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24 July 2017
| Natalie Bannerman
In a statement to Ars Techinca and The Verge, Verizon has admitted to capping traffic to all video content, in a move the company said was to “optimise the performance of video applications on our network”.
Customers have taken to social
media explaining their experience of the slowed Verizon
Wireless service. In a Reddit thread, users complained that
they were unable to reach download speeds any faster than
10Mbps when connecting to Netflix, verified through Fast.com
the speed test tool that’s powered by Netflix
servers. Users on Howard Forums are reportedly also
experiencing the cap, claiming that it’s also
being applied to YouTube.
"We've been doing network testing over the past few days to
optimise the performance of video applications on our network.
The testing should be completed shortly. The customer video
experience was not affected," a Verizon Wireless spokesperson
said to The Verge.
Many critics have said the move, could be considered
throttling and violates net neutrality rules which are still in place
in the US, under Title II. There are questions on the
validity of their defense, as customers experienced no
optimisation but a clear cap on traffic and may have been
slowed in attempts to favour its own video streaming service
Go90. A claim Verizon vehemently denies saying:
"It is across the board," Verizon said when speaking to
Ars Technica, and asked if Go90 and other Verizon
properties were affected.
"We are constantly testing the network," the representative
said. "It's what we do, to optimise performance for our
customers. The test was across the board, and did not target
any individual applications. The consumer video experience
should not have been unaffected by the test since 1080p video
is HD quality and looks great at 10 [Mbps]."
Though no clear isolation of services have been officially
confirmed, it’s the lack of communication from
Verizon surrounding this cap or as a Reddit user said the
'silent' manner in which these tests have been done, that fuels
suspicion around their motives.