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Netflix officially admits that it is throttling videos for AT&T and Verizon customers

Posted: , by Mihai A.

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Netflix officially admits that it is throttling videos for AT&T and Verizon customers
Last week, it was discovered that Netflix videos are being throttled on AT&T and Verizon's wireless networks. While many users rushed to blame the carriers for this limitation in terms of video quality, in a recent turn of events, Netflix has officially announced that it is responsible for throttling the quality of its own videos on Verizon and AT&T.

Netflix officials have stated that, for the past five years, videos have been capped at 600kbps for AT&T and Verizon subscribers, a transfer rate that's far below the average download speed of LTE networks in the US. According to Netflix, the reason for this throttling is the preservation of monthly data allowances.

As many are probably aware by now, watching HD videos can quickly exhaust your monthly data quota. Netflix says that just two hours of HD video streaming requires 6GB of data to be transferred, or enough to eat through the monthly data quota on Verizon's $80 plan.

Netflix has also confirmed that it is not capping the quality of its videos on T-Mobile and Sprint, two carriers that adopt more consumer-friendly policies. The nation's third and fourth largest carriers limit the speed of data transfers when subscribers eat through their monthly data allowance, instead of charging overages fees like Verizon and AT&T do.

On T-Mobile's network, Netflix videos are capped to a lower quality only for those customers which have activated Binge-On, the carrier's controversial zero-rated video streaming program that allows customers to stream movies from approved providers without the data being counted towards the monthly quota.

Looking into the future, Netflix officials also stated that the company is working on a mobile data saver option that would allow users to stream Netflix videos in a data-friendly way.

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posted on 24 Mar 2016, 19:44 8

1. theo14461 (unregistered)


Another good reason I'm glad for being a T Mobile customer.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 19:46 5

2. izim1 (Posts: 446; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


Netflix is doing Att and Verizon customers "a solid" lol yeah, that'll go over really awesome with their very understanding customers...

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 19:51 8

3. djkhalid (Posts: 109; Member since: 01 Jul 2013)


T-mobile ftw. At&t and Verizon are way too overpriced and sprint just flat out sucks

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 19:56 1

4. cripton805 (Posts: 1432; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)


How does the FCC not crackdown on them? Net Neutrality.

Its BS.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 20:26 1

8. wkm001 (Posts: 117; Member since: 04 Feb 2014)


On who, Netflix? Because they are the only one doing something. Netflix is not an internet service provider so net neutrality rules don't apply to them.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 20:29

10. cripton805 (Posts: 1432; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)


How does netflix even know whos using ATT or Verizon... mmmmm. Right? -_-

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 20:34 8

12. wkm001 (Posts: 117; Member since: 04 Feb 2014)


You should not comment on a technology blog if you don't know how technology works.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 20:40

13. cripton805 (Posts: 1432; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)


Im saying they communicate with each other. Like Verizon and ATT wouldnt know that theyre users were getting throttled. Bruh please. Like they can't put two and two together. Testing data usage and statistics using different providers. Cmon man. Some ppl are so gullible.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 06:33 1

26. minhajmsd (Posts: 16; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


That may be true but the Net Neutrality Rules still don't apply because its Netflix doing the throttling rather than the ISP. The main point of Net Neutrality was to prevent ISPs from throttling services, if the service(Netflix) themselves are throttling users on specific ISPs the rules don't apply.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 21:47

16. xondk (Posts: 1250; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


Compared to the phone companies reasons, throttling so that your customers don't get an extra large bill accidentally, is while frustrating if you can keep an eye on it yourself, a general good thing, especially if it is through mobile carriers only and only mobile carriers that charge their customers extra when they go over.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 19:57 3

5. bucky (Posts: 2472; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


Netflix is taking a hit lately. I'm thinking of cancelling for the first time since I can't use my Vpn anymore.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 20:00 4

6. benzb (Posts: 48; Member since: 19 Jan 2012)


I read in the WSJ that AT&T was SURPRISED as they apparently didn't know that Netflix was throttling speeds... They are so FULL OF s**t! Really? You are the second largest cellular provider in the country and did not know for FIVE YEARS that Netflix streams are not coming in at their original quality? Sure you didn't! Well, now you know...WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT AT&T???

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 20:29 4

9. wkm001 (Posts: 117; Member since: 04 Feb 2014)


Why does AT&T need to do anything? The beef is between Netflix and the customer of Netflix. AT&T isn't doing anything to the stream, Netflix is.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 03:03

21. benzb (Posts: 48; Member since: 19 Jan 2012)


AT&T knew about the throttling and should have advised their customers. This is the right thing to do. This was supposed to have done this years ago, when everyone still had unlimited data. They kept their mouthes shut because they were happy that people weren't using much data watching online video.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 06:39 1

27. minhajmsd (Posts: 16; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


Sorry, but its Netflix's responsibility. You're paying them for the service, AT&T is doing nothing to the stream at all so whatever the content provider is doing to your stream, they're obligated to tell you.

