Netflix throws Verizon’s cease-and-desist demand into the trash

by: William Neilson JrJune 10, 2014

Verizon_Throttling_Netflix_Wide DailyTech

Last week, Verizon got angry at Netflix blaming them for poor video streaming. Now, Netflix is responding to Verizon by telling them that they will not stop telling customers that their specific Internet service provider is to blame for any poor streaming. Netflix did say that they were running “transparency tests” which led to customers getting the error message and that such tests would end June 16, though Netflix would consider running the error messages again.

In addition to wanting for Netflix to stop blaming them, Verizon also wanted a list of all customers who received such messages and evidence that each message was justified.

In response to Verizon’s demands, Netflix’s General Counsel David Hyman responded:

“The current transparency test to which your letter relates is scheduled to end June 16 and we are evaluating rolling it out more broadly,” he wrote. “Regardless of this specific test, we will continue to work on ways to communicate network conditions to our consumers. We’re also happy to work with you on ways to improve network transparency to our mutual customers.”

When asked if Netflix is not complying with all of Verizon’s demands, a Netflix spokesperson told Ars Technica only that the “letter speaks for itself.”

This comes not even two months after Netflix agreed to pay Verizon for a direct connection to its network. In Netflix’s monthly streaming-speed report, Verizon FiOS dropped in the overall rankings, falling from an average of 1.99Mbps in April to 1.9Mbps in May.


Netflix also added in one last dig towards Verizon:

“Verizon’s responsibility to provide its customers with the service it has promised them… It is my understanding that Verizon actually upsells customers to higher speed packages based on improved access to video services, including Netflix.”

  • MasterMuffin

    So they threw it back to Verizon? :)

    • Corbin Crutch

      Just what needs to happen. Net neutrality all the way!

  • Justin Hall

    Shots fired!! Good!! Verizon gets a taste of their own medicine!

    • Matthew Wypyszinski

      war were declared

  • Justin

    Yes! Go Netflix!

  • Roberto Tomás

    its strange that the rates are so low when they’re supposed to be getting 25mbps with fios

    • Kazahani

      If they did a regular old speed test, they probably are. These speeds are specifically for Netflix, which on any given day can account for a full third of all internet traffic. The reason they are doing this is is because their series of tubes is getting clogged up by episodes of Spongebob and B-horror movies.

  • Duane Westerhaus

    I’m fairly certain every Verizon customer reading or hearing about this issue is thinking,

  • Euan

    Good for netflix! Living in the UK we still have very limited 4G connectivity but I somehow manage to stream HD video from netflix over 3G without problems, yet verison’s netwok on 4G cannot seem to stream even standard def? Seems pathetic really

  • Kazahani

    I am in no way, shape or form a fan of ANY of the big telecoms, but I will say that the advent of video streaming has put a tremendous strain on the infrastructure that exists today, and there is no doubt that if they did not limit bandwidth to these services, the overall internet experience for everyone would suffer.

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    • HalfnHalfCoffeeJelly

      No. It’s becase they really haven’t spend money on the infrastructe since 2007. They been reaping profits since without really upgrading. This is the own Cable industry lobbyist numbers. This is the same crap that happened to AT&T when the iPhone first came out. Their network sucked and people complained and it got fixed. The situation we have is unless there is a direct competitor, Google, they don’t do crap. Plus Netflix isn’t YouTube, I pay a monthly fee to acess it. Being a Comcast customer means you get double dipped since they can’t provide a quality service if Netflix didn’t pay up.

      • Kazahani

        Since the iPhone went to Verizon, etc., At&t has since spent big money on massive network upgrades, to the point that in my area they now surpass VZW in capacity and speed. These things take time. The problem is that these companies are not competing with each other, so there’s really no rush on their part since customers don’t really have an alternative.

    • Michael Samsara

      Perhaps the analogy of the “poor little rich kid” is apropos to Verizon?

      Of all the telecoms Verizon on all fronts is probably the most profitable; their profits from their cell network alone according to something I heard Jon Legere mention are off the charts. Once upon a time I had Verizon – never again – they were shall we say more than a little bit of a pain in the ass. It would appear that Netflix has found that like a tiger – they have been want to change their stripes.

      • Kazahani

        Literally everything you just said was applicable only to Verizon Wireless, which is a different enterprise than Verizon’s fios and dsl Internet services. Large companies like to keep their separate business lines insulated from each other. Could the board of directors decide to funnel money from Verizon Wireless into fios? Yeah, probably. But they run each division as a separate enterprise and they want each one to stand on its own.

        • Michael Samsara

          Good point, thank you. However, is it unreasonable to imagine that the same mentality that motivates one part of the corporate body is also the same force of motivation that makes the rest of it go too?

          My point related to attitude and the intent of Verizon; I don’t think there is that much – if any – dissimilarity – in reality despite the fact that on paper they may be running separate divisions and unconnected businesses entities – between their world view of what is best for Verizon and what they will or won’t allow, or how that attitude predetermines their actions towards this or that.

          • Kazahani

            Yes, that’s true since both departments are overseen by the same board and CEO. I just think that if their broadband internet business is not raking in money like their wireless business is, then they might be hesitant to dump a bunch of resources into building up their infrastructure to handle everyone wanting to binge watch all 7 seasons of Lost.

  • Say What?

    Having both Optimum Online and Verizon FIOS here on Long Island I can say that Verizon internet services are actually slower. Their DNS Servers are slow as molasses. I can justify Netflix’s claims that Verizon’s network is congested…..because it is!!

  • HalfnHalfCoffeeJelly

    Verizon blows. I had to go Fios just to stream anything or use WOW. Verizon DSL is a joke and at one point I was getting 0.25 mb speeds. I stopped playing WOW due to game killing lag, even getting 4K ms. They really work to get you off DSL.

  • el_sur

    I miss Optimum Online from Cablevision. They were truly reliable and fast. Time Warner sucks till no end.

  • 1bestdog

    Signed a contract with Verizon Fios last summer. Major mistake. RCN are total jerks and so is Time Warner (Their reps are all in Central America and speak terrible English, I couldn’t even get past setting up a time) so I tried Fios. My internet cuts out every ten minutes, give or take. Their techs have been out six times and I have spent hours of my life with tech support on the phone. Each one has a different theory bottom line it is useless. They will not let me out of the contract. Watching streaming youtube, is a disaster.