Netflix provides slow streams on mobile networks with data limits: Report – Maine News Online

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Netflix provides slow streams on mobile networks with data limits: Report

Usually, Netflix subscribers are required to have minimal 500 Kbps connection to open a streaming TV show or movie. The service asks for a connection that’s at least six times faster than that for usual viewing at standard definition. In a recent announcement, Netflix has confirmed that the company throttles and provides low quality content to users on certain mobile network. The company has supported its decision regarding content throttling in order to save data for customers and avoid overages.

It could be shocking but Netflix is to be blamed for your slow streams on smartphones. On Thursday, the streaming service disclosed that it caps video speeds on mobile networks worldwide, and has been into this practice for the last five years.

Netflix generally suggests viewers to use a connection six times faster than the 500 Kbps required to play a film or TV show on the platform. However, the company mentioned that when streaming via a mobile network, 600 Kbps is the default speed.

Netflix added that it gets into such a practice to ‘protect’ customers from surpassing their data plans and getting hit with overage fees. The cap is just applicable to streaming on mobile networks, thus mobile viewers using Wi-Fi would experience usual speeds.

However, it is actually saving itself. Streaming footage consumes a lot of data. According to industry experts, when people face data or connectivity problems, they start criticizing the company they’re spending most for the service.

In the case of watching Netflix via a smart phone, wireless providers such as AT&T and Verizon would face all the blame. So, until the customer is okay with paying more to push their data allowance or switch providers, there isn’t much that can be done.

The customers willing to get their data consumption under control will then look up to Netflix, and restrict how much they stream on smartphone, which is exactly what the company isn’t seeking. In the US, 50% of Netflix’s millennial viewers watch on mobile.

Droid-Life News report added, “Last night, Netflix told the Wall Street Journal that it has been throttling its content through both Verizon and AT&T without their knowledge. In fact, Netflix says that it has been throttling video playback through numerous carriers for five years as a way to protect customers from themselves. They have not been throttling streams at Sprint and T-Mobile because “historically those two companies have had more consumer-friendly policies.” The thought was that Netflix users may have limited data plans and 360p streams could help them extend the use of those data plans or at the very least, not blow through those buckets too quickly.”

AT&T is actually pissed about it and probably should be. An AT&T executive said that they are “outraged” to learn that Netflix has been throttling content without letting customers know. Verizon on the other hand, just said that they deliver whatever content providers are providing.

In a statement provided to Chicago Tribune, “In a blog post Thursday night, Netflix said its 600 Kbps speed cap applies to all mobile networks globally. But its business deals with some carriers complicate this picture. For example, Netflix participates in a T-Mobile program known as Binge On that exempts Netflix from user data caps entirely, allowing T- Mobile subscribers to watch as much Netflix as they like (albeit also at a lower quality to conserve bandwidth).”

Netflix also said that it plans to roll out a set of tools, likely in May, that will allow users to fine-tune how Netflix uses their cellular data. “The data saver feature will provide members with more control over their data usage when streaming on mobile networks,” wrote Anne Marie Squeo, a Netflix spokesperson.

According to a report in USAToday news by Mike Snider, “Netflix’s throttling of content is ironic, said Randolph May, president of free-market think tank, the Free State Foundation. “Netflix’s complete lack of transparency about the practice, especially in light of its strident advocacy against treating Internet communications differentially … is pretty stunning,” he said.”

Electronic Frontier Foundation is “disappointed … that Netflix didn’t explain this earlier, since we believe that all companies should be clear and transparent with their customers about what to expect when it comes to the services they subscribe to,” said Jeremy Gillula, staff technologist at the at privacy-rights organization.

Netflix provides slow streams on mobile networks with data limits: Report – Maine News Online