back to article Netflix agrees to end network warnings in Verizon slowdown spat

Netflix is backing down in its battle with Verizon over the speed of its streaming video service on the carrier's network, albeit just a little. A Monday post to the Netflix US and Canada blog said that the company will stop issuing users error messages blaming carriers for slow performance, saying the notifications were part …


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  1. Don Jefe

    If you videotaped a Verizon employee screaming his name and his social security number while simultaneously sexing a farm animal to death they would deny it was them and blame the farmer who owned the animal.

    God, I really don't like Verizon.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      @ Don Jefe

      Don't be unfair to Verizon! I'm sure that they would actually say that they would never have had to give it hot-and-hard to the doomed farm animal if only the poor quadroped had paid for molestation-free "direct interconnect" service!

      God bless capitalism!

  2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    If the ISP doesn't get to charge at least two different companies, maybe three or four, for the same bit of data then society has obviously failed, Google will kill babies and pirates are responsible for all of it. Anyone who disagrees is obviously lacking in understanding of economics, morality and ethics.

    1. dan1980

      ". . . then society has obviously failed . . ."

      It's worse than that, Trevor - it means that society doesn't even understand RFC 791! And if that's the case then humanity itself is half-way down the spiral.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        [censored] [censored] [censored], [censored] [censored], [censored]!!!

        1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)


          [censored] [censored] [censored], [censored] [censored], [censored]

          I'll fill in the blanks.

          [I've] [lost] [my] [tinfoil] [hat]

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            I love that you think it's "tinfoil hatting" to look at history go "wow, when given that kind of power over people's lives, in every single instance it was abused, abused quickly and abused horribly" and then turn to something like "giving carriers censorship-via-degredation power" and think "I believe this power will be badly abused."

            You actively encourage people not to learn from the past. You're like anti-history. Subsume oneself into joy-joy happy thoughts based on [???] and just presume it'll all work out. It's as absolutely unreal as people who honestly believe that in economic terms humans are rational actors. Dangerously untrue, but something we all desperately want to believe, so those who feed the lie obtain enough power to cause damage.

            I'm deeply sorry that my actually giving a bent fuck about "the little people" offends, but I am not burdened by some bizzare sense of morality that says one group "deserves" to have power over another. I'm a pragmatist. What matters is that we can find a balance of power and freedom that means we can all live together in the closest semblance of harmony possible until we hand the world off to the next generation for them to have a go at running the thing.

            Based on both history and the rather unholy amount of science that I read, I am absolutely convinced that many [most] of the ideas about social organization you espouse are, in fact, in direct opposition to finding a balance between power and freedom that allows for societal harmony.

            You and I are never going to see eye to eye on this, Andrew. Our fundamental beliefs are simply too different.

      2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

        People understand networks pretty well. You're still justifying "making stuff up" to get a policy through?

        1. NinjasFTW

          ah good to see the kettle calling the pott black!

        2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          "You're still justifying "making stuff up" to get a policy through?"

          No, I was mocking people by lampooning their arguments in a humorous fashion. They do have humour where you're from...right? I realise "people" might be a stretch to find there...but please tell me your species evolved humour...

    2. dan1980


      PIRATES!!! Ha! I just realised that you are talking about people who obtain and consume content in breach of copyright terms.

      That makes more sense but is less amusing. My first reaction was possibly influenced by this type of logic.

  3. phil dude

    perhaps all isps...

    It would be nice if netflix did this for all ISPs. Perhaps they could collect data for you, and post it on your website profile, so that ISPs would not be able to hoodwink you!


  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Netflix should say, "You are right Verizon, a direct connect would be better for out shared customers, you can drop free interconnects off at [insert NetFlix DC address here]"

    Netflix should push the interconnect issue and show that Verizon uses third-party interconnects all of the time. Maybe Netflix should get a court order requiring Verizon to discontinue the use of all third-party interconnects effective immediately. Then when their customers can't get access to much of the Internet, let Verizon figure it out.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Shared customers?

      "Netflix should say, "You are right Verizon, a direct connect would be better for out shared customers, you can drop free interconnects off at [insert NetFlix DC address here]"

      And once they've done that for NetFlix, they can do that for me. This is about neutrality after all. Every ISP uses shared interconnects. The 'Tier-1' ISPs though are transit-free, which means unlike NetFlix, they don't pay "some of the world's largest transit networks" to deliver content. And I suppose it's a bit embarassing when those networks fail to deliver. Or when NetFlix fails to deliver the content their customers have paid for. Those subscription fees aren't shared, which is where the problem lies and the special pleading begins.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shared customers?

