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Verizon threatens Netflix with cease and desist letter

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 05 Jun 2014 19:11 User comments (17)

Verizon threatens Netflix with cease and desist letter Verizon has turned to legal threats against Netflix as the relationship between the two continues to sour.
Yesterday it emerged that Netflix had identified Verizon as the culprit for video streaming problems in error messages shown to subscribers. A shot of one of these error messages was tweeted by Yuri Victor, a Vox journalist, and was immediately picked up by the media.

Verizon didn't take long to respond, accusing Netflix of engaging in a PR stunt that was deliberately misleading, and of using its subscribers as pawns in business negotiations and regulatory matters.

Today the slipping relationship between the pair has gotten even worse as Verizon sent a cease and desist letter to Netflix. The letter was sent to David Hyman, Netflix council, and it demands that Netflix immediately halts providing such notices to subscribers.

It goes on to demand that Netflix provide evidence and documentation to demonstrate that Yuri Victor's below par service from Netflix was caused by congestion on the Verizon network, and that Netflix provide a list of all customers it has displayed the message to. Verizon expects all of this information within five days.

You can read the cease and desist letter at: www.docstoc.com

Re/code published a response from Netflix later.

"This is about consumers not getting what they paid for from their broadband provider. We are trying to provide more transparency, just like we do with the ISP Speed Index, and Verizon is trying to shut down that discussion," said Netflix spokesman Jonathon Friedland.


Sources and Recommended Reading:
Verizon Threatens Netflix With Legal Action Over Congestion Message: recode.net
Letter to David Hyman.pdf: www.docstoc.com
Netflix visibly blames ISPs for streaming issues: www.afterdawn.com
Verizon: Netflix' PR stunt is deliberately misleading: www.afterdawn.com

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17 user comments

16.6.2014 4:11

Haven't seen this over here in Finland yet. I think. Not a Netflix subscriber, so wouldn't know for sure. =) But it's certainly amusing to follow the development!


Jari Ketola
Administrator
http://www.AfterDawn.com

26.6.2014 8:31

Quote:
Haven't seen this over here in Finland yet. I think. Not a Netflix subscriber
Now that's funny why wouldn't you see it? :D Oh that's right you don't have the service.... LOL

This sounds just like Verizon, it's not our fault even though we charge the most for our services. You got to love them and that is why I don't use them. However all communications companies are poor these days in the US and this is a extortion trick by them to charge us more for the services we already pay too much for, you got to love it.

36.6.2014 8:42

Originally posted by Mr-Movies:
Quote:
Haven't seen this over here in Finland yet. I think. Not a Netflix subscriber
Now that's funny why wouldn't you see it? :D Oh that's right you don't have the service.... LOL

This sounds just like Verizon, it's not our fault even though we charge the most for our services. You got to love them and that is why I don't use them. However all communications companies are poor these days in the US and this is a extortion trick by them to charge us more for the services we already pay too much for, you got to love it.

He meant he didn't see Netflix identifying an ISP as a source of congestion problems etc. in Finland, subscriber or not, as Admin of AfterDawn and four other sites in Finland I'm sure he'd have seen it :P

46.6.2014 8:50

Well if it's not Verizon's fault, whose fault is it?

This the trouble these days; no one wants to take responsibility for anything.

One thing's for sure; it needs sorting out and quick. And NOT by people having to pay more for the service as Mr-Movies says we're already paying too much already.

I don't have Netflix; I'm thinking of getting it but I might wait a bit longer.

I'm currently with Amazon Prime and I've been watching some series including "Black Books" but now they want me to pay extra to watch it.

Maybe I won't subscribe to anything.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Jun 2014 @ 8:52

- TekPete -

56.6.2014 9:21

Originally posted by TekPete:
Well if it's not Verizon's fault, whose fault is it?

This the trouble these days; no one wants to take responsibility for anything.

One thing's for sure; it needs sorting out and quick. And NOT by people having to pay more for the service as Mr-Movies says we're already paying too much already.

