Verizon to Netflix: Cease and desist on messages blaming slow streaming on Verizon’s broadband service

“Verizon Communications Inc on Thursday demanded that Netflix Inc immediately stop displaying messages to customers that place blame on Verizon’s broadband service for slow delivery of Netflix TV shows and movies,” Lisa Richwine and Marina Lopes report for Reuters.

“The letter is the latest sign of tension between content providers like Netflix and Internet service providers over who should pay the price for companies that stream heavy traffic online,” Richwine and Lopes report. “In a cease-and-desist letter sent to Netflix, Verizon also asked the video streaming service to provide information including a list of customers on the Verizon network to whom Netflix delivered the notices, or face legal action. ‘Failure to provide this information may lead us to pursue legal remedies,’ Verizon general counsel Randal Milch said in a letter to Netflix general counsel David Hyman.”

“In mid-May, Netflix started a test of messages displayed on the screen for some customers when a video is buffering. The messages say that there is congestion on the network of Verizon or another Internet service provider,” Richwine and Lopes report. “Netflix said on Thursday the test is continuing and meant to provide customers more information about their service, similar to a speed index that Netflix has published for months with a ranking of Internet service providers. ‘This is about consumers not getting what they paid for from their broadband provider,'” Netflix spokesman Jonathan Friedland said. ‘We are trying to provide more transparency, just like we do with the ISP Speed Index, and Verizon is trying to shut down that discussion.'”

“In April, Netflix said it reluctantly signed a deal to pay fees to Verizon to bypass those middlemen and deliver content directly to the company, ensuring faster speeds,” Richwine and Lopes report. “But Verizon is still working to implement the needed architecture and expects to finish improvements by the end of 2014.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Netflix to pay Comcast for faster speeds – February 24, 2014
Verizon denies using net neutrality victory to throttle Netflix, Amazon traffic – February 5, 2014

Obama backs away from ‘Net Neutrality’ campaign promises after U.S. FCC vote – May 16, 2014
FCC to propose new rules for so-called ‘Net Neutrality’; would allow broadband providers to charge companies for speed – April 23, 2014
FCC plans to issue new so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – February 19, 2014
U.S. federal court strikes down FCC’s so-called ‘net-neutrality’ regulations – January 14, 2014
Verizon’s ‘Net Neutrality’ battle with U.S. FCC not about free speech – September 9, 2013
U.S. Senate rejects attempt to overturn FCC’s so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – November 10, 2011
Free Press sues U.S. FCC over so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – September 29, 2011
FCC takes steps toward implementing ‘Net Neutrality’ rules – July 1, 2011
Speaker Boehner rips FCC bid to regulate Internet; likens ‘shocking’ national debt to Sputnik threat – February 28, 2011
House passes amendment to block funds for FCC ‘Net Neutrality’ order – February 17, 2011
Rasmussen: Just 21% of likely U.S. voters want FCC to regulate Internet – December 28, 2010
FCC cites Android ‘openness’ as reason for neutered ‘Net Neutrality’ – December 22, 2010
U.S. FCC approves so-called ‘net-neutrality’ regulations – December 21, 2010


  1. I am so glad that I have Comcast. Verizon is the only other option here. Comcast is WAY better. I’m hoping the fact that this (Philly) is Comcast’s headquarters means that they will always have incentive to keep a top-notch network here.

  2. I have Verizon FIOS (the one level up from the slowest FIOS) and I have noticed a slow down with big pauses in internet lately. I am not surprised as Verizon has started a campaign to get people (like me) to upgrade to an even faster service.

  3. Maybe NetFlix should drop the word “Verizon”, show the user’s actual download speed as well as the average of others in the same area who use different providers:

    Your connection speed is slower than your neighbors’ are getting
    Your speed: 3.78 Mbps
    AT&T: 15.26 Mbps
    ComCast: 30.42 Mbps

    This way they’re proving that Verizon is the bottleneck while not specifically calling them out for it.

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