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Netflix slams Verizon for slow streaming speeds, Verizon calls it a ‘PR stunt’

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:48PM EST
Netflix vs. Verizon Slow Streams

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The war between Netflix and Verizon wages on as the movie and TV streaming service has begun to notify users that Verizon’s crowded networks might be affecting the speed and quality of their streams. Vox Media’s Yuri Victor was one of the first Netflix users to share an image of the notification on Twitter, eliciting a response from Netflix spokesperson Jonathan Friedland, who says that the company is “always testing new ways to keep members informed.”

In a follow-up email to Re/code, Friedland noted that Netflix users on any network might see a similar message pop up when a stream slows down. In other words, this notification isn’t limited to Verizon, but Verizon PR representative Robert Elek issued the following response:

“This is a PR stunt. We’re investigating this claim but it seems misleading and could confuse people.”

When Netflix signed peering deals with both Comcast and Verizon earlier this year to ensure end users wouldn’t be affected, we knew the company wasn’t going down without a fight. Pointing fingers at ISPs won’t make much of a difference for many users, but if enough customers start associating lagging streams with their service providers, Netflix might be able to add enough fuel to the fire to force Verizon, Comcast and others to take responsibility for any issues Netflix faces.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.