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Verizon tells Netflix to stop trashing its service quality… or else

Updated Jun 5th, 2014 3:35PM EDT
Verizon Vs. Netflix Streaming Speeds

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Uh-oh! It looks like Verizon is really, really not happy that Netflix is telling its customers to blame Verizon for slow streaming speeds. CNBC brings us word that Verizon has now sent Netflix a cease and desist letter that tells the company to stop blaming its network for service interruptions and that accuses it of misleading customers to gain an upper hand in the public relations battle over the two companies’ assorted peering disputes.

“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 says in its letter.

Verizon is demanding that Netflix not only immediately stop sending out messages bashing Verizon’s service quality but it’s also giving Netflix a mere five days to “provide Verizon with any and all evidence and documentation that it possesses substantiating Netflix’s assertion” that troubles with Netflix streaming are solely Verizon’s fault.

This marks an escalation from earlier in the week when Verizon slammed Netflix’s messages to users as “a PR stunt” but didn’t give any indication that it would take formal action against the popular Internet streaming service. After caving into Comcast recently and agreeing to pay it extra for a direct connection to Comcast’s network, Netflix vowed to take a harder stance in the future so that it wouldn’t have to pay every single ISP what it considers to be an excessive toll to get its traffic delivered.

A Netflix spokesman tells Re/code that “this is about consumers not getting what they paid for from their broadband provider” and said that “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.”

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.