Verizon Wireless confirms it throttled Netflix streams as part of traffic optimization tri...

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Verizon Wireless has been throttling video feeds from Netflix over the course of this week, with the carrier claiming it is part of a temporary trial of system to optimize traffic from video streaming services without impacting quality, though customer reports seem to suggest it is a bandwidth cap on Netflix content.




On Thursday, Reddit users were complaining about speed issues when using Verizon to watch video on Netflix and YouTube, reports Ars Technica. Some users were finding that they were limited to speeds of around 10 megabits per second when using Netflix's Fast.com speed testing tool, despite other speed testing sites reporting the same connections as offering speeds multiple times faster.

The phenomena was also noted on the HowardForums, with user GusHerb94 noting that YouTube was running at 1,250 kilobytes per second according to its "stats for nerds" feature, which is approximately the same as 10 megabits per second. When the user connected to YouTube via a VPN, the speed "tripled" compared to not using the VPN.

Another user responded noting their 1440p video stream was "throttled at a constant 9.59Mbps," adding that the speed was so low "it wasn't even able to keep up and buffered a few times."

Verizon advised in a statement "We've been doing network testing over the past few days to optimize the performance of video applications on our network. The testing should be completed shortly. The customer video experience was not affected."

It could be said that Verizon's testing goes against general net neutrality principles, which typically require Internet providers to treat all traffic equally, regardless of source and content, though Title II does permit some exceptions to allow Verizon to manage its network traffic. Capping the speed of one or more specific services could be seen as giving an advantage to another that doesn't have the same restrictions.

A statement from Netflix reads "We don't cap data and don't cap for any mobile network. We offer settings inside the Netflix app to empower our members to control their own quality preferences and data usage."

Netflix has previously throttled video for Verizon subscribers, claiming in March 2016 its throttling of streams to just 600 kilobits per second was an attempt to "protect consumers from exceeding mobile data caps." Since adding the data usage controls to the mobile app, It has ended the practice.

The streaming service has also been an outspoken supporter of net neutrality, and took part in the recent online "Day of Action" to raise awareness of proposals by Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai to reverse net neutrality protections.

Verizon's testing of connection speed caps isn't the only way that carriers are trying to reduce the amount of bandwidth consumed on their networks by streaming services. T-Mobile's Binge On service "zero rates" data usage for a number of streaming services, but at the same time optimizes the video by reducing the resolution down to 480p.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,015member
    Net Neutrality is a diaper load which basically amounted to a handout for heavy bandwidth users. Happily, it's going away.
    randominternetpersonlkruppdesignr
  • Reply 2 of 32
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,971member
    Money talks and bullshit walks. Scream as loud as you want to about evil Verizon. Swear on a stack of Bibles you will never, EVER do business with Verizon, or AT&T, or T-Mobile, or whoever because of their unethical (in your opinion) behavior. Declare all corporations the spawn of Satan if it makes you feel better. You’re just throwing the bedpan into a headwind and will wind up with piss in your face. Personally I think the carriers should just eliminate unlimited data plans all together and be done with it instead of playing the games they do but hey, who am I anyway? Oh, and don’t rely on the government to do anything about it... not unless you want Elizabeth Warren running the show.
    edited July 2017
  • Reply 3 of 32
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,548member
    Online hardline Internet pipes like cable and fiber, data pipes on cellular networks is very limited and impacted heavily as a shared resource.  Sure, it's easy for sofa-critics to tell the carriers (just install more/faster towers) but the reality is that if everyone started streaming Netflix on their phones, the cell network would grind to a halt.

    Yes, they're paying for unlimited data, or a huge data cap, but the carriers have to walk a fine-line between casual users, and the data hogs that use their phones not only as their personal TV set, but as hotspots and connect their laptops or others as their primary Internet access.  
    randominternetpersondesignrlkrupp
  • Reply 4 of 32
    stompystompy Posts: 333member
    Net Neutrality is a diaper load which basically amounted to a handout for heavy bandwidth users. Happily, it's going away.
    It seems to me that you're conflating a problem created by "unlimited data" with net neutrality. All data has a cost, it's just that in their haste to attract subscribers, ISPs have promised more bandwidth than they are capable of delivering.

    I'd prefer that the FCC leave the laws as they are, but that ISPs would charge for every gig of data from every customer. That would more appropriately eliminate "a handout for heavy bandwidth users."
    StrangeDaysSoliMuntzjahbladelostkiwityler82macky the mackybloggerblogoseame
  • Reply 5 of 32
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,331member
    Net Neutrality is a diaper load which basically amounted to a handout for heavy bandwidth users. Happily, it's going away.
    Pure, unfiltered, nonsense. NN is what prevents bozos like Verizon from doing exactly this -- judging which of your own data they value or devalue, and then screwing with it. As a consumer I don't want that. The ISP is a dumb pipe, and should leave my bits alone. They should be no different than a utility company -- a utility company doesn't throttle power to air conditioners or whatever, they just sell you the power.

    This is their job. If they don't like selling you the pipe, they can either upgrade their inadequate infrastructure, or charge more, or quit and go home. 
    edited July 2017 SoliMuntzjahbladerepressthisavon b7lostkiwityler82retrogustomontrosemacsoseame
  • Reply 6 of 32
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Pai and those sack of crap tit sucking corporatist and true apologists on sites like this, please show your face here so I can metaphorically spit on it.
    the bullshit so called  free marketer here do know those companies have US backed monopolies that they protect to the death huh

    they should be regulated to the hillt or actually stop lobbying the gov to death to keeep their monopoly; can't have it both ways.


