Feeds

FCC launches probe into Verizon/Netflix spat

Commission will figure out whether video traffic was deliberately throttled

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The Federal Communications Commision (FCC) has announced it will investigate whether Verizon deliberately slowed traffic from Netflix.

Chairman Tom Wheeler issued a statement on Friday that the commission will "collect information" on how the ISP handled traffic from the streaming video service as the two firms were negotiating a direct-access deal.

"Recently, at my direction, Commission staff has begun requesting information from ISPs and content providers," Wheeler said.

"We have received the agreements between Comcast and Netflix and Verizon and Netflix. We are currently in the process of asking for others."

The FCC chairman noted that the commission was only collecting information on the matter, and that no regulatory action is planned in the case at this point.

The move comes as Verizon and Netflix find themselves involved in a dust-up over the handling of streaming video. Netflix, which signed a direct-access deal with Verizon earlier this year, has long noted that its services run slower on Verizon's network than many other ISPs. Verizon, for its part, has denied deliberately throttling Netflix content.

"Internet traffic exchange has always been handled through commercial agreements. This has worked well for the Internet ecosystem and consumers," a Verizon spokesman told The Reg.

"We are hopeful that policy makers will recognize this fact and that the Internet will continue to be the engine of growth of the global economy."

Last week, the spat nearly spilled over into a legal matter when Verizon sent Netflix a cease and desist order over error messages the video streamer popped up which blamed Verizon's network for slow traffic. Netflix has agreed to</stop serving the messages it said were part of a test program.

The conflict strikes at the heart of the net neutrality debate, as many advocates believe that without neutrality protections carriers will pressure services and site operators to pay for "preferred" access to customers and throttle traffic for those who do not. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
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'
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.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.