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Netflix blames Verizon for slow data speeds

This appears to the first time that Netflix is calling out Internet providers for slow downloads speeds, despite signing a deal with Comcast and Verizon to facilitate smooth video streaming.

By Ananth Baliga

LOS GATOS, Calif., June 4 (UPI) -- Netflix has begun displaying a warning that says Verizon is at fault for slow download speeds, according to a picture taken by Vox media designer Yuri Victor.

Victor said that he was attempting to stream Netflix on his Apple computer using a Verizon Fios connection when the warning appeared on his screen. Victor then consulted with BTIG Research's Rich Greenfield and Walter Piecyk who both said they had never seen such a warning before.

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The warning read: "The Verizon network is crowded right now. Adjusting video for smoother playback."

Victor then proceeded to tweet a picture of the warning which prompted a response from Netflix spokesman Jonathan Friedland who tweeted that the feature was being implemented to "keep members informed."

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The timing of the image is curious considering that both companies signed a deal in April that would give the content provider seamless video quality and speed. The deal, reportedly, gives Verizon direct access to Netflix's content delivery network, similar to Netflix's deal with Comcast earlier this year.

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"This is a PR stunt. We're investigating this claim but it seems misleading and could confuse people," said a Verizon spokesperson.

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Netflix has not shied away from blaming Internet providers for the performance of their video streaming, but until now has primarily targeted only Comcast. Netflix, since signing the deal with both Internet providers has said that the blame for any delays in streaming now solely lies with the service providers and that it should not be blamed.

While the Federal Communication Commission is dealing with net neutrality, which looks at the flow of information on the Internet, it does not involve peering -- the actual physical connection of networks to facilitate data flow.

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