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Verizon tells Netflix to stop blaming it for streaming issues

Netflix Inc.VerizonConsumers
Verizon sends Netflix cease-and-desist letter.
Verizon says Netflix is responsible for much of bad streaming issues.

Verizon wants Netflix to stop blaming the Internet Service Provider for any streaming issues customers may be having when watching TV shows and movies.

In a cease-and-desist letter sent to Netflix, Verizon said Netflix is making "false accusations" that have the "potential to harm the Verizon brand" and is engaging in "deceptive behavior."

At issue is a notice Netflix started running in Verizon homes earlier this week when buffering issues arose that said, "the Verizon Network is crowded right now." 

"There is no basis for Netflix to assert that issues with respect to playback of any particular video session are attributable solely to the Verizon Network," Verizon General Counsel Randal Milch said in his Thursday letter to Netflix General Counsel David Hyman.

He went on to say that much of the problems consumers may be having are the fault of Netflix and the companies it uses to get its content to Verizon's pipes.

"Netflix has been aware for some time that a few Internet middlemen have congestion issues with some IP Networks and nonetheless, Netflix has chosen to continue sending its traffic over those congested routes," Milch said.

Netflix responded that it is trying to provide its customers with "more transparency" when it comes to streaming issues.

"We are testing ways to let consumers know how their Netflix experience is being affected by congestion on their broadband provider’s network," Netflix said.

Netflix recently reached an agreement to pay Verizon to connect directly with its pipes, which should make the content flow better through the pipes to consumers.

"I sincerely hope this is not a harbinger of things to come in terms of how Netflix treats its network partners and our mutual customers," Milch said.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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