posted on 26 Mar 2016, 21:37

41. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3722; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


I'm with AppleVersusAndroid all the way on this. Netflix wouldn't just throttle the stream on their own. What do they care if you're paying AT&T or Verizon overages? This is something they were clearly asked to do & as such, the carriers should face the punishment.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 19:17

34. AppleVersusAndroid (unregistered)


Do you really think AT&T didn't ask Netflix to throttle its streaming services? The same AT&T that has been sued by the FCC for throttling it's supposed "Unlimited Data" for years and years.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 20:08 3

7. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 2240; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Att and VZW customers who don't have unlimited data plans should be happy because Netflix is doing them a huge favor and saving them tons of money.
#TMOFTW

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 21:56 3

17. galanoth (Posts: 425; Member since: 26 Nov 2011)


The problem is it should be the customers choice.
YouTube lets you pick the quality of the video stream on cellular.
If I want to watch HD video on LTE it should be my choice.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 23:14 1

18. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 2240; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


No, it should be whatever netflix says it should. Ultimately the company is in full control of what users are able to do and it's not like netflix will lose customers just because they don't allow you to choose video quality over LTE.

One truth of this world is nobody has or will ever have everything that they want, you just have to live with what you have and what you get.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 03:56 1

22. TerryTerius (Posts: 1594; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


No, it shouldn't. You are categorically wrong. If you are paying, you decide what service you want to pay for. You don't hand over your money and then a company decides they want to change what you are receiving. And it certainly isn't something that should happen without the customer's consent.

If you legitimately believed corporations should be free too do whatever the hell they want, I feel kind of sorry for your

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 04:02 1

23. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 2240; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


If I ran netflix I would decide what's best for you end of story.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 07:25 1

28. johnbftl (Posts: 281; Member since: 09 Jun 2012)


By that logic, since I'm helping finance our military, I should be able to declare war on anyone I want. I pay for people to be on welfare, I should be allowed to make them do slave labor to earn that money. I bought my gun, does that mean I can go around shooting anyone I don't like? If you don't like Netflix setting the rules on how they run their company, don't subscribe. They aren't breaking any laws. It's a streaming video service. It's not a necessary component of life. When I was a kid I had to wait until Saturday morning at 7am when mom and dad were still asleep to watch what I wanted. It's so horrible that you get to walk around anywhere you want watching anything you can think of at only 3G speeds.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 09:43

29. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 2240; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


No, by my logic I would decide what's best for you and declaring war, making someone do slave labor is not what's best for you.

What's best for you is to lower the data that the netflix app needs to stream content so that you don't burn through your data in 2 hours.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 04:03

24. TerryTerius (Posts: 1594; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


I can't edit comments on mobile, and for whatever reason phonearena specifically freezes literally every single time I open it on my iPad pro -_- I need to stop using dictation so much. Let's try this again.

I was saying, I feel kind of sorry for you if you believe that, and your world view confuses me. If you pay $100 for a specific medication, the drug store doesn't get to swap your order with something else and charge you the same rate.

If you're paying for a service, that is exactly what the company is supposed to give to you. I have no idea who told you otherwise, but they definitely lied to you.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 09:48 1

30. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 2240; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


What a company is suppose to give you is what's best for you and if lowering the amount of data on their app is what's best for you then that is what you'll get.

Just like what's best for you is for the pharmacy to give you the medication your doctor prescribed for you because that would be what's best for you.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 13:05

31. TerryTerius (Posts: 1594; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


You're missing the point. It's not legal for them to do that. It's not about what the company wants. There are a hell of a lot of laws in place specifically about that kind of bait and switch BS.

What the company wants has next to nothing to do with it.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 13:29 1

32. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 2240; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Netflix owns all their s**t and according to the law you can do whatever you want with the stuff you own.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 19:32 1

35. AppleVersusAndroid (unregistered)


By your logic, you walk into a supermarket for a can of beans. You locate the aisle which lists beans as one of the items and find where all the cans are. The can itself says "beans," you pay for the beans and the receipt says "beans." You go home and open them and its a can of s**t. The supermarket can sell you a can of s**t instead of beans because the supermarket owns it.

Another example, you walk into a car dealership. You see a Mustang, you test drive the Mustang, you pay for the Mustang. You paid the price of the Mustang, the receipt says Mustang on it, and the salesmen gives you a Fiesta instead and tells you its a Mustang even though he just gave you a car worth half the price of the one you paid for. The car dealership can give you whatever car they want because they own the Mustang, and even though you paid for the Mustang you're getting the Fiesta.

Last example, you pay a set price for HD streaming when data speeds permit. The data speeds are high enough for HD streaming, the company gives you SD instead.

I know I provided some ridiculously silly examples, but it seems like you needed something a bit simple-minded to grasp the concept of what is happening. You paid for a service, you get what the service entails, otherwise it is "breach of contract" which as an actual legal term.

