Verizon accused of throttling Netflix and YouTube, admits to ‘video optimization’

“Verizon Wireless customers this week noticed that Netflix’s speed test tool appears to be capped at 10Mbps, raising fears that the carrier is throttling video streaming on its mobile network,” Jon Brodkin reports for Ars Technica. “When contacted by Ars this morning, Verizon acknowledged using a new video optimization system but said it is part of a temporary test and that it did not affect the actual quality of video. The video optimization appears to apply both to unlimited and limited mobile plans.”

“But some YouTube users are reporting degraded video, saying that using a VPN service can bypass the Verizon throttling,” Brodkin reports. “‘We’ve been doing network testing over the past few days to optimize the performance of video applications on our network,’ a Verizon spokesperson told Ars. ‘The testing should be completed shortly. The customer video experience was not affected.’ …Verizon told us that the video optimization limits are applied ‘the same whether you are tethered or not.'”

“Verizon appears to have changed course from an earlier statement that it passes along video in the same quality provided by the video service. ‘We deliver whatever the content provider gives us. We don’t manipulate the data,’ Verizon said when it introduced its new unlimited plan in February,” Brodkin reports. “We asked Verizon if the new video optimization is a change in policy… ‘We’re always looking for ways to optimize our network without impacting our customers’ experience,’ the company replied. Verizon provided no further details.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Unhappy with Verizon? Vote with your feet!

Massively speed-up your Mac’s public VPN – May 26, 2017


  1. All the more reason for Apple to come up with a connectivity solution for it’s customers. The loss of Net Neutrality could be a boon to Apple who can leverage it’s reputation for respecting the consumer to provide best in class connectivity without any greed-throttling!!

  2. And here is why we need Net Neutrality.

    There are quite many people who can’t “vote with their feet”, and where the ISP is the monopolist in their geographic area.

    Let us not forget, Verizon is by no means alone here. Others have different names for this “video optimization” (“traffic shaping”, “bandwidth streamlining”, etc), but it all comes down to squeezing money from as many other revenue sources as possible. Raising monthly rates for consumers is an obvious risk (competitors will simply siphon off customers), so how does one improve the quarterly report and the bottom line? By finding new targets to get money from. So, Netflix, if you want our customers, on our network, you can either pay, or you can watch your customers complain about poor picture quality and intermittent, stuttering stream. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

    No amount of free market will resolve this. The only way to prevent racketeering is to enforce the existing laws, and where they don’t exist, make new laws.

  3. Bleh. I’m sick of AT&T and wanna switch. But Verizon dominates where I live and I hate them more. So, stuck I stay.

    In New York, Verizon has become downright notorious for being rabid rectal pores to one and all. Verizon is also viciously against Real Net Neutrality. Verizon also proves the case that it doesn’t matter how much incentive you offer a dickhead company. They STILL would expand their network. That’s called gluttony. Only their income expands.

      1. Dumped ATT with low data rates for T-Mobile promise, which were only promises.

        Verizon in my area routinely has 3-4 times the data rate of ATT & T-Mobile.

        Data speeds appear to be cell tower # & location dependent.

        1. *sigh* Thanks for letting me know. I was wondering about T-Mobile. Verizon is the only mobile company in the USA that I know of that has bothered to provide real 4G, aka LTE Advanced, anywhere in the USA. If only they weren’t [further expletives deleted for the sake of the children]. 😉

        2. Recent studies indicate that Verizon and ATT access is being degraded in general as their towers are being overwhelmed since they instituted more unlimited plans and that overall, T-Mobile has better general LTE access of late, even as they prepare to start rolling out service on their new frequency bands.

          As always your local bits may vary.

          PS: the people who work in T-Mobile stores are generally well-trained, helpful and friendly unlike the more dick-ish crew I found myself having to wait for a sales pitch from at Verizon’s red castles.

          I’m coming up on two years free of Big V, and haven’t regretted changing for a moment – in either of the two states I spend a lot of time in (suburban NY/NYC and the SLC metro area).

  4. Americans pay the highest rates for some of the most marginal broadband in the world.
    Here is Verizon 4G LTE in Memphis Tennessee Hooks Library on the third floor in a modern glass building.

    Look at that ping.

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