Netflix Plans to Yank Messages Shaming Verizon for Degraded Video Streams

Paul Lilly

Verizon gets its wish, at least for now

Netflix received a cease and desist order from Verizon's legal team last week due to a message the streaming service was posting to customers during times when network congestion resulted in lower quality videos. The message read, " The Verizon network is crowded right now. Adjust video for smoother playback." Fast forward a few days and Netflix is backing off its shaming campaign , though it hasn't ruled out using the same or similar messages in the future.

According to Netflix, the messages were part of a test, which insinuates that it isn't removing the message for fear of legal action from Verizon, but on its own accord.

"We started a small scale test in early May that lets consumers know, while they’re watching Netflix, that their experience is degraded due to a lack of capacity into their broadband provider’s network," Netflix explained in a blog post . "We are testing this across the U.S. wherever there is significant and persistent network congestion This test is scheduled to end on June 16. We will evaluate rolling it out more broadly."

Netflix went on to claim, once again, that it's the fault of ISPs for not delivering high-quality video feeds to its customers during times when their networks are congested.

"We pay some of the world’s largest transit networks to deliver Netflix video right to the front door of an ISP. Where the problem occurs is at that door -- the interconnection point -- when the broadband provider hasn’t provided enough capacity to accommodate the traffic their customer requested," Netflix added.

According to Netflix, some ISPs in the U.S. are essentially erecting toll booths, whereby Netflix and other services must pay a fee to have their content delivered unfettered to customers. In doing so, Netflix says ISPs are double-dipping getting their customers and Internet content providers to pay for access to each other.

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