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This article was published on March 25, 2016

Netflix is going to help you stop rinsing your mobile data

Netflix is going to help you stop rinsing your mobile data Image by: AFP/Getty Images
Kirsty Styles
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Kirsty Styles

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Kirsty Styles is a journalist who lives in Hackney. She was previously editor at Tech City News and is now a reporter at The Next Web. She l Kirsty Styles is a journalist who lives in Hackney. She was previously editor at Tech City News and is now a reporter at The Next Web. She loves tech for good, cleantech, edtech, assistive tech, politech (?), diversity in tech.

Netflix admitted yesterday it’s been secretly throttling video streams for AT&T and Verizon customers – it said to prevent these people from consuming their entire data plan in a matter of hours – and soon it’ll let you opt to do this yourself.

Starting in May, Netflix apps will get a data saver feature that lets people set their own consumption limits.

It hasn’t revealed much more detail – but the news was no doubt prompted by the revelations around AT&T and Verizon.

In fact, Netflix has explained that its default bitrate for viewing over mobile networks is capped globally at 600 kilobits per second – so it’s actually been throttling video for everyone, not particular network customers.

The company explains:

We believe restrictive data caps are bad for consumers and the Internet in general, creating a dilemma for those who increasingly rely on their mobile devices for entertainment, work and more… It’s about striking a balance that ensures a good streaming experience while avoiding unplanned fines from mobile providers.

Obviously stealthily throttling traffic wasn’t a good move on Netflix’s part – but in place of actually getting network providers to do something about data charges – this has got to be a reasonable thing all round, right?

Helping Netflix members get more from their mobile data plans [Netflix]