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Netflix streaming has become unusable, is Verizon intentionally degrading it?

Netflix streaming has become unusable, is Verizon intentionally degrading it?

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Contributor tjloft
Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-14-2014

I have had Verizon Fios for a few years now and overall have been satisfied.  However, over the last month or so my previously reliable Netflix streaming has gotten pretty much unusable.  During a movie or show, it will stop for buffering every minute or two and hang for about 30 seconds, then resume, then repeat.  I am currently suspicious that Verizon has put in place new network policies that corrupt the Netflix streams since they have a competing service.  Or, they just don't care about providing the level of service i am paying for.

 

Here are some of the observations:

 

1)  Problem comes and goes at different days and times so any of the following observations are hard to be 100%.  One day we can watch a whole movie and it is fine, the next day we can't use it at all.  Generally it is worst in the evenings when I presume Internet load is highest.

 

2)  The problem occurs on both my Sony TV which has built-in Netflix and uses a wired connection to the router and a Roku box on a wireless connection.  The problem does not appear to affect laptops streaming wirelessly but we don't use that much.

 

3)  Resetting the router does not appear to make any difference and does not solve the problem.

 

4)  My Verizon TV service, multi-room DVR, and general STB operation are normal.

 

5)  I tried upgrading the Fios router from the original 10/100 unit to a more recent 10/100/1000 unit for $99.  That didn't seem to help, in fact it seems worse.

 

6)  I tried changing back and forth between 15/5 and 50/25 and it doesn't seem to matter.  Right now I am still on 50/25.

 

7)  I have run speed tests such as those on dslreports.com and have not been able to detect an issue and the reported speed is as expected.  However, these are relatively short tests and would not detect a longer term streaming issue and they are not tests to the Netflix source.

 

8)  When it is happening I have examined the traffic statistics in my router and the overall data usage is about what I would expect, maybe a few megabits per second for one or two active streams.  Certainly nowhere near the advertised speed.

 

9)  I went on my Netflix account and changed the speed/quality setting from "Auto" down to "Medium - Standard Quality".  It worked better for one day, but was bad again last night so I think it was a random improvement.

 

If anyone has any suggestions on who I can contact to fix such a problem, let's hear it.  Since it does not happen all the time and the standard response of resetting my equipment does not help, I am not sure if contacting customer support will do any good but I am ready to try.

 

Thanks,

 

.

 

 

14 REPLIES 14
Copper Contributor jt88
Copper Contributor
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎01-13-2014
Fwiw, the courts have just struck down the FCC's net neutrality policy as a result of a lawsuit filed by VZ. I would not be surprised at all if VZ was doing something behind the scenes to slow down Netflix streams under the guise of managing bandwidth "for the benefit" of all customers.
Contributor tjloft
Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-14-2014

Update:

 

Spent over an hour on the phone in two separate calls with Verizon support personnel referred by the customer advocacy group.  Unfortunately, the netflix streaming was not misbehaving at the time of the call.  Speed tests and other tracert diagnostics did not reveal any issues from my computer.  Support personnel just kept insisting if there was a problem on the Verizon network it would be detected and they don't see any.  The only useful thing I learned is that if the streaming was working poorly on my computer, I could use commands to determine the Netflix source IP address and then do tracert to that location and try to isolate where the issue occurs on either Verizon, Level3, etc.

 

However, when my Sony smart TV is not streaming properly, I do not see any way to retrieve the Netflix network information I need to do this.  The smart TV is wired directly to my router so I don't see how I could can monitor the stream.  Perhaps using wireless would be better because i might be able to monitor the traffic broadcast.

 

Netflix support was no help over the weekend when my wife called. They just provided the standard power cycle and restart everything process as well as advice on fixing wireless isues which is not applicable to my TV.  These simple steps did not fix the problem.

 

My next step will be to run tests on the cable and network jack at my TV just to prove that is not an issue, then wait until it is having problems again and see if I can get my computer to duplicate the problem that is seen on the TV.  This could be a long wait since it frequently is a problem when I am not at home.

 

If the problem is a peering level issue, which I still feel is likely, then neither Netflix nor Verizon support personnel are likely to be able to see it and I don't know what to do from there.  With the poor Netflix service I am seeing, it seems like this problem should be widespread and not just me so I am still wondering why I am seeing this issue just in the last couple months.

 

 

Contributor archon522
Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-22-2014

I agree with the above 100%

 

There is something going on only with Netflix traffic. Running speedtests to Verizon's internal server show my proper speed, and external speed tests also run great. Other streaming services like Hulu run full HD without an issue, but Netflix can barely get to 720p...in fact it is usually standard def only.

