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Verizon: Netflix Congestion Complaints 'Misleading PR Stunt'
by Karl Bode 04:40PM Wednesday Jun 04 2014
This morning, we noted how Netflix's all-too-familiar buffering warning now specifically blames Verizon when Verizon customer Netflix streams start to struggle. That hasn't made Verizon particularly happy, the company this afternoon penning a blog post that claims Netflix is engaged in a "PR stunt" that's "deliberately misleading." In the post, Verizon unsurprisingly blames Netflix for network performance issues:
quote:
Click for full size
The source of the problem is almost certainly NOT congestion in Verizon’s network. Instead, the problem is most likely congestion on the connection that Netflix has chosen to use to reach Verizon’s network. Of course, Netflix is solely responsible for choosing how their traffic is routed into any ISP’s network.
But it's not clear it's that simple, and we already know the congestion's happening on the edge of Verizon's network -- not in it. Both Netflix and transit operators like Cogent and Level 3 claim ISPs have been intentionally letting transit links saturate to create a new revenue stream, kill the idea of settlement free peering, and extract the kind of "troll toll" on content companies these same exact ISPs have publicly and loudly been dreaming about for more than a decade.

Verizon doesn't address any of the real technical specifics surrounding Netflix (or Level3 or Cogent's) accusations, though big red does accuse Netflix of using its customers as "pawns" in business disputes:
quote:
It is sad that Netflix is willing to deliberately mislead its customers so they can be used as pawns in business negotiations and regulatory proceedings. It would be more accurate for Netflix’s message screen to say: “The path that we have chosen to reach Verizon’s network is crowded right now."
Peering fights happen all the time, insists AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, and this is a boring, run of the mill business feud over ordinary peering. ISPs (and a small minority of analysts) insist that the massive Netflix performance hit only seen by users of the largest ISPs over the last six months -- then magically resolved once these companies get paid -- is just coincidental. In a blog post last April, Netflix's Ken Florence argued how this isn't just peering as usual, and how the deals they're being forced to strike aren't the same thing as routine transit.

Whatever side of the debate you fall on it's technically impossible to prove fault one way or the other, as the details of these agreements and raw transit performance data is kept confidential from us plebeians. It would be the job of regulators to ensure no anti-competitive behavior is afoot here, assuming we had regulators interested in digging into these claims and protecting consumers.


68 comments .. click to read

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openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
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reply to nekkidtruth

Re: But of course

And it's your opinion that they are wrong, with no evidence. I won't dispute that some customers with some ISPs have some issues with some services.

canestim

join:2012-01-20

2 recommendations

reply to openbox9
Continually abusing consumers by using their monopoly or duopoly status to: raise pricing, provide less than advertised services, poor customer service, refuse to upgrade their networks/speed unless they have too like DSL lines, continue to push for bandwidth caps that don't need to exist for the sake of profit, horde public spectrum, use a law to defend a position and then use the same law to nag about something the next week, backdoor agreements, not honor franchise agreements, continually added extra fees...

Should I continue... there's more. Netflix is standing up to the bs of companies who do all these things, more related in their case to network upgrades and net neutrality. Of course Netflix isn't perfect and has a financial stake in it as well but they have shown a much greater appreciation for our business than companies like Comcast or Verizon.


tshirt
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Snohomish, WA
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Reviews:
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reply to nothing00

Re: Excellent

said by nothing00:

This isn't really a he said, she said situation here.

Actually it is.
As Karl noted "Whatever side of the debate you fall on it's technically impossible to prove fault one way or the other, as the details of these agreements and raw transit performance data is kept confidential either side can be effecting the stream deliberately or not.
Basic all the ISP's have pointed the finger at Netflix, small ones gave in and took the Netflix cache boxes, larger ones not wanting to give Netflix exclusive access (very non-net neutral) instead adjusted their standard interconnect fees (likely downward or Netflix would have already sign up) so that Netflix could direct connect.
So Hastings PROBABLY got a sweet deal on interconnects, and still complains, probably to soften up whoever is up next or maybe to try and make the terms in more favorable due to IMHO misleading the public.

said by nothing00:

This time they can at least file a comment during the public comment period regarding the "Open Internet".

This story is (99%) about Verizon who isn't currently merging with anyone.
Public comment of the Comcast/TWC or AT&T/Direct is required to be relevant to rule making in those specific cases.


nothing00

join:2001-06-10
Centereach, NY

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reply to tshirt
This isn't really a he said, she said situation here.

Consumers can typically do nothing but continue to get raked over the coals. This time they can at least file a comment during the public comment period regarding the "Open Internet".

»apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/upload/begin?p···edFrom=X

Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

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reply to hello123454

Re: So petty

I am not a rocket scientist but I would say 100% of Verizon customers that use Netflix.


TAZ

join:2014-01-03
Tucson, AZ
kudos:3

4 recommendations

How you know it's BS

If Verizon seriously believed Netflix was being "misleading" or making false statements about them, it wouldn't be a PR battle, it would be a court battle.

The reason Verizon hasn't gone to court is because they wouldn't want the truth to come out.


IPPlanMan
Holy Cable Modem Batman

join:2000-09-20
Washington, DC
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5 recommendations

Peering point...

Hey Verizon,

Maybe you could share the saturation level of the peering point when you have a chance. Thanks.