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Verizon claims Netflix connections cause stream bottlenecks

updated 05:03 am EDT, Fri July 11, 2014

Claims majority of Verizon network is stable, Netflix connections as weak point

The battle between Verizon and Netflix over connectivity continues, with Verizon completely refusing to accept any of the blame for slow streams. The latest feud installment involves a Verizon blog post claiming its network operations team found no congestion on the Verizon network in a recent review, laying the blame squarely at Netflix's connection decisions instead of with itself.

The post by David Young claims the network operations team studied the network connection for one complaining FiOS customer, examining network traffic for the week before the complaint's date. The utilization, the percentage of total capacity used, was measured at "every link in the Verizon network" between the customer and the edge where it connects to the wider Internet.

The majority of links were found to have between 46-percent and 65-percent utilization for all sections between the Los Angeles Border Router and the customer for the week ending the 22nd of June. Utilization between "other ISPs and content providers" and the border router had an average peak utilization of 44 percent, with the peak utilization of individual links spread between 10 percent and 80 percent. Over links Netflix uses, peak utilization was at 100 percent for inbound traffic, but just 34 percent for outbound.

Verizon also cites a report by Sandvine supporting the company's viewpoint, noting that Netflix accounts for more than a third of all North American downstream traffic at peak hours. "For whatever reason (perhaps to cut costs and improve its profitability), Netflix did not make arrangements to deliver this massive amount of traffic through connections that can handle it.," muses the post.

In a statement to The Register, Netflix writes "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 Internet they pay for."

Last month, Netflix started testing warning messages when customers had poor streams, directly blaming Verizon's network for the issue. Verizon fought back with a cease and desist over the message, with the war of words escalating to a point where the FCC has been forced to step in and investigate the connection issues.

by MacNN Staff



  1. pottymouth

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 11-19-03

    Blah blah blah. Forgive me for not taking Verizon's word for it. I've never seen that error, but my friend on the other side of town sees it regularly. Are the two of us, only a few miles apart, connecting to two different Netlixes? Seems like the same ol' story of an internet provider overselling an area and not providing a big enough pipe.

  1. Steve Wilkinson

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 12-19-01

    Only if you network is %&@($*... which it probably is.They could easily provide enough bandwidth for EVERYONE to be watching Netflix without their network breaking a sweat, and still be rolling in cash. But, the fight for legal extortion and keeping their market competition free makes the profits even higher. Why just make tons of money giving great service when you can make mega-tons with $*@(#$ service?

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