Netflix Attacks ISPs’ ‘Double-Dipping,’ Agrees to Stop Running Ads Targeting Verizon’s Speed

Jun 10, 2014  •  Post A Comment

Netflix said in a blog post that it will stop running ads attacking Verizon over slow Internet speeds, a few days after Verizon sent a cease-and-desist letter to the streaming service, reports Re/Code.

As previously reported, Verizon threatened to sue Netflix if it didn’t stop displaying messages to customers that blame slow streaming speeds on Verizon’s Internet service.

Netflix said it will stop running the messages by June 16, at least temporarily. But it referred to them as part of a "transparency campaign" and noted that it continues to test Internet providers' speeds.

The Netflix blog post says in part: "The Netflix ISP Speed Index aims to provide transparency and help consumers understand the Internet access they’re actually getting from their ISP. The average Netflix stream is about 2 Mbps (with most streams ranging from 256Kbps to 5.8Mbps), a fraction of the bandwidth most consumers purchase from their broadband provider. Still, in some cases, people are unable to enjoy a high quality Netflix experience."

Netflix adds: "As part of this transparency campaign, 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."

Verizon didn’t appear to be placated, Re/Code notes. A representative for the company said it hadn’t received a response to the cease-and-desist letter.

The Netflix post puts responsibility for streaming speed problems on Internet service providers, saying: "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. In this way, ISPs are double-dipping by getting both their subscribers and Internet content providers to pay for access to each other. We believe these ISP tolls are wrong because they raise costs, stifle innovation and harm consumers. ISPs should provide sufficient capacity into their network to provide consumers the broadband experience for which they pay."

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