Verizon sends cease and desist letter to Netflix over buffering message that blames ISP

Verizon sends cease and desist letter to Netflix over buffering message that blames ISP

Verizon has taken offense at Netflix’s buffering message that blames Verizon’s busy network for sub-par video delivery. It’s so upset it sent the video-delivery site a cease and desist letter.

First noticed by journalist Yuri Victor, the new Netflix buffering message for Verizon customers states: “The Verizon network is crowded right now. Adjusting video for smoother playback…”

Today Verizon responded with legal action. The letter, first reported by CNBC, states:

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.

Yesterday Verizon posted a blog by David Young, Vice President of Verizon Federal Regulatory Affairs, calling the buffering message a “PR stunt” and pointing to a post by Sandvine that states that Netflix chooses how its traffic is routed by an ISP.

Meanwhile, Netflix’s chief communication officer, Jonathan Friedland told TNW via email, “This is about consumers not getting what they paid for from their broadband provider. We are trying to provide more transparency, just like we do with the ISP Speed Index, and Verizon is trying to shut down that discussion.”

While Netflix has entered peering agreements with Comcast and Verizon for better access to ISP customers, it’s not happy about the deal. CEO Reed Hasting stated in a recent blog post, “Some big ISPs are extracting a toll because they can — they effectively control access to millions of consumers and are willing to sacrifice the interests of their own customers to press Netflix and others to pay.”

In other words, this spat will continue as each side blames the other. Let’s just hope it doesn’t interrupt tomorrow’s premiere of second season of Orange is the New Black.

Image: Yuri Victor 

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