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

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.

FEATURED VIDEO

43 Comments

1. theo14461 unregistered

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

3. djkhalid

Posts: 156; Member since: Jul 01, 2013

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

4. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

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

8. wkm001

Posts: 145; Member since: Feb 04, 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.

10. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

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

12. wkm001

Posts: 145; Member since: Feb 04, 2014

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

13. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 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.

26. minhajmsd

Posts: 24; Member since: Oct 07, 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.

16. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 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.

5. bucky

Posts: 3774; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

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

6. benzb

Posts: 81; Member since: Jan 19, 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???

9. wkm001

Posts: 145; Member since: Feb 04, 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.

21. benzb

Posts: 81; Member since: Jan 19, 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.

27. minhajmsd

Posts: 24; Member since: Oct 07, 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.

41. g2a5b0e unregistered

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.

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.

7. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3944; Member since: Oct 03, 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

17. galanoth

Posts: 428; Member since: Nov 26, 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.

18. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3944; Member since: Oct 03, 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.

22. TerryTerius unregistered

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

23. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3944; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

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

28. johnbftl

Posts: 283; Member since: Jun 09, 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.

29. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3944; Member since: Oct 03, 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.

24. TerryTerius unregistered

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.

30. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3944; Member since: Oct 03, 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.

31. TerryTerius unregistered

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.

32. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3944; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

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

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."

37. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3944; Member since: Oct 03, 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.

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.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.