Ruin The assorted ramblings of Brendan Tobolaski

Verizon isnʼt a fan of the free market either

Verizon originally sued the FCC because of the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules. They sued on the grounds that the FCC didnʼt have the authority to enforce the Net Neutrality rules. The implication, of course, is that they preferred to have the free market settle any such issues. So now,

This week, Netflix customer Yuri Victor tweeted a screenshot of a message he got from Netflix that said, “The Verizon network is crowded right now. Adjusting video for smoother playback...” It turns out Netflix has been providing these messages to customers of multiple ISPs for a month.

Verizon is worried that these notices will harm its otherwise sparkling reputation and even cause customers to switch Internet service providers. After all, the US Internet market is flush with competition, with every resident able to choose from so many high-quality service providers that there's no way we could list them all here.

“Netflixʼs false accusations have the potential to harm the Verizon brand in the marketplace,” Verizon Executive VP and General Counsel Randal Milch wrote today in a letter to Netflix General Counsel David Hyman. “The impression that Netflix is falsely giving our customers is that the Verizon network is generally ‘crowdedʼ and troublesome. This could cause a customer to think that any attempted viewing of video, whether it be Hulu, YouTube or other sites, would yield a similarly ‘crowdedʼ experience, and he or she may then choose to alter or cease their use of the Verizon network.”

— Jon Brodkin on Ars Technica

So, Verizon isnʼt a fan of Netflix telling its customers just how bad it is. This is a well documented problem. It got so bad that Netflix had to bribe Verizon to allow Netflix to pay for its own transit and to pay for running an interconnect to Verizon. All Verizon has to do is connect to Netflix with a sufficient amount of bandwidth to fulfill their customer’s requests and route that across their own network. Apparently, Verizon isnʼt even will to do that after being bribed.

Netflix is rightfully fed up with the situation, so they are doing the only thing that is left to them, informing their customers of the problem. Now that Netflix is letting their customers know that Verizon isnʼt fulfilling the service that they are paying for, Verizon is threatening to sue. Verizon is threatening to sue Netflix because Netflix is letting Verizon’s customers know that Verizon isn’t fulfilling their commitment to their customers. LOL.

This is exactly what Verizon was asking for. Now that its been revealed that they are willfully disregarding their commitment to their customers, instead of fixing the problem they are threatening legal action against the people revealing the problem. Its the perfect case to show why we need Net Neutrality.