Verizon fires back at Netflix for error message call-out

Jun 5, 2014
Verizon fires back at Netflix for error message call-out

Earlier this week Netflix made a point of calling out Verizon for what they suggest was the wireless company’s slow network speeds. In a message to users whenever their smart device on a Verizon network was going slow, Netflix suggested that "The Verizon network is crowded right now." Today, Verizon fires back.

From Verizon’s David Young comes an extended piece of literature which suggests that the claim in Netflix’ error message is "not only inaccurate, it is deliberately misleading."

Young suggests that the problem is "almost certainly NOT congestion in Verizon’s network." He instead points to the same problems raised earlier this year between Netflix and Comcast and Netflix and Verizon.

Netflix owns its own Content Delivery Network, which means it deals directly with broadband providers to make certain their traffic is going through successfully. Netflix takes up massive amounts of bandwidth on the web, which means they could potentially be charged to deliver said content at the same speed as other CDNs. Netflix has successfully worked with Cablevision and Grande Communications for interconnection, which, as Marguerite Reardon from CNET suggests, they’ve argued should be free because it benefits the end consumer.

This commercial interconnection would eliminate network hops between the content and the end consumer. Verizon has not agreed to give this connectivity to Netflix for free.

Because Netflix chooses how their traffic is pushed to Verizon’s network, Verizon’s David Young suggests that this Netflix error message should read: “The path that we have chosen to reach Verizon’s network is crowded right now.”

Verizon has also sent Netflix a Cease and Desist letter for the message. According to NBC, Netflix spokesman Jonathan Friedland suggested - in reply to the letter - that "This is about consumers not getting what they paid for from their broadband provider." Friedland went on to suggest that "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."

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