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Verizon: Our Review Shows No Congestion; Netflix to Blame
by Karl Bode 02:19PM Thursday Jul 10 2014
In a blog post posted to the company's policy website, Verizon today proclaimed that they've had their engineers conduct a thorough review of every part of their network and have concluded that Netflix congestion issues experienced by customers are in no way the fault of Verizon. Companies like Netflix and Level 3 previously suggested that Verizon was letting peering points saturate in order to force companies to pay last-mile ISPs for direct interconnection.

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"(Verizon engineers) measured the utilization – or the percentage of total capacity used – at every link in the Verizon network – from the customer to the edge of our network, where we receive Netflix traffic – to determine where, if at all, congestion was occurring," states Verizon's David Young.

"This review confirmed again what I’ve explained before (here and here): there was no congestion anywhere within the Verizon network. There was, however, congestion at the interconnection link to the edge of our network (the border router) used by the transit providers chosen by Netflix to deliver video traffic to Verizon’s network."

Verizon continues to insist that "misleading public accounts" are to blame for the recent dust up, and that Netflix is at fault for using congestion middle-mile links. Granted despite the lengthy post Verizon offers no raw network data to back any of their claims up, leaving us in the same "he said, she said" scenario we inhabited previously. Previous similar Netflix blog posts paint a very different picture.

Verizon proceeds to insist the company is "working aggressively with Netflix to establish new, direct connections from Netflix to Verizon’s network." "This doesn’t “prioritize” Netflix traffic in any way," states the company, "but it ensures that their traffic gets on our network through direct connections—not middleman networks—that are up to the task."

Netflix and Verizon announced they'd struck an interconnection agreement back in April, though users complain they're still seeing significant congestion issues.

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2 recommendations

reply to KrK

Re: Isn't 100% congestion at the Verizon exchange their problem?

Netflix is the consumer here - they paid transit providers and CDNs to host and deliver that data.

In any case, Verizon has no obligation to upgrade their side of things if they cannot come to mutually agreeable terms with whoever is on the other side of those links. If Verizon says they are not eating the cost of propagating 200Gbps more traffic from transit/peer/CDN-X for free, that's the end of that.

200Gbps may not seem like much in carrier terms but upgrading and re-wiring stuff nation-wide to efficiently propagate or fan-out an extra 200Gbps across the network can still cost hundreds of millions of dollars so there is some legitimacy to Verizon not wanting to put all their bandwidth eggs in the same PoP baskets with the same peers/CDNs without compensation: Netflix switching CDNs and transit providers can invalidate a large chunk of Verizon investments to accommodate the previous CDNs' network layouts and having 30-50% of your peak hour load distribution change drastically from coast to coast practically overnight would require considerable network re-engineering. Forcing geographic diversity by refusing to upgrade links at over-invested locations can be one way to reduce this risk - spread costs, assets, traffic ingress/egress, etc. more evenly.

Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Tulsa, OK

3 recommendations

reply to InvalidError

Except the Traffic they are taking is not for transit, it's their own customers generating the traffic demand and they are the end point. So the whole argument of "We are a transit company that provides free peering for equitable data exchange" collapses. They are the consumer.
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

Boynton Beach, FL

3 recommendations

reply to Skippy25

No, it hasn't. Whether or not a customer has "requested" data has never (and likely will never) factor in to whether a paid or settlement free interconnection agreement is reached. For that matter, when you start talking "backbone" there is no distinction between what you think of as an ISP - they are all service providers.

The network neutrality guidelines that you are referencing have nothing to do with interconnections and the concept of paid settlement far predates the network neutrality guidelines.


Hazelwood, MO

2 recommendations

reply to PhoenixDown

Because the CDN provider is not "sending" them 3x's the traffic. It Verizon's subscribers requesting 3x's the traffic.


4 recommendations

reply to klipko

Re: What am I missing for NOT using Netflix Open Connect CDN

Then they couldn't use their customers as leverage to extract money from the CDNs for paid peering arrangements. Why do something for free when you can double-dip and charge both parties?



Limestone, ME
·Pioneer Wireless

4 recommendations


So with this argument.

I've got gigabit between my router and my PC, so it can't be MY fault.

It's got nothing to do with the fact they I only bought a dialup connection to the internet.

This is the same issue. VZ doesn't have ENOUGH PEERING bandwidth.
It's not a problem with Netflix it a problem between VZ and Netflix Transit provider.

what's up
The Lou

3 recommendations

reply to PhoenixDown

Re: Isn't 100% congestion at the Verizon exchange their problem?

Not that easy... We don't know if the Transit provider has a settlement-free peering agreement with Verizon at the point of congestion. If they do, then Vz can "say" that they're sending an imbalanced amount of traffic between the two providers, and that's the issue...which "should" encourage Vz to send more traffic egress through that same peering point.

However, if that's not the case, and this is purely transit onto Vz's network, then it's up to that provider to increase their bandwidth capacity. However, since that wasn't the immediate go-to solution, I'm inclined to think that this is a settlement-free arrangement and Vz is being difficult by letting the peering point saturate.

is chilling

7 recommendations

its still verizons fault.

In my opinion, If youre an isp and have a peering link at 100% utilization, you either build more capacity to said peer or load balance among links. you do not blame the transit company for being too popular with your customers.

·Google Voice
·Future Nine Corp..

3 recommendations

reply to PhoenixDown

Re: Isn't 100% congestion at the Verizon exchange their problem?

said by PhoenixDown:

Why is it Verizon's issue? If the CDN provider is sending 3x the traffic - its on them to upgrade the peering point.

It's a choke point, limiting access for Verizon's customers. The customers problem is created by Verizon not having sufficient bandwidth at the network exchange.
Congress could mess up a one piece jigsaw puzzle.


Madison, AL

6 recommendations

Please accept are total fair and unbiased investigation.

Seriously, we looked our own network over. Twice! It's not our fault! We swear!