Feeds

FCC launches probe into Verizon/Netflix spat

Commission will figure out whether video traffic was deliberately throttled

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

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. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.