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Verizon affirmed Video Throttling as Accused by Netflix Users

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Yesterday, the users of Verizon Wireless network noticed the Netflix videos streaming at a considerably low speed. The Verizon users have reported to Reddit where they claimed slow downloading speed not more than 10Mbps while being connected to Netflix.

However, Verizon in a statement given to Ars Technica has admitted the traffic capping but has also claimed it as an issue caused due to temporary video optimization test.

A Verizon Wireless spokesperson said that a network testing is being done since past few days to optimize the network’s video applications. This testing should be finished shortly and the users streaming experience was not affected due to it.

Yet, this stance by the company is considered an irresponsive behavior towards their customer service. A completely different situation was reported by the users, which wasn’t optimization but a clear speed capping. Yet, it is clear from the Netflix’s speed-test tool which was showing measurable low-speed rates as compared to the non-Netflix tests.

However, it’s depicted that the other streaming services on Verizon wireless network could also have similar caps as Netflix is the only service to provide speed-test tools for measurements.

Yet, a Verizon representative called such analysis as senseless and “dead wrong”.

He said, “We are constantly testing the network,” the representative said. “It’s what we do, to optimize performance for our customers. The test was across the board, and did not target any individual applications.”

With this, the spokesperson confirmed to The Verge that the speed caps of 10Mbps were applied for some of the users. According to him, video at 1080p is of HD quality and it looks great at 10 Mbps. Therefore, the customer experience shouldn’t be affected due to the conducted test.

Capped video applications enforced without pre-notice to the customers have such clarification that seems consistent. Regardless of the fact that many users could not figure out the speed limits but still it could not be considered as an optimization. Verizon’s claim of it being a sign of simple optimization is pointing out towards the speed throttling issue, the net neutrality advocates have been warning about.

Notably, it’s not something regarding Verizon and Netflix battle. According to New York Times report, Netflix, in 2014 had shown a pop-up to some of the users blaming Verizon as a cause for slow speed.

However, it’s important to remember that the Title II authority is still in rule despite the fact that FCC is forcing hard to revert it. Therefore, Verizon wireless is still a “common carrier” and is liable to treat all the traffic equally.

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Rebecca James is an IT consultant with forward thinking approach toward developing IT infrastructures of SMEs. She writes to engage with individuals and raise awareness of digital security, privacy, and better IT infrastructure.

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