 

This has started happened recently too, but of course a line level Verizon tech is not going to see a problem. There is obviously an issue because there are multiple reports of performance issues with Netflix traffic, and it's only coming from Verizon customers. Even trying to load the Netflix website almost timed out, yet everything else loaded perfectly fine.

 

I can not wait to cancel FiOS and go back to Cablevision.

Bronze Contributor II
Bronze Contributor II
Posts: 214
Registered: ‎08-02-2013

archon522 wrote:. There is obviously an issue because there are multiple reports of performance issues with Netflix traffic, and it's only coming from Verizon customers.

That is simply not true.  There is a 10+ page thread on this very same subject in the Comcast forums on DSLR.  

 

Some customers on every major ISP in the US (Comcast, TWC, FIOS) are openly complaining about Netflix issues.  From what I can tell it depends where you are and time of day.  The ISPs are letting their CDN ports get saturated and are making no moves to fix it.  Kind of makes sense when you consider they all have video streaming services of their own and that they compete with Netflix.

 

Other people think this is a Netflix issue...i.e. if all the ISPs are having issues with Netflix is must be Netflix's problem.

 

The ISPs have been remarkably quiet on this issue.  The only recent post I have seen anywhere is in the Comcast Forums:

 

"We are aware of these threads and the concerns expressed here. We are actively engaged. It is sensitive and we can't really say more than that right now.
JL
National Engineering & Technical Operations"

 

http://forums.comcast.com/t5/Basic-Internet-Connectivity-And/Is-comcast-working-on-the-Netflix-issue...

 

So take it for what you will.  IMHO this is about all about money and the ISPs are to blame.

 

Having said all that, CableVision is the one of the very few that joined Netflix OpenConnect, so if Netflix is that important to you moving to them is a very good idea.  Most people don't have that option.

 

https://signup.netflix.com/openconnect

 

 

Contributor mka
Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-29-2014

Cant agree more with you guys.

I was with cablevision untill last Friday. The Netflix quality was excellent with cablevision. After FIOS my first doubt was with the router. The fios router only supports 2.4GHz wheres cablevision had a dual band of 2.4 and 5GHz. The 5GHz of cablevision was solid. Well I spent a couple hours with FIOS representatives trying to figure out the problem. No luck at all. I am getting the speed I should (58/35). I have connected my TV to the router using a ethernet cable but I still dont get the 1080P on Netflix. It goes upto 450 at max.

Thinking of going back to cablevision.

Bronze Contributor I
Bronze Contributor I
Posts: 136
Registered: ‎07-25-2011

@mka wrote:

Cant agree more with you guys.

I was with cablevision untill last Friday. The Netflix quality was excellent with cablevision. After FIOS my first doubt was with the router. The fios router only supports 2.4GHz wheres cablevision had a dual band of 2.4 and 5GHz. The 5GHz of cablevision was solid. Well I spent a couple hours with FIOS representatives trying to figure out the problem. No luck at all. I am getting the speed I should (58/35). I have connected my TV to the router using a ethernet cable but I still dont get the 1080P on Netflix. It goes upto 450 at max.

Thinking of going back to cablevision.


 

My suggestion is to do it sooner rather than later. You should be under a 30 day money back guarantee period. Look at how old some of these Netflix threads are. This has been going on for roughly a year. Sometimes it'll be fine, sometimes it'll be 100% unusuable but you can guarantee they have no interest in fixing it.

Copper Contributor johnatbmd
Copper Contributor
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎02-26-2009

I've not seen HD on NFLX for a few months. I called Netflix and the tech said essentially "we can;t talk about it but just google the subject and you'll find the answer." I said "oh you mean the Cogent peering thing?" He mumbled "uh huh."

 

The "Cogent thing" is a service dispute Verizon is having with Cogent which is the tier 1 provider that feeds most netflix content to Verizon at least in the northeast. 

 

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/06/verizon-bandwidth-provider-blame-each-other-fo...

Contributor sarasotacust
Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎06-04-2014

Hello:

 

I have the EXACT same problem. What is weird is that Netflix is great on the pc. It is the TV's that are a problem. I spent quite a while with a technician and no solution. Thank you for the $99 savings on router!

Contributor johnnymega67
Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎10-06-2013
Message 10 of 15
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try using a modem which isn't verizon  and hook it up to a NETGEAR 802.11AC router. Should be first thing you should do. Secound upgrade to 75\35mbps or 160\75mbps internet. If you still have issues than verizon is cause of all you trouble and you should change to a different provider like att new triple play if possible which they offer.  This is your best cause of action from my point of view.

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