"Breach of contract is a legal cause of action in which a binding agreement or bargained-for exchange is not honored by one or more of the parties to the contract by non-performance or interference with the other party's performance."

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 21:05 1

37. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 2240; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


I said the company is suppose to do what's best for their customers. So the company that supplies the supermarket with beans can't put beans on a can and the contents of the can not be beans because would be false advertising and grounds for a lawsuit.

Netflix isn't being sued by anyone or any firm for what it has done, meaning they haven't breached their customers contract. In other words somewhere in that long list of s**t you didn't read but agreed to when signing up for netflix it probably states that they can change the quality or change whatever they need to about there service without the customer's consent. Because if you don't like what that did and want to complain, they could always just refund you your money and call it a day.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 22:03

38. AppleVersusAndroid (unregistered)


Netflix HD content is dependent on the speed of your internet connection and your plan. Therefore if I'm outside running off of Verizon or AT&T and channeling 4G LTE speeds, my content should stream in HD because if I were using Sprint or T-Mobile it certainly would be HD.

Therefore, since this news has just broken recently, I am sure Netflix could possibly face a lawsuit of some sort since for some reason Sprint and T-Mobile customers are streaming in HD and Verizon and AT&T streamers are not. Verizon and AT&T, again, have both been found to throttle speeds without notifying their customers, and AT&T was sued for over 100 million.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 22:35 2

39. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 2240; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Whatever I bet they don't get sued like I said you agree to a ton of s**t when signing up to anything, there may be no suit at all because of that.

posted on 27 Mar 2016, 07:03

42. elitewolverine (Posts: 5119; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


They have broke no laws. Read your ToS:

Here is the link:
https://help.netflix.com/legal/termsofuse?locale=en&docType=termsofuse

Here is the subsection that mentions quality:
"The quality of the display of the streaming movies & TV shows may vary from computer to computer, and device to device, and may be affected by a variety of factors"

While they mention that you are responsible for charges on your internet bill, they don't mention that you are guaranteed HD quality if your speed allows it. They state it will be affected by Device and other factors, like....choosing ATT/Verizon.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 20:32 1

11. wkm001 (Posts: 117; Member since: 04 Feb 2014)


I'm a Verizon customer and I appreciate this. If no one has noticed in five years Netflix is doing something right. Netflix also cuts the top, bottom, and sides off the frame just a little. Saves them bandwidth.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 20:46 2

14. korean411 (Posts: 78; Member since: 04 May 2009)


Honestly if the customer ls want to use 6gb of thier data heb let them. They are the ones paying the bill anyway

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 20:46

15. korean411 (Posts: 78; Member since: 04 May 2009)


Wants*

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 01:16

20. ronjr123 (Posts: 73; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)


I don't understand how this helps with data usage. The same amount of data is the same regardless of speed, it just takes longer. What am I here?

posted on 27 Mar 2016, 07:07

43. elitewolverine (Posts: 5119; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


That is not how streaming video works, or hell any video even non streaming works.

If the video being watched is at a bitrate of 1Mb/s, then every second you watch, or 24-30 frames, is represented at 1Mb/s. Now this is at constant bitrate. So every frame has only so much information it can carry, including audio. As a result a higher bitrate usually means more details you can see. There is a limit to this, and it is the bitrate of the original content.

A variable bitrate, means it went through a program, was processed, so a scene with large areas of the same color will be compressed vs a scene with many different color areas. So from frame to frame the bitrate is different.

By throttling them to 600Kbps, they only have to provide VHS-DVD quality resolution. Since HD movies are much higher bitrates

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 06:17

25. Eclectech (Posts: 212; Member since: 01 May 2013)


Netflix Streaming on Sprint and T-Mobile > Better than AT&T and Verizon

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 14:26

33. nyarlathotep (Posts: 1; Member since: 25 Mar 2016)


There is some misinformation here. The $80 data plan that Verizon offers includes 12GB of data not 6GB as mentioned in the article.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 19:35

36. AppleVersusAndroid (unregistered)


If I remember correctly 6GB for 80 dollars was the old pricing, so it looks like somebody hasn't looked at plans in over a year, haha.

posted on 26 Mar 2016, 06:31

40. jroc74 (Posts: 5996; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


I dont understand how some still blame the carriers in this....
At the same time...those defending Netflix in this.....Doesnt this sound like something Apple would do?

...decides whats best for the customer....

If Apple doesnt get a pass, neither does Netflix.

posted on 27 Mar 2016, 07:08

44. elitewolverine (Posts: 5119; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


All companies need to decide what is best for them and the customer.

All day I deal with people eating through data like it was candy and wanting credits, extensions etc. They are like fat people eating cake, then complaining that there wasn't enough cake and wanting another cake for free.

posted on 28 Mar 2016, 10:29

45. isprobi (Posts: 637; Member since: 30 May 2011)


AT&T now has an unlimited plan that CAN throttle at 22 GB. So far my friend has used 48+ GB and has not been throttled. I have a 30 GB plan but already dropped Netflix.

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