Market Overview

Netflix And Verizon Continue To Throw Punches


In a Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) blog Monday, the company reported its ISP Speed Index for May. The quantitative data at speed metrics fires back at Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) in a speed performance battle.

Netflix and Verizon's Playground Fight

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.”

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

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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.”

Milch requested, “In light of this, Verizon demands that Netflix immediately cease and desist from providing any such further ”notices” to users of the Verizon network. We further demand that within five days from the date of this letter that Netflix provide Verizon with any and all evidence and documentation that it possesses substantiating Netflix's assentation to Mr. Yuri Victor that his experience in viewing a Netflix video was solely attributable to the Verizon network […]”.

A Netflix spokesman responded that the company is trying to “provide more transparency, just like we do with the ISP Speed Index, and Verizon is trying to shut down that discussion.”

The Public Circles Around the Fight as Punches are Thrown

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.

Posted-In: Netflix ISP SPeed Index Yuri VictorNews Legal Management Events


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