Friday, June 20, 2014

Netflix vs. Verizon

As mentioned many times in the past, I do not have a television service - neither cable, nor satellite service.  It’s just too expensive; a waste of time and money. If I had that extra $65.00 monthly, I'd sit and watch it. If you get my drift.

I get news from the Web, (The Guardian, BBC, Raw Story, NYT, TPM, Think Progress, etc.), watch movies on DVD and enjoy documentaries and music videos via YouTube, and I’m pretty happy with that setup. I also have Amazon Prime, but never used it and never learned how.

Then when I got sick last Fall, some folks suggested that I sign up for Netflix to keep up with all the new TV shows and movies that I couldn’t give a tinker’s damn about. 

They persisted, going so far as to offer to pay for a subscription so I wouldn’t be bored.  I was not bored. I was sick! Besides, the (slow) DSL I have is a standard, set price service for folks like me and I didn’t think the streaming would work to my advantage.  It's slow, but again, I can't afford another $65.00 for the super fastest service, either.

Well, imagine my surprise when I found this in the news this week.  Seems Verizon is pulling their gimme-gimme-greed number and Netflix isn’t taking their shit lying down.  BTW, I didn’t write the headline. 
Netflix Couldn't Give a Sh*t About Verizon's Feelings, Releases Letter Criticizing Their Speeds
Netflix and Verizon have been going back and forth with each other over data speeds on the network.
Just last week, Netflix started posting notifications on their service whenever data speeds starting slowing, with a message putting the blame on the Internet service provider, and not them (see above). Verizon had a problem with this, and the company sent Netflix a cease and desist letter. 
Now, in a letter obtained by Quartz, Netflix general counsel David Hyman had a bone to pick with the ISP (emphasis added): 
Dear Randy,
I am in receipt of your letter dated June 5, 2014. 
Your interpretation mischaracterizes our messaging. The message you cite to in your letter merely lets our consumers know that the Verizon network is crowded. We have determined this by examining the difference between the speed at which the Verizon network handles Netflix traffic at peak versus non-peak times. The messaging is part of our ongoing transparency efforts to let consumers know their Netflix experience is being affected by congestion on their broadband provider’s network. We are testing this type of messaging across the US with multiple providers. 
Furthermore, your attempt to shift blame for our customers’ experience on the Verizon network “squarely to Netflix itself” disregards Verizon’s responsibility to provide its customers with the service it has promised them. Verizon sells residential Internet access to its customers. In fact, it is my understanding that Verizon actually upsells customers to higher speed packages based on improved access to video services, including Netflix. 
Verizon’s unwillingness to augment its access ports to major Internet backbone providers is squarely Verizon’s fault. As an ISP, you sell your customers a connection to the Internet. To ensure that these customers get the level of service they pay you for, it is your responsibility to make sure your network, including your interconnection points, have sufficient capacity to accommodate the data requests made by those customers. 
To try to shift blame to us for performance issues arising from interconnection congestion is like blaming drivers on a bridge for traffic jams when you’re the one who decided to leave three lanes closed during rush hour.
Read the rest of his letter and the entire article HERE.

I’ll stick with DVDs and YouTube, thanks.

And so it goes.

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