Netflix Says Verizon Isn't 'Throttling' Its Streams

Blogs have suggested Verizon, along with other Internet service providers, might be slowing down Netflix. Netflix says that\'s not happening.
Posted at 8:06 PM, Feb 11, 2014

To those saying Verizon is purposefully slowing down your Netflix, the streaming service says, chill. For now, anyway.

According to a note CNBC's Recode received from a J.P. Morgan analyst, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells don’t think Internet service providers are “throttling” their video streams.

Let’s back up. The reason Hastings and Wells are even talking about this is because of last month’s net neutrality ruling.

As we mentioned, a federal court struck down the FCC’s net neutrality rules, which basically meant Internet service providers, like Verizon, could favor one type of traffic over another. (Via Newsy)

And, even a month ago, analysts on CNBC were quick to talk Netflix.

​​“Why should Netflix, which takes up all this bandwidth, get to get that into everybody’s homes for free?”

The worry is service providers could now make it more expensive for Netflix to stream content to its subscribers because, well, Netflix requires more bandwidth. (Netflix / “Orange is the New Black”)

Hastings and Wells don’t think that’s going to happen because of consumer backlash. And so far, no ruckus. Although it’s odd they’d say nothing is happening.

Netflix itself reported Monday the U.S. "over the past months is seeing a downward trend in average speeds." And according to its chart, Verizon, AT&T and Mediacom all dropped.

Ars Technica wrote it’s more likely that Netflix usage simply went up and transit bandwidth didn’t. Verizon said in a statement to the site, “If [a consumer's] broadband connection is functioning correctly, the source of their frustration and the content they wish to see may be one in the same.”

Slam? Anyway, it’s probably a little soon for the rumored Verizon “throttling.” The net neutrality ruling was handed down just last month. As Wall St. Cheat Sheet says – 

"Verizon now has to either strong-arm Netflix into paying for more broadband or convince Verizon customers to settle for sub-par Netflix service. Both of those options represent an even more difficult battle than getting a court to disband net neutrality."

That said, if speeds continue to drop for any reason, Verizon can expect a chorus of upset “House of Cards” fans. Season two starts Friday. (Via Netflix / “House of Cards”)