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.
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?