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dave

Is Netflix blaming your streaming woes on your ISP?



Bold move from Netflix. It looks like they're starting to specifically call out ISP's on the initial loading screen if they feel that things are a bit too pokey. Have you seen this sort of message pop up yet? If so, what ISP are you using?

I think this is actually pretty awesome and I fully support anyone who wants to call out ISPs on their ridiculous policies. See also, John Oliver's epic takedown of net neutrality opponents this weekend: www.engadget.com­/discuss­/john­-oliver­-talks­-about­-n...

Via: www.digitaltrends.com­/home­-theater­/netflix­-calls­-v...

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15 replies
Dignan17

I fully endorse this as well. I've known for years now that Verizon has been either actively throttling my connection or simply not working to fix it. Youtube was terrible before I altered my router to route around it. I don't think I can do that with Netflix, though, and the experience is terrible. I don't care how much Verizon whines about how much traffic comes from Netflix, its not Netflix's job to make sure Verizon's customers have good service, it's Verizon's.

When we watched House of Cards season 2, there were several scenes where text messages were shown on screen. Sadly, I have no idea what those messages said because the quality was far too low. We are completely unable to watch Netflix in HD at any point in the day, and I refuse to believe that at 9am Verizon's traffic is so congested that they can't deliver proper quality. They want to get paid twice for the traffic, and it makes me sick.

I'm strongly considering a switch to Cox cable in my area. I've been a big proponent of Fios for years now, but this kind of garbage is pushing me to the only competition around.
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TgD

I haven't seen this yet, but would be interested to!

I do believe that 'shaming' is a great way to start getting solutions to problems. People were widely praising iOS8 this week for bringing in 'Battery Shaming' and I imagine this may make developers want to tighten up their apps. Perhaps netflix can cause a change in ISPs to provide better service

Only time will tell
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Dignan17

Will Apple shame themselves when its their fault, though? I know it's not third-party apps that are completely screwing up my wife's iPhone battery life.

I at least have no doubt it's Verizon messing up Netflix.
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TgD

I guess we will see! Google includes all their services and processes in their battery usage stats
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teamcoltra

Not sure what their plan is? Remind Verizon to blackmail Netflix to buy more outbound bandwidth?
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dave

That's actually a really good point though -- considering that Netflix capitulated to Comcast.
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Gereghas

I have seen that a few times with AT&T also. I am using U-verse for internet.
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frankspin

I haven't seen this, though we haven't used Netflix too much recently. But my question is how is Netflix able to be determined it's Verizon and not the CDN? I guess on one hand that would be Verizon's problem for using a bad CDN, but like I said in the other thread it is a two-way street.
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dave

I haven't heard any specific details on this, but I imagine they must constantly use some sort of traceroute utility to figure out who to pin the blame on.

Or who know, maybe this is a ploy to drive down the inevitable deal they're going to work out with Verizon.
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Dignan17

Didn't the already strike a deal with Verizon? It wouldn't be the first time that they made a deal and then pointed the finger at their new partner. I seem to recall that after the Comcast deal went through, Netflix did something similar with them, blaming their business practices for the need to strike a deal in the first place.

All I know is that I've never blamed Netflix for these issues. I have no reason to give Verizon any benefit of the doubt after how piss-poor they made my Youtube experience before I had to route around them.
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frankspin

After the Comcast deal was done Netflix came out and said it was all Comcast's fault for the network issues and that they were deliberately throttling traffic to get Netflix to pay up. So perhaps this is them trying to do the same thing just in a different manner.

I do know that Netflix has OpenConnect (https:­/­/www.netflix.com­/openconnect) but I guess they haven't been successful at getting it rolled out.
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frankspin

I'm mostly just ignored at the finger pointing and he-said, she-said kind of stuff. It makes me not want to use Netflix anymore.
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Dignan17

That doesn't make sense to me. Someone has to call these companies out on what they're doing. This isn't a he-said, she-said situation, this is the cable providers using their monopolies to avoid upgrading their services. Netflix just happens to be the service with the most data being delivered to customers, so it's in their interest (and their customers' interest) to call out these companies as much as possible.

Besides, I'm not sure what the finger pointing has to do with the end-product. Sure, you might get that message, but you're going to get a buffering screen anyway. I'd much prefer that internet users at least know who's to blame for the problem, and here's why:

You have to put yourself in the mind of the average consumer. These people know that they're paying for internet service, and they've been told in countless Fios commercials that they're getting this blazing fast connection that will deliver you a world of rich video content.

Then they sit down to watch this "House of Cards" show their friend told them about, but the video quality is really bad. They have a poor experience, and they decide that it's Netflix's fault. After all, Verizon told them that they're getting this super-fast speed. They decide that this Netflix service isn't cutting it, so they cancel their subscription. I've experienced this with a client or two.

What is Netflix supposed to do here? Exactly what they're doing now. Make the deals but inform the customer about what's going on.
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frankspin

I get the mind of the average consumer example, and it totally makes sense.

My annoyance isn't picking either side, it's just that we'll continue to see both sides of the argument blame each other. I guess I just feel if Netflix really was getting the shaft on this they could have gone through these kind of blitz compaigns before signing the deal with Comcast. I think that is where my annoyance with them is coming from.
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Dignan17

Yes, Netflix could have entered a drawn-out media campaign against the cable providers. In the meantime their customers would suffer and/or possibly drop their subscriptions. And then in the end, Comcast has no incentive to fix anything because they're a monopoly. Sorry, that doesn't make sense to me either.

I also don't know how much the cable providers are blaming Netflix. I don't think I've heard it go that way. All I've heard from them is that they want Netflix to pay more for sending so much traffic through their pipes.
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