If you're a Verizon internet customer and you've been getting increasingly frustrated with Netflix buffering, a fix may be at hand, with a new deal with the on-demand video service that it says should prevent the glitches and pauses that even high-speed FiOS customers have been complaining of. Still, even as the collaborative fixes go into play, Verizon can't help but throw the blame for the persistent issues onto Netflix itself.
According to Verizon, the occasionally sluggish streams and glitchy playback aren't a sign that it's downgrading Netflix traffic, nor in fact even that its own network is overloaded. Contrary to what Netflix has previously alleged, Verizon insists, the problem comes from how the streaming firm opted to feed content into Verizon's network.
Driving high-definition video across the internet takes a lot of bandwidth, and Verizon places the blame for not paving the best path for it resolutely at Netflix's feet. "For whatever reason (perhaps to cut costs and improve its profitability), Netflix did not make arrangements to deliver this massive amount of traffic through connections that can handle it," Verizon's David Young claims.
At fault are the third-party providers Netflix routes its traffic into Verizon's network using, Young writes, and Netflix for not ensuring they have sufficient capacity to do so to cater to the number of people actually trying to access the service.
Unsurprisingly, Verizon wants a paid deal to make sure that all happens, presumably an extension on the peering agreement already inked between the two firms.
In the meantime, however, Verizon is "working aggressively" with Netflix to build new direct connections its data can travel. That won't be a priority path for Netflix, Young is keen to make clear - hoping, perhaps, to cut off any net neutrality questions before they arise - but simply cut out the middlemen.
Whether it'll be enough to stop those with even the fastest connections having to wait for their streaming to start remains to be seen, though, even while playing the blame game, Verizon is confident it will make a difference.