I don't have Netflix; I'm thinking of getting it but I might wait a bit longer.

I'm currently with Amazon Prime and I've been watching some series including "Black Books" but now they want me to pay extra to watch it.

Maybe I won't subscribe to anything.
I have both...I and most I know have Amazon due to the free expedited shipping. IF they happen to have something worth watching then that's a bonus. I do the bulk of movie watching on Netflix and if I am going to pay for a movie there are a lot of options. I wouldn't put Amazon on the top of that list either.

In my area...any time I have had bandwidth issues with Netflix they were as bad if not worse for Amazon. My guess is if you get decent streaming over Amazon you should see the same with Netflix. Also they have a free trial too. Another thing I like is you can't seem to get a video capable device that doesn't have Netflix capability. Amazon is not the same.

Wow...When did I become a Netflix Fanboi?

Just my $0.02,

dEwMe

66.6.2014 9:24

Netflix should not blame Verizon only,many IP's companies do the same things, so they can spread the FIO speed fiber optics cable speeds around so far for without have cost more to their operations and to upgrade their network to often.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Jun 2014 @ 9:28

76.6.2014 9:40

All IP's companies will stop this practices,if only Washington will stop letting them merging each other to become to big to care.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Jun 2014 @ 9:43

86.6.2014 9:45

Originally posted by dEwMe:
Originally posted by TekPete:
Well if it's not Verizon's fault, whose fault is it?

This the trouble these days; no one wants to take responsibility for anything.

One thing's for sure; it needs sorting out and quick. And NOT by people having to pay more for the service as Mr-Movies says we're already paying too much already.

I don't have Netflix; I'm thinking of getting it but I might wait a bit longer.

I'm currently with Amazon Prime and I've been watching some series including "Black Books" but now they want me to pay extra to watch it.

Maybe I won't subscribe to anything.
I have both...I and most I know have Amazon due to the free expedited shipping. IF they happen to have something worth watching then that's a bonus. I do the bulk of movie watching on Netflix and if I am going to pay for a movie there are a lot of options. I wouldn't put Amazon on the top of that list either.

In my area...any time I have had bandwidth issues with Netflix they were as bad if not worse for Amazon. My guess is if you get decent streaming over Amazon you should see the same with Netflix. Also they have a free trial too. Another thing I like is you can't seem to get a video capable device that doesn't have Netflix capability. Amazon is not the same.

Wow...When did I become a Netflix Fanboi?
I have a Blue Ray Player with Smart TV on it that's how I access it. I'd better make sure I can get Netflix on it. The free trial looks a good idea. I have noticed that it takes a lot time browsing for something to watch, but once I'm playing something I don't recall having any issues. Unlike Virgin's Tivo Box.

- TekPete -

96.6.2014 10:23

When I am travelling, Netflix will stream when every other similar service fails or is choppy to the extent that it is unwatchable. Verizon is the worst ISP that I have ever dealt with and I have recently ended my service with them. They can send out all the C&D notices they want, but that is the bottom line.

106.6.2014 10:36

Verizon, doesn't stand much of a chance. For those outside the US, the FTC, part of the federal government, takes a dim view on false advertising. They have the ability to fine Verizon but will not since they are too influential ($$$). Still it is obvious Verizon is breaking the law by false advertising and wish to hide that.

116.6.2014 17:22

Originally posted by Dela:
Originally posted by Mr-Movies:
Quote:
Haven't seen this over here in Finland yet. I think. Not a Netflix subscriber
Now that's funny why wouldn't you see it? :D Oh that's right you don't have the service.... LOL

This sounds just like Verizon, it's not our fault even though we charge the most for our services. You got to love them and that is why I don't use them. However all communications companies are poor these days in the US and this is a extortion trick by them to charge us more for the services we already pay too much for, you got to love it.

