• Netflix tests warnings that blame internet providers for poor streaming quality


    Netflix wants you to know whose fault it is that your movie isn't loading and, big surprise, it's pinning the issue on internet service providers. As spotted by Vox Media designer Yuri Victor last night, Netflix is testing a notification that would inform subscribers when their internet provider's network has become congested and started to hurt their video. "The Verizon network is crowded right now," Netflix's message to Victor, a FiOS subscriber, read, after playback was paused to adjust the stream. As Recode points out, Netflix's communication chief, Jonathan Friedland, replied on Twitter to say that it was testing the message as a way to "keep members informed."

    The new notification is just the latest strike by Netflix in an increasingly heated battle that it's entered with service providers over net neutrality and overall quality of service for its videos. Over the past several months, it's signed deals with Comcast and Verizon meant to increase performance, though Netflix has argued that it shouldn't have to make these deals in the first place, suggesting that internet providers were throttling its speeds in order to force it to start paying. Indeed, Comcast's speeds shot up dramatically after a deal was cut; Netflix hasn't yet reported on streaming speeds following its deal with Verizon though, so it's unclear if it saw a similar improvement there.


    The issue is a complicated one, and even the Federal Communications Commission's upcoming net neutrality rules wouldn't govern the contested situation between Netflix and internet providers. Netflix's massive internet traffic has been causing congestion for providers, and Netflix and the providers have a different idea of who should pay to install new hardware to clear things up. Traditionally, companies like Netflix haven't been the ones to pay, but companies like Comcast and Verizon want that to change.

    That poses a big roadblock for Netflix's business, and it's been fighting for the issue to be protected by net neutrality. It's also been pushing for net neutrality as is its Twitter account has even been promoting John Oliver's tirade against the FCC's arguably botched proposal. Getting its subscribers to understand who is at fault for hurting their streaming speeds can only help Netflix in its fight for net neutrality and against what it argues are discriminatory policies by internet providers. Should the new message be rolled out widely, it'll certainly start getting people frustrated with just who Netflix wants.

    Source: http://www.theverge.com/2014/6/4/577...use-bad-speeds
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. bobbintb's Avatar
      bobbintb -
      The issue is a complicated one? Not really. They charge the customers for crappy service, Netflix pays them the rights to distribute the shows, and they slow down Netflix traffic to extort them to pay even more money.

      Not that complicated.
    1. JelloO's Avatar
      JelloO -
      At least Netflix is not quiet about the situation.
    1. Mpeace's Avatar
      Mpeace -
      I think and hope if enough companies shout out, services will improve here in the usa..
    1. SpaceOctopus's Avatar
      SpaceOctopus -
      So...yeah, it's really not complicated at all (as other commenter said). Just another case of ISP's extorting money from others. However, I think it's absolutely ridiculous that Netflix is totally obsessed with DRM & other bullshit, yet they are fighting for Net Neutrality. They're only doing it because it costs them money, not because they actually care about the issue or how it affects everyone. It really sucks how there's only a small handful of ISP's & there are no real alternatives, especially for people like me, who live in smaller areas that aren't well known, especially in the mountains/redwoods. I'm sure I'm not the only one who loathes giving any money whatsoever to companies like Comcast. Sucks even more here, since Comcast is the ONLY available provider where I live, we don't even get to choose between the small group, it's them or nothing. Regardless though, I think it's bull that Comcast is legally able to do something like this. They should be facing legal issues over it, purely for the reason that letting them get away with crap like this is terrible & what makes it so they think they can keep doing crap like that & pushing people around.
    1. Malefegious's Avatar
      Malefegious -
      the isp's will always fight to get every last penny they can get out of everyone from user to a service until the fcc steps in and does something about it
    1. flippant's Avatar
      flippant -
      I can agree with isps wantung to be paid for providing a service but then to restrict it because too many people are using it is ridiculous
    1. voldermort's Avatar
      voldermort -
      Guys, this is File-Sharing Talk. I would assume if you are on here that you at least use a VPN that doesn't keep logs. I use a VPN everytime I use Netflix without any problem what-so-ever. Bottom line is with the right VPN service your ISP doesn't know jack about what you are doing.
    1. bobbintb's Avatar
      bobbintb -
      Quote Originally Posted by voldermort View Post
      Guys, this is File-Sharing Talk. I would assume if you are on here that you at least use a VPN that doesn't keep logs. I use a VPN everytime I use Netflix without any problem what-so-ever. Bottom line is with the right VPN service your ISP doesn't know jack about what you are doing.
      Sure you can use a VPN to mask Netflix traffic but no VPN can make it so your ISP doesn't suck.
    1. joebones's Avatar
      joebones -
      Quote Originally Posted by bobbintb View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by voldermort View Post
      Guys, this is File-Sharing Talk. I would assume if you are on here that you at least use a VPN that doesn't keep logs. I use a VPN everytime I use Netflix without any problem what-so-ever. Bottom line is with the right VPN service your ISP doesn't know jack about what you are doing.
      Sure you can use a VPN to mask Netflix traffic but no VPN can make it so your ISP doesn't suck.
      lol ... ain't that the truth!

      Not to stray off-topic, but at least using a VPN makes all ISPs suck less by insuring some degree of privacy. Not perfect, but the strength depends on your choice of VPN. I've heard good things about AirVPN, for example.

      ISPs should be devoting ALL of their resources to making sure that streaming ability for services like Netflix is optimized (meaning no deep packet inspection or any other bandwidth-wasting, privacy-violating crap).
    1. glclemg's Avatar
      glclemg -
      My ISP made every effort to thwart my VPN usage until it got to a point where my my network stopped working. I was wondering who the hard ass was that had it out for me. I had to delete the VPN because it got to a point it wouldn't work. I hope that employee got his money's worth and made employee of the month.