        "Those subscription fees aren't shared, which is where the problem lies and the special pleading begins."

        Does Verizon share the "subscription fees" their customers are paying for Internet service?

  5. dan1980


    Please tell me that's a typo. I mean, yeah, I know the US isn't the best for Internet connectivity and I know the monopolies many are subject to don't help but 135KB/s can't be right for a cable provider. Surely . . .

    The way I see it, it seems like one of three things happened:

    1. Netflix got scared off.

    2. Netflix always planned to back-down, figuring it was enough to get their version out there.

    3. Some backroom deal was done.

    Personally, I think 2 is the most likely, possibly with a bit of 3 thrown in - perhaps they were 'bargaining'.

    1. Don Jefe

      This was a demonstration event for the ISP's benefit, illustrating the perils of fast lane Internet access. Verizon's response has now closed off several paths of bargaining and the course is set for future events related to net neutrality. I believe the only goal was to get a response from Verizon and once that was done the exercise was over.

      Verizon was rather foolish in releasing a statement with so much detail. The correct thing to do would have been for Verizon to go see a judge instead of publicly going on the defensive. They've delivered the media and pressure groups against fast lane access a checklist of talking points to bash Verizon with.

      Just watch, there's going to be pressure on Verizon to attach finite definitions to the words and phrases they used in their statement. Verizon will respond with industry vocabulary and give the media, pundits and lobbyists more ammunition.

      It's simply bad business to give people sticks to beat you with. Verizon really fucked this up and that's not my anti-Verizon bias poking through. They just handled this poorly.

      1. dan1980

        @Don Jefe

        Yeah, it did seem a little odd - what with the 'it could be anything so it's definitely not us' statement. See a judge, force a retraction, job done.

        Or, perhaps, a deal was done and Netlfix are on board and everyone got to say their piece and pay their money.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Conflicting reports?

    Seems fairly contrary to the Ars Technica article, saying Netflix isn't complying?

    1. Chad H.

      Re: Conflicting reports?

      My reading of the letter is that they aren't stopping it because fo Verizon, they're stopping it on the date they were going to anyway...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A simple TraceRt will identify where the bottlenecks are.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: TraceRt

      Not really as they are ways to either block it, give it higher priority, etc. Also, who says that Verizon is policing Netflix traffic? A trace route won't show if that is indeed what is happening.

    2. Greg D

      Re: TraceRt

      lol no it wont.

  8. Hazmoid

    Given that the Net neutrality debate is currently hot at the moment with the FCC discussing whether their mates in the carrier business should be allowed to charge higher fees for interconnects, I'm fairly sure that Netflix was using this as a way of encouraging average people to approach the FCC about this.

    For a good example of why this would be the case see John Oliver's description.

  9. Fluffy Bunny

    Traffic shaping?

    It is well known that no ISP could afford to pay for enough upstream bandwidth to service every customer at full speed. They use statistics to buy enough bandwidth that nobody will notice the limit. Some customers may notice, but assume the problem is with the host, not their ISP. I used to be with an ISP that was particularly bad with this. When I changed, the improvement was like magic - and this with the same 56kbps modem. For modern day ISPs, the problem must be much worse - everybody wants 21Bbps ADSL2+ and nobody wants to pay more than they did for 52kbps.

    It would be no surprise if Verizon were skimping on upstream bandwidth But another possibility comes to mind. There has been a lot of talk about ISPs wanting something that could be called "priority payments", ie you pay me extra, or I will shape your traffic out of existence. Is it this possibility which has gotten Netflix up in arms?

    If this supposition is correct, did Netflix really back down? Or did Verizon?

    1. dan1980

      Re: Traffic shaping?

      @Fluffy Bunny

      The whole affair is really just a big game of 'chicken'. The only difference is that the cable conglomerates have paid-off the train driver.

  10. Random Q Hacker

    Regulate advertised internet speeds to solve this.

    Net neutrality will not be possible until ISPs are forced to sell their products honestly. That means advertising guaranteed minimum Internet speeds in addition to peak theoretical oversold speeds. Private peering would not count towards this minimum. Otherwise, you are trying to fairly divide an unknown upstream that ISPs neglect in favor of peering deals.

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