Last week, Netflix brushed off Verizon's cease and desist letter over an error message they are displaying to customers trying to stream video on a Verizon Internet connection. Now Netflix is changing their tactics, but not in the way Verizon was hoping for.
While Netflix said on their blog today they would stop displaying the message which caused the fight to break out on June 16th, Netflix called the Verizon message a "small scale test" and that they need to evaluate "rolling it out more broadly."
While that might seem like good news, Netflix is still blaming Internet providers for slow streaming speeds. They even went so far as to make us a handy chart of exactly who is the slowest:
Notice that Verizon falls in last place. Netflix added this delightfully passive aggressive note to the chart:
Some broadband providers argue that our actions, and not theirs, are causing a degraded Netflix experience. Netflix does not purposely select congested routes. We pay some of the world’s largest transit networks to deliver Netflix video right to the front door of an ISP. Where the problem occurs is at that door -- the interconnection point -- when the broadband provider hasn’t provided enough capacity to accommodate the traffic their customer requested.
Some large US ISPs are erecting toll booths, providing sufficient capacity for services requested by their subscribers to flow through only when those services pay the toll. In this way, ISPs are double-dipping by getting both their subscribers and Internet content providers to pay for access to each other. We believe these ISP tolls are wrong because they raise costs, stifle innovation and harm consumers. ISPs should provide sufficient capacity into their network to provide consumers the broadband experience for which they pay.
"Some" sounds an awful like "Verizon" to us.
Considering Netflix and Verizon actually have a deal to improve video streaming speed, signed in April, it's surprising that this battle has become this public and nasty in the matter of two months. On the bright side, Verizon customers will have a harder time falling into a Netflix black hole for three days at a time.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.