He meant he didn't see Netflix identifying an ISP as a source of congestion problems etc. in Finland, subscriber or not, as Admin of AfterDawn and four other sites in Finland I'm sure he'd have seen it :P
Sorry but not the same difference. :D

127.6.2014 6:10

Originally posted by Mr-Movies:
Quote:
Haven't seen this over here in Finland yet. I think. Not a Netflix subscriber
Now that's funny why wouldn't you see it? :D Oh that's right you don't have the service.... LOL
;-) Yeah. Should've phrased it "We haven't seen this in Finland yet." But the question of net neutrality is slowly creeping in over here as well. It's more prominent on the mobile internet where providers are planning on charging more for Skype data, and other messaging services that cut into their profits.

Originally posted by rbi149:
When I am travelling, Netflix will stream when every other similar service fails or is choppy to the extent that it is unwatchable. Verizon is the worst ISP that I have ever dealt with and I have recently ended my service with them. They can send out all the C&D notices they want, but that is the bottom line.

I believe quite a few ISPs are working with Netflix to improve streaming speeds by peering with them. See: https://www.netflix.com/openconnect . Netflix also offers free hardware appliance to cut down the backbone load even further: https://www.netflix.com/openconnect/hardware



Jari Ketola
Administrator
http://www.AfterDawn.com

137.6.2014 6:34

I knew what you really meant I just thought I'd pull your chain a little as I've done the same thing myself from time to time... And you're right Skype and mobile networks enter into this argument as well.

Have a great day Ketola ;P

147.6.2014 7:40

The sun is shining, it's Saturday, and I don't have a Netflix subscription. No reason not to have a great day then. ;-)

Have a good one as well!

158.6.2014 11:04

We are overlooking the real problem here and that is our FCC. Why are they such lame d-cks (insert appropriate letter here, I or u). The FCC is supposed to be the watchdogs over our internet yet all they seem to do is argue amongst themselves and never accomplish anything productive. I say disband these jerks, and find a militant ex chief of police or military general to oversee the net and give him some prosecution teeth to ENFORCE any regulations that are applicable. We need an FCC that's not afraid to p-ss of the rich guy providers that want more for giving paying customers less. My ISP is via Mediacom and they sell me premium cost access of "up to 50 Mbps" the key here is up to so that is anything within that range from 0 to 50. and it only costs me an additional $50.00 USD OVER the $19.00 access fee for "basic" cable.Sad state of affairs Ollie.


jimmurray1946

169.6.2014 7:56

I would have to agree with jimmurray on this subject. While the ISPs are responsible, the FCC is supposed to regulate. If the ISP were actually providing to the consumer what is advertised, then it should not be an issue of streaming at whatever speed that is required. Who is supposed to regulate that, the FCC. In my house hold we have both cable and DSL connections (wife is diehard DSL supporter)and we are always comparing speed/bandwith. However, we both agree that we are not getting anywhere near what is advertised even if we switch channels on our routers. The FCC need to regulate ISPs correctly and fight for the consumer. Sock it to em' Netflix. Btw, this just my opinion, we all have them.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 09 Jun 2014 @ 7:57

179.6.2014 20:26

Originally posted by jimmurray:
We are overlooking the real problem here and that is our FCC. Why are they such lame d-cks (insert appropriate letter here, I or u). The FCC is supposed to be the watchdogs over our internet yet all they seem to do is argue amongst themselves and never accomplish anything productive. I say disband these jerks, and find a militant ex chief of police or military general to oversee the net and give him some prosecution teeth to ENFORCE any regulations that are applicable. We need an FCC that's not afraid to p-ss of the rich guy providers that want more for giving paying customers less. My ISP is via Mediacom and they sell me premium cost access of "up to 50 Mbps" the key here is up to so that is anything within that range from 0 to 50. and it only costs me an additional $50.00 USD OVER the $19.00 access fee for "basic" cable.Sad state of affairs Ollie.
With the corruption in our system it wouldn't make a difference who is in charge because they would cater to the all mighty dollar at the end of the day.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 09 Jun 2014 @ 20:27

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