Netflix, Verizon, and Net Neutrality: the Ongoing Saga

Verizon and NetflixNetflix and Verizon are fighting over Verizon's right to throttle traffic, Netflix's right to have its data delivered to customers, and customers' rights to get the data they're paying for. Netflix recently began telling customers that Verizon was reponsible for any streaming issues, and on Thursday, Verizon fired off a cease and desist letter demanding that Netflix stop.

Just this morning we discussed the latest Netflix picking a fight with Verizon in TMO's Daily Observations podcast. If you're not sure what we're talking about, here's what happened:

First, there were rumors as far back as last year that watching Netflix wasn't the best experience for any customers because broadband providers were throttling data from the service, in direct violation of what many considered to be market ruled by the principle of Net Neutrality.

It got worse when Netflix released a new season of the series House of Cards in February, referred to as "Eight Bit Weekend" since the stream was THAT blocky for most people. Then Netflix made a deal with Comcast, and in the oddest of coincidences, customers of Comcast saw speeds improve.

Since then, Verizon customers have had…suboptimal Netflix streaming in various ways. Recently, Netflix started naming names in its buffering message, claiming "The Verizon network is crowded right now," as first pointed out by Yuri Victor in a tweet, below.

Verizon fought back on Thursday, firing off a cease and desist letter, demanding that Netflix stop showing the message and hand over customer information of every Netflix customer who received the message.

Netflix is fighting back against the fighting back, saying in a statement, "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."