Netflix will stop blaming internet providers for poor streaming quality

Netflix has published a list of  ISP Speed Index update for May on Monday in its blog post. Netflix said that it will stop showing messages blaming internet providers for poor streaming quality after receiving a cease and desist letter from Verizon.

Last Tuesday, Yuri Victor from Vox Media ‘tattled’ with a screenshot displaying a paused Netflix loading bar with a message stating, The Verizon network is crowded right now. Adjusting video for smoother playback.


In its blog post, Netflix explained that such messages were part of a test that began in May. The test is due to end June 16 and Netflix will figure out later whether or not it will conduct further testing.

Following the Tweet, Verizon reported that this PR stunt was “misleading and could confuse people.”

On June 5, Verizon’s Executive Vice President of Public Policy Randal Milch and General Council sent Netflix’s General Council David Hyman a cease-and-desist letter calling for the company to stop displaying the misleading message to Verizon users.

The letter stated :

There is no basis for Netflix to assert that issues with respect to playback of any particular video session are attributable solely to the Verizon network. As Netflix knows, there are many different factors that can affect traffic on the internet, including choices by Netflix in how to connect to its customers and deliver content to them, interconnection between multiple networks, and consumer in-home issues such as in-home wiring, WiFi, and device settings and capabilities.

Netflix indirectly responded to the claims by posting its latest US Speed Index, ranking service providers by average speed. The index ranks Verizon’s DSL service last among the 16 US providers with an average speed of 1.05 Mb/sec. Verizon FiOS ranked tenth with a 1.90 Mb/sec average, while Cablevision was tops with a 3.03Mb/sec average rate.

On Monday, Netflix published its ISP Speed Index for May. The company reiterated :

The Netflix ISP Speed Index aims to provide transparency and help consumers understand the Internet access they’re actually getting from their ISP. The average Netflix stream is about 2 Mbps (with most streams ranging from 256Kbps to 5.8Mbps), a fraction of the bandwidth most consumers purchase from their broadband provider. Still, in some cases, people are unable to enjoy a high quality Netflix experience.

The data points from the index showed that Verizon and Comcast “slipped in the major ISP rankings.” Comcast fell from third to fifth place at 2.72 Mbps, with Cablevision- Optimum, Cox Charter and Suddenlink ahead of it.

Verizon’s speed of 1.9Mbps came in last at 16th place. The company’s speed fell one spot from the previous Netflix ISP Speed Index.

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