Feeds

Verizon threatens Netflix in video lag blame game

Carrier threatens to release its (legal) hounds over flick-flinger's error messages

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Verizon is threatening legal action against Netflix after the streaming video service began streaming error messages that blame Verizon for slow network traffic.

The telecom giant has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Netflix, demanding that the company stop sending its users notification messages that point the finger at Verizon when videos are slow to load. The messages, as posted below, tell users "The Verizon network is crowded right now."

Shortly after the above Tweet from Vox designer Yuri Victor was posted, media outlets began picking up and retweeting the news, prompting Verizon to shoot off the cease-and-desist letter to the Netflix legal office. Verizon provided El Reg with copy of the letter, excerpted below.

There is no basis for Netflix to assert that issues with respect to playback of any particular video session are attributable solely to the Verizon Network. As Netflix knows, there are many different factors that can affect traffic on the Internet, including choices by Netflix in how to connect to its customers and deliver content to them, interconnection between multiple networks, and consumer in-home issues such as in-home wiring, WiFi, and device settings and capabilities.

The letter goes on to claim that Netflix has opted to rely on a number of "middle-man networks" rather than agree to a direct connection deal with Verizon. Because of this, says Verizon, the streaming video provider has only itself to blame for poor traffic.

"To now accuse last-mile ISPs of being solely responsible for service issues that may relate to congestion on peering circuits stemming from network arbitrage by upstream providers is self-serving, deceptive and an unfair business practice," Verizon said.

Netflix, meanwhile, maintains that it has nothing to hide and that Verizon is indeed at fault for poor performance of the service on their network.

"This is about consumers not getting what they paid for from their broadband provider," a Netflix spokesman told El Reg.

"We are trying to provide more transparency, just like we do with the Netflix ISP Speed Index, and Verizon is trying to shut down that discussion," he said.

The spat comes even as the two companies are said to be preparing a direct-connect setup, which would in fact see Netflix establish a direct pipeline for the service with Verizon. The companies have not given any timetable for that process other than saying it would be complete "in the coming months." ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.