    Muntzrepressthislostkiwimontrosemacs
  • Reply 7 of 32
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,015member
    stompy said:
    Net Neutrality is a diaper load which basically amounted to a handout for heavy bandwidth users. Happily, it's going away.
    It seems to me that you're conflating a problem created by "unlimited data" with net neutrality. All data has a cost, it's just that in their haste to attract subscribers, ISPs have promised more bandwidth than they are capable of delivering.

    I'd prefer that the FCC leave the laws as they are, but that ISPs would charge for every gig of data from every customer. That would more appropriately eliminate "a handout for heavy bandwidth users."
    IMO, the answer is very obvious. The FCC should leave a minimal footprint and let real competition sort out what kinds of pricing and offerings survive after market forces winnow out the losers.
    designrairnerd
  • Reply 8 of 32
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 796member
    When net neutrality is dead all you libertarians will be thrilled until it affects whatever you like to download,,, Even people that hate Obamacare are now supporting maintaining the ACA, because they realize they might all be dead soon when if gets yanked. 
    jahbladelostkiwityler82macky the mackymontrosemacs
  • Reply 9 of 32
    lkrupp said:
    ... not unless you want Elizabeth Warren running the show.
    Sounds like a very good idea.
    montrosemacs
  • Reply 10 of 32
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,445administrator
    lightvox said:
    If FIOS uploads weren't so much faster than cable...
    This is LTE testing. FiOS Netflix isn't capped/throttled.
  • Reply 11 of 32
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,015member
    lkrupp said:
    ... not unless you want Elizabeth Warren running the show.
    Sounds like a very good idea.
    Oh, boy... Definitely not.
    macseekerdesignrtallest skil
  • Reply 12 of 32
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,420member
    And once again the Canadians (and the rest of the world) laugh at America ...
    Solilostkiwityler82montrosemacsoseame
  • Reply 13 of 32
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,015member
    chasm said:
    And once again the Canadians (and the rest of the world) laugh at America ...
    Who cares? Such concerns are the domain of children.
  • Reply 14 of 32
    nhtnht Posts: 4,429member
    Net Neutrality is a diaper load which basically amounted to a handout for heavy bandwidth users. Happily, it's going away.
    I pay for my data so why should they get to decide what I do with it?
    montrosemacs
  • Reply 15 of 32
    nhtnht Posts: 4,429member
    stompy said:
    Net Neutrality is a diaper load which basically amounted to a handout for heavy bandwidth users. Happily, it's going away.
    It seems to me that you're conflating a problem created by "unlimited data" with net neutrality. All data has a cost, it's just that in their haste to attract subscribers, ISPs have promised more bandwidth than they are capable of delivering.

    I'd prefer that the FCC leave the laws as they are, but that ISPs would charge for every gig of data from every customer. That would more appropriately eliminate "a handout for heavy bandwidth users."
    IMO, the answer is very obvious. The FCC should leave a minimal footprint and let real competition sort out what kinds of pricing and offerings survive after market forces winnow out the losers.
    The "real" competition between robber barons staking out individual fiefdoms where they don't compete with each other and keep local governments from creating local last mile services that would compete?

    No thanks.  Unfettered capitalism has had a bad outcome whether it was 19th/20th century US or 20th/21st century China.
    retrogustomontrosemacs
  • Reply 16 of 32
    xbitxbit Posts: 234member
    sflocal said:
    Sure, it's easy for sofa-critics to tell the carriers (just install more/faster towers) but the reality is that if everyone started streaming Netflix on their phones, the cell network would grind to a halt.
    So why does this seem to be a particularly American problem? Are Europeans using their connections differently?
  • Reply 17 of 32
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,835member
    They're preparing for the end of net neutrality.

    Btw I am also a Libertarian, and since we do not have a Libertarian government we must use Regulations to protect our rights that are being treated as revokable privileges. Under the current law system the removal of net neutrality will definitely put an end to information freedom. The ISPs will lobby to pass regulations that hamper competition so they can monopolize the industry and sell site performance to the highest bidder.
    avon b7
  • Reply 18 of 32
    georgie01georgie01 Posts: 237member
    IMO, the answer is very obvious. The FCC should leave a minimal footprint and let real competition sort out what kinds of pricing and offerings survive after market forces winnow out the losers.

    Whatever bad net neutrality brings, the loss of it will be worse. Companies absolutely will use their position to prioritise preferred data. It's naive to think otherwise. 'The market' may or may not fix that, and given how lazy people are, it probably won't.

    I like small government but something like the internet requires centralised regulation. Government has to step in. Otherwise it'd be similar to auto companies being allowed to fight for how and where to build roads. It'd be a disaster and be based on little more than companies' interests. People would get screwed far worse than they do now. I think capitalism can be great, but always letting the 'market work things out' isn't a guarantee that things will be good or that anyone will do anything about it if things are bad.
    retrogustooseame
  • Reply 19 of 32
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,971member
    They're preparing for the end of net neutrality.

    Btw I am also a Libertarian, and since we do not have a Libertarian government we must use Regulations to protect our rights that are being treated as revokable privileges. Under the current law system the removal of net neutrality will definitely put an end to information freedom. The ISPs will lobby to pass regulations that hamper competition so they can monopolize the industry and sell site performance to the highest bidder.
    Yeah, right. Blah, blah, blah.
  • Reply 20 of 32
    retrogustoretrogusto Posts: 718member
    I think it would be ok if ISPs wanted to charge based on usage, the way electric utilities do now, but I think a lot of people here would be mad if the electric utilities decided to cut your wattage way down without warning if they detected you using an air conditioner or a hair dryer. And if the electric utility sold you a flat-rate deal with a multi-year contract and then sprung that on you, you'd probably be even angrier. But there are more good reasons to throttle power usage than Internet usage. 
    montrosemacsoseame
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