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Verizon slaps Netflix with cease and desist over buffering message

updated 05:14 pm EDT, Thu June 5, 2014

Provider wants a list of users sent claim, in addition to halting further messages

After Verizon's statement regarding congestion accusations levied by Netflix, the provider has apparently taken a more serious approach to the issue. A report from Reuters indicates that Verizon has sent Netflix a cease-and-desist letter, asking that the company put an end the messages posted on users' screens. As part of the notice, Verizon has also asked for a list of customers on Verizon's network the notices were sent to.

"Verizon demands that Netflix immediately cease and desist from providing any such further 'notices' to users of the Verizon network," said Verizon's General Counsel, Randal Milch.

Recode was able to obtain a copy of the letter that was sent to Netflix's counsel David Hyman today. Verizon is only giving Netflix five days to provide the data it is requesting. Netflix had begun issuing the message to clients in mid-May. The number of people that could have been served up the message, which pointing blame at the sub-par service at Verizon, is currently unknown.

That isn't stopping Verizon for asking for the information however. The carrier is asking for information, including the date and time, on every customer of their Internet service that has been delivered the buffering claim. The company also wants data in support of the slow speed claims. If the Netflix doesn't comply in the time allotted, the letter threatens that Verizon may be "forced" to go to legal channels over the matter.

"Failure to provide this information may lead us to pursue legal remedies, and Verizon reserves all rights in that regard," said Milch.

Jonathan Friedland, a spokesman for Netflix, issued a comment on the situation. "This is about consumers not getting what they paid for from their broadband provider," said Friedland. "We are trying to provide more transparency, just like we do with the ISP Speed Index, and Verizon is trying to shut down that discussion."

by MacNN Staff



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