Verizon continues to call Netflix's bluff on buffering

Verizon continues to call Netflix's bluff on buffering

Summary: Verizon execs acknowledged instances of congestion but rebuffed claims about throttling traffic from the online video giant.


The ongoing public spat between Netflix and broadband providers continues this week with one of the most vocal telco opponents issuing another rebuttal.

That would be Verizon, which has been at odds with the online video giant for months now -- a battle that served as one of the catalysts for the heated net neutrality debate.

David Young, vice president of Federal Regulatory Affairs at Verizon, penned a new memo on Thursday that essentially attempts to call Netflix's bluff once again on buffering rates.

Young rebuffed claims that Verizon was "throttling" Netflix traffic on its FiOS network. Netflix has been called out in numerous surveys in past months proving to be one of the largest single sources for bandwidth usage nationwide.

Young acknowledged there have been instances of congestion since Netflix and Verizon begrudgingly hatched a deal for prioritized traffic, much like what Netflix established with Comcast.

Without mincing words, Young further blamed poor performance rates unearthed through Verizon customer complaints on Netflix's methods for delivery.

Young wrote:

Instead, Netflix chose to attempt to deliver that traffic to Verizon through a few third-party transit providers with limited capacity over connections specifically to be used only for balanced traffic flows. Netflix knew better. Netflix is responsible for either using connections that can carry the volume of traffic it is sending, or working out arrangements with its suppliers so they can handle the volumes.

Nevertheless, in the end, the two will have to work together at some point. Young noted that the two tech companies are collaborating on new, direct pipelines from Netflix to Verizon’s network.

However, in light of the net neutrality discussion, Young assured that these connections do not "prioritize" Netflix traffic in any way.

Image via The Verizon Policy Blog

Topics: Networking, Big Data, Data Management, Telcos, Verizon

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  • Spot the "average"

    See if you can spot the word "average" in the infographic. It occurs in a couple of places and makes a huge difference in what the numbers actually mean!
    • And only ONE reference to an actual rate...

      And no telling how oversubscribed that one is - though from where I sit it looks like it is 200:1
    • Exactlyy

      Glad to see someone else spotted that. "Average Peak" is completely different to "Peak". Lying scum.
  • Wow

    The author might as well work for Verizon for all the analysis that went into this story.
    Regurgitating Verizon propaganda isn't journalism.

    Verizon, Comcast, et al need to slapped down hard! We need real competition among internet providers in this country. The FCC isn't interested in helping as it only bows to industry demands.
  • Customer service?

    Verizon needs to realise that if its customers want to access Netflix then it has the job of ensuring they can do so. How it best meets that demand, and whether it does so with the help of Netflix or despite Netflix, are issues for Verizon to address - but the key is that you are providing services to Verizon customers.

    I just don't understand what happened to the concept of "common carrier", and how Verizon has anything at all to complain about.
  • Level 3 Response

    Read this response for what is IMHO a more accurate description of what is going on. It is Verizon's decision to drag their feet on add more peering capacity with Level 3, not the other way around.