Netflix said Monday it would comply with Verizon’s cease-and-desist letter, sent to both the general public and Netflix general counsel David Hyman from Verizon general counsel Randal S. Milch. The letter’s complaints against Netflix were that the streaming service was misrepresenting the “many different factors that affect traffic on the Internet,” including the controversy over whether or not Verizon is obliged to provide free access to its network based on user preference.
In response, Netflix said that as part of a “transparency campaign” to tell users when the network they were using was choking Netflix content, “we started a small scale test in early May that lets consumers know, while they’re watching Netflix, that their experience is degraded due to a lack of capacity into their broadband provider’s network.
“We are testing this across the U.S. wherever there is significant and persistent network congestion,” the company said in a blog post bylined to communications vice president Joris Evers. “This test is scheduled to end on June 16. We will evaluate rolling it out more broadly.”
While this is sort of a non-denial-denial—we don’t admit that what we’re doing is wrong, but coincidentally, we’re going to stop doing it—on the heels of the Verizon C&D letter, it comes with yet another dig at Verizon: a post from the company’s Internet Service Provider speed ranker.
With the ISP tool, which has published dynamically measured average bandwidth since March of last year—that’s actual bandwidth, not advertised bandwidth—you can see that Netflix’s data streams a lot slower from Verizon’s DSL service, but you can also see, among other things, that the U.S. has some of the slowest streaming speeds in the developed world, below every European country except Ireland and lagging behind much poorer countries elsewhere in the Americas like Mexico and Brazil.