Netflix and Verizon have been playing the blame game for months, and despite an April agreement to alleviate the situation customers are still seeing low-res streams and buffering screens (the FCC says it's investigating). Today, Verizon published its own blog post to "dispel the Congestion Myth" with some data that showing why Netflix is responsible for the hangups. Comcast also put the blame on Netflix a few months ago, but Verizon has an infographic. Basically, it says that while the connections Netflix is using are overloaded there are other ways to access its network that are wide open, but Netflix just isn't choosing to take advantage of them. Netflix pointed the finger right back in a statement to Engadget (included in full after the break), citing Verizon's failure to upgrade the connections so users can take advantage of the bandwidth they're paying for.
Anne Marie Squeo, Netflix:
Of course, one way to guarantee a smooth path would be to pay to connect directly, which ISPs like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T have been pushing Netflix to do. Reed Hastings and the rest of the folks at the streaming outfit have bent in some situations, but are still fighting to get "ISP tolls" banned under net neutrality. For now, Verizon says it's "working aggressively" with Netflix to get those direct connections up and running, but it still hasn't laid out an exact timetable for when things will get better.
We'd like to thank Verizon for laying out the issue so nicely. Congestion at the interconnection point is controlled by ISPs like Verizon. When Verizon fails to upgrade those interconnections, consumers get a lousy experience despite paying for more than enough bandwidth to enjoy high-quality Netflix video. That's why Netflix is calling for strong net neutrality that covers the interconnection needed for consumers to get the quality of INTER-net they pay for.
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.