Netflix Says It Throttles Video On AT&T And Verizon To Protect Viewers

Internet users hate it when their connections are artificially throttled to slow down certain services. One of the most popular services used on the internet today is Netflix and recently AT&T and Verizon were taking heat over allegedly throttling Netflix and cutting the quality of videos for users on mobile networks. To the surprise of many, it turns out that neither AT&T nor Verizon were throttling videos for subscribers- Netflix was throttling itself.

Netflix says that it was limiting speeds for users on AT&T, Verizon, and on most wireless carriers around the world to protect consumers for more than five years. Specifically Netflix says that it wanted to "protect consumers from exceeding mobile data caps" because exceeding those caps might discourage the users from viewing Netflix on their mobile devices in the future.

Netflix has admitted to capping streams on mobile networks at 600 kpbs, significantly slower than most mobile data connections would allow. This is the first time that Netflix has admitted to throttling streams for users. This rigmarole came to light after T-Mobile's CEO said last week that Verizon and AT&T subscribers get lower quality Netflix videos.

The response from Verizon and AT&T was that they don't throttle video. You have to wonder if this was some sort of backend deal between AT&T, Verizon, and Netflix to throttle video without putting the onus on either of the mobile carriers. Netflix says that watching two hours of HD video on a mobile device would consumer up to 6GB of data, more than an entire months allowance on some plans. Netflix doesn't limit video quality on T-Mobile or Sprint networks because it says policies at both carriers are "more consumer-friendly." Sprint and T-Mobile simply slow a user's speed after exceeding a cap rather than charging more.

SOURCE: WSJ