Seeking Alpha

Netflix pay dispute with carriers leads to slower streaming

  • Netflix (NFLX) subscribers have been experiencing a slowdown in the speed of their video streaming following a dispute between the company and broadband providers over how much Netflix content they should transport without receiving extra fees.
  • The problem is especially noticeable on Verizon Communications' (VZ) fiber-optic FiOS service, where average prime-time speeds fell 14% in January.
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Comments (18)
  • Minutemen
    , contributor
    Comments (1587) | Send Message
     
    Tell me about it. Verizon sucks! I can't see how streaming TV will ever be a viable replacement for cable or over-the-air transmission due to the persistent rebuffering issues with streaming. With cable and standard TV, you just turn it on and it works. With streaming TV, the download streaming time varies depending on time of day (prime time sucks) and the picture quality also varies depending on volume. I love Netflix, but they gotta do something to get their streaming issues improved.
    19 Feb 2014, 07:51 AM Reply Like
  • sethlemay
    , contributor
    Comments (198) | Send Message
     
    Pretty short sighted thinking. Google and others are working on building a world where data is 100x faster than current speeds. The future is not that far away. Basically everything will be connected. The data revolution will be similar to the electricity revolution of the past.
    19 Feb 2014, 08:13 AM Reply Like
  • Minutemen
    , contributor
    Comments (1587) | Send Message
     
    Seth: I hope you're right. But if internet carriers (who are most often cable companies) can throttle speed to purposefully disrupt streaming transmission, then that does not bode well for the data revolution.

     

    In any case, it's content that holds the ultimate power. That's why I'm long DIS (doesn't matter how it gets there; it gets paid for one route or the other).
    19 Feb 2014, 08:31 AM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (4319) | Send Message
     
    A clear example of an incumbent with vested interests - its own tv services - attempting to structure the playing field in its own favor. With the focus on 'disruption' from the current crop of entrepreneurs, clearly a model destined to fail.
    19 Feb 2014, 08:07 AM Reply Like
  • eclipsme
    , contributor
    Comments (139) | Send Message
     
    Push for net neutrality!
    19 Feb 2014, 09:20 AM Reply Like
  • Paulo Santos
    , contributor
    Comments (24981) | Send Message
     
    This is not just about net neutrality. I explained the problem here:

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...
    19 Feb 2014, 09:23 AM Reply Like
  • mr_dinky_dot_bomb
    , contributor
    Comments (369) | Send Message
     
    Thanks for the link to your very informative article.

     

    I never understood the philosophy behind net neutrality, to me it is just about the same as telling UPS that it has to charge the same to deliver a package regardless of the weight of a package.
    19 Feb 2014, 09:51 AM Reply Like
  • sethlemay
    , contributor
    Comments (198) | Send Message
     
    To me it is different. The bandwidth running at full capacity and running at half capacity incurs the same cost. In that regard, the ISPs already prioritize based on Tiers anyway. I pay twice as much to have a faster speed connection. They are already capitalizing on the fact that I consume more data. They are really just trying to milk both sides.

     

    I think they should have to prove they aren't making perfectly healthy margins before trying to take more of the pie.
    19 Feb 2014, 10:19 AM Reply Like
  • Paulo Santos
    , contributor
    Comments (24981) | Send Message
     
    Nobody has to prove anything when it comes to margins. Everybody is free to build an alternative ...
    19 Feb 2014, 10:22 AM Reply Like
  • patriot_invstr
    , contributor
    Comments (38) | Send Message
     
    @Paulo - cable companies have geographic monopolies sanctioned by the local municipality. Combine that with barrier to entry - municipalities will not allow every Tom, Dick, and Harry to put a wire in the ground - and you have a corrupt system perpetuated by a corrupt FCC.
    When behemoths such as Verizon and Comcast sign agreements not to compete with each other, how do you say that the end consumer is somehow benefiting from the cartels actions? And how is it we would be free to build our own?
    19 Feb 2014, 01:02 PM Reply Like
  • Paulo Santos
    , contributor
    Comments (24981) | Send Message
     
    Many of those paying (FB, GOOG, MSFT) have higher margins ...
    19 Feb 2014, 01:03 PM Reply Like
  • bluesharpbob
    , contributor
    Comments (6) | Send Message
     
    Right, everyone is free to build an alternative. If I don't like the toll I pay to cross a bridge, I can just build my own. Get real!!!!
    19 Feb 2014, 11:37 AM Reply Like
  • Paulo Santos
    , contributor
    Comments (24981) | Send Message
     
    In most cities there are readily available alternatives for access.
    19 Feb 2014, 01:04 PM Reply Like
  • Sakelaris
    , contributor
    Comments (1749) | Send Message
     
    More than one ISP to "choose" from? Sure, I have two choices where I live. However, you certainly do not see them having big price wars to take customers from one another!

     

    Although I am getting good streaming from my ISP at this time (Windstream), I do nevertheless hope for close FCC oversight of the ISP industry.
    19 Feb 2014, 08:00 PM Reply Like
  • Vern Hoffmann
    , contributor
    Comments (197) | Send Message
     
    I can, and do, stream onto my cell, which completely bypasses the FIOS at home, and I have noticed that FIOS is throttling, b/c suddenly now I have loading and buffering issues that I never had before.
    What bothers me most is that some exec can come into my house and decide what I'm going to have access to on the web, and at what rate. Content is not something that they have any right to decide for me. I pay them for a certain bit rate, and intentionally not providing it, for whatever reason, constitutes fraud.
    In the end, cell carriers may become the cable co's competition.
    19 Feb 2014, 09:38 PM Reply Like
  • jay@jayjohnson.tv
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Don't like your Netflix experience, try Amazon Prime....
    20 Feb 2014, 05:53 AM Reply Like
  • Paulo Santos
    , contributor
    Comments (24981) | Send Message
     
    Amazon prime will be subjected to exactly the same problem.
    20 Feb 2014, 06:58 AM Reply Like
  • Vern Hoffmann
    , contributor
    Comments (197) | Send Message
     
    J, it's not Netflix that's the problem, it continues to be the gouging cable co's.
    20 Feb 2014, 12:19 PM Reply Like
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