06-04-2014 07:33 AM - edited 06-04-2014 07:46 AM
The simple truth is Verizon is not committed to carrying the traffic consumers pay to recieve until Netflix folds and agrees to pay Verizon to carry the content. Rumors that a deal had been struck seem confused by Netflix recent rollout of enhancements directly identifying to consumers that streaming is impaired by Verizon performance issues.
This Verizon/Netflix problem is evidenced by:
- Massive time of day varation in netflix downspeeds (13 mbps supporting 3D available off peak hours, .865 mbps supporting a completely unacceptable image during peak)
- The lack of this variation through other ISP providers
And supported by indirectly:
- The public ongoing feud between Verizon and Netflix over transport
- Reports of 80+% saturation of the inbound Verizon switches responsible for Netflix traffic during peak hours
- Improvements in performance recognized by Verizon customers who take elaborate measures to route traffic to different switchs
And frustrated by a disinformation campaign by Verizon:
For example, as mentioned above Netflix is now identifying poor Verizon performance as the source of streaming problems through their applications. Responding to this development Verizon PR rep Robert Elek replies “This is a PR stunt. We’re investigating this claim but it seems misleading and could confuse people.”
No Bob, it's not a stunt. Verizon is unable to provide usable Netflix service during peak hours. It is fine to acknowledge this and share your plans to continue underserving your customers until Netflix pays for transit, but please don't suggest it is somehow untrue.
Finally, one can't help wonder how Verizon's floundering movie streaming service compicates their corporate decision making. Unfortunately their offering is vastly inferior in content and quality - i.e. they are the only pay streaming service that doesn't support surround sound.
However the dollars eventually fall Verizon and Netflix need to adopt a policy of honesty on this issue opening the door for a much needed resolution.
National averages are interesting, but not necessarily reflective of regional experience.
I find Netflix unusable between 7 and 10 pm with peek speeds settling in around .8 to 1.5. I also encounter frequent buffering problems and the inability to start a stream (the dreaded lock up at 25%). None of this is news to either company. Both are pointing fingers, both have arguments with some merit. Together they are underserving millions of customers. FWIW, I find streams below around 2.5 to be unwatchable on a large TV.
Verizon infuriates me because they like to claim they aren't the problem. A lack of sufficient resources at Verizon is entirely the problem.
Netflix infuriates me because they like to claim a moral right to dump any quantity of data on ISPs. There exists no such right and enforcing one means that non-streaming subscribers subsidise infrastructure required only by streaming subscribers.
Oh, and I have no idea of their pay arranagements but I can get 10 mbps down on VUDU anytime day or night.
I am an existing FiOS user. I previously had comcast and netflix was blazing fast with 11Mbps internet connection. SuperHD movies used to stream with full HD glory. When I got Fios I thought that 15Mbps connection would be enough. It wasn't.. netflix wouldn't provide me SuperHD quality with FiOS. Although theoretically the comcast was supposed to be slower with shared connections with other user. I thought.. that this Verizon might be throttling for its lower tier internet speed. I upgraded myself to 50Mbps connection one month back. It still have the same situation with netflix.. although download speed improved considerably with other websites like youtuve, dishworld, direct download. So even before net neutrality law is passed FCC... verizon is throttling its connection.. even for 50Mbps connections. If there is class action lawsuit.. count me in. I am now trying to revert back my connection speed.. because the only reason I went to higher tier is to get reliable high speed from netflix. It doesn't provide that.
Your package has nothing to do with this issue...the bootleneck is way before it gets to your house. I get SuperHD Netflix just fine on a cable company at a different location with a 15 down package. And yes...it is regional, parts of the FIOS network in certain parts of the country have more CDN saturation than others.
Sorry to hear you difficulties, but the outcome was predictable. No speed upgrade will improve Netflix performance unless it puts you on different switch hardware. Verizon is not throttling, they are saturating.
It is a nuanced difference Verizon uses to misdirect responsibility for poor Netrlix performance since it allows them to claim they are not doing anything to slow traffic.
In the throttling case Verizon would be proactively making your Netflix slow - i.e. setting up a road block. They don't do this.
In the saturating case Verizon is passively allowing inadequate hardware to become overwhelmed with traffic during peak hours - i.e. only providing a two lane highway where a four lane is needed.
You can picture these saturated switches (the two lane highway, where four is needed) as Verizon's front door. Once the data is inside the front door the data will be moved to you at your subscribed speed.
So, when Verizon claims they are not doing anything to slow traffic it remains a fact they know performance crawls to a halt on their over saturated switches and the only solution is more capacity (which they refuse to put in place until payment arrangements are satisfactory).
06-05-2014 07:05 AM - edited 06-05-2014 07:13 AM
FlyerQ has it exactly right. What is sad is that it's not like it is huge cost to upgrade port capacity. With the cost per meg that they charge for FiOS there is plenty of margin there for them to be good internet citizens. The reason I'm sure they are against doing so is that would provide less opportunity to extort money from the content providers.
Unfortunately it is not surprising that Verizon is acting in this way considering they are the company that sued to get the legal authority to damage the internet (killing net neutrality).
The one point I'd disagree with FlyerQ on is being infuriated with Netflix. Verizon is advertising upgrading to 50 or 75Mbps connections. If their customers all want to stream Netflix at once that should not be a problem. We're talking about ~3Mbps for an outstanding experience or utilization of about 1/17th of what they advertise. Making sure they have enough port capacity to handle that is part of what we are paying for. But they choose to harm their customers in the hope that they can also collect from providers.
06-05-2014 08:10 PM - edited 06-05-2014 08:26 PM
Verizon sent a cease and desist letter to Netflix! This is big news as the Netflix performace issues will get resolved either through negotiation or through the courts. Verizon is bluffing since they certainly don't want to make peering agreements made public during lawsuit discovery.
Personally it seems like a very dumb move by Verizon since it will be very apparent all the Verizon peering dollars are the reason Verizon has neglected upgrading their infrastucture. Verizon will not be able to hide behind weasling statements like different factors influence internet speed because it will be so obvious where the biggest problems are.
See the letter at:
Verizon needs to get their act together and fix this. Advertising High speeds but when you need them they aren't there. Pile of crap if you ask me. I have been a loyal FIOS customer since they laid the fiber in Tampa. Even picked houses to move to based on having FIOS.
Well, apparently their level of service is just going in the toilet. Sad and really maddening.