Verizon admits to throttling data speeds from Netflix and other video content providers

Verizon said it was in tests to 'optimize' video for its wireless customers.

Verizon confirmed that it has been throttling streaming video from Netflix and other content providers.

Reports surfaced last week that the nation’s largest wireless carrier appeared to cap network speeds for customers viewing content from Netflix on its network. Verizon admitted to doing so, saying on Friday that it had been tinkering with data speeds to “optimize” the content, although the carrier said it wasn’t specifically capping speeds for Netflix users.

“We’ve been doing network testing over the past few days to optimize the performance of video applications on our network,” a Verizon spokesperson told The Verge. “The testing should be completed shortly. The customer video experience was not affected.”


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Ars Technica posted a similar report late last week.

Interestingly, Verizon’s concession comes more than a year after Netflix admitted it had been degrading the quality of the video it makes available to both Verizon and AT&T. Both Verizon and AT&T flatly denied throttling video content over their networks at the time, and AT&T went so far as to say that "our customers on 4G LTE can get much higher resolution than T-Mobile's optimized 480p limit."

A Verizon spokesperson denied that the carrier had recently slowed speeds specifically for Netflix content, however.

“We are constantly testing the network,” a Verizon representative said, according to The Verge report. “It's what we do, to optimize performance for our customers. The test was across the board, and did not target any individual applications.”

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