throttles! AT&T and Verizon Inc. were on the defensive last week after accusations swirled they were throttling the quality of Netflix video on their wireless networks. Let’s not forget the firestorm T-Mobile went through with their Binge On (here).
It turns out it was Netflix that was doing the throttling.
Netflix said it caps its streams at 600 kilobits-per-second—much slower than what should be possible on modern wireless networks. It hasn’t previously disclosed the practice. The issue came to light after T-Mobile US Inc.’s chief executive last week said Verizon and AT&T customers were receiving lower-quality Netflix streams. The carriers denied throttling Netflix videos.
Netflix has long presented itself as a champion of unfettered access to Internet content. But those claims are ringing a little hollow after the company admitted Thursday that it deliberately slows down its streams for customers watching on the cellular networks of AT&T and Verizon.
The company has championed strong regulatory measures by the FCC to prevent Internet providers from blocking or degrading content delivered over their networks. But there’s nothing to prevent Netflix or other content providers from restricting their own services as they see fit.
In response to the Netflix Throttles media storm, the company tried to explain I their blog (here).
Helping Netflix Members Get More from Their Mobile Data Plans
“Our research and testing indicates that many members worry about exceeding their mobile data cap, and don’t need the same resolution on their mobile phone as on a large-screen TV to enjoy shows and movies,” Netflix spokeswoman Anne Marie Squeo wrote in a blog post.
“We recognize some members may be less sensitive to data caps or subscribe to mobile data plans from carriers that don’t levy penalties for exceeding caps,” Squeo wrote. “As we develop new technologies, we want to give all our members the choice to adjust their data-consumption settings based on their video preferences and sensitivity to their ISP’s data-overage charges.”
Gosh darn, it seems you can’t fool all the people all the time. The self-anointed champions of the Open Internet and Net Neutrality have been caught red-handed squeezing their own content. Is this reasonable management? Let’s see what the FCC has to say about this? Netflix throttles traffic for only AT&T and Verizon, surely that disadvantages the other operators. You don’t wan’t to miss next week’s episode!
More Here [WP]