On July 20, it was reported that Verizon Wireless appeared to be throttling Netflix traffic, and very next day it was confirmed by the Verizon in the statement that it had been capping the traffic due to a temporary video optimization test.
A Verizon Wireless spokesperson stated that “We’ve been doing network testing over the past few days to optimize the performance of video applications on our network,”. He also added, “The testing should be completed shortly. The customer video experience was not affected.”
This statement is completely contrary to what the users had experienced. According to the customers what they were going through was absolutely not an optimization rather a clear cap. The test from the Netflix’s speed tool showed considerably lower rates as compared to the non-Netflix tests.
Version’s Optimization Looked More Like Throttling
The similar caps were not only applied to Netflix but to all video applications present on the Verizon Wireless network. A Verizon representative also said that “We are constantly testing the network,” “It’s what we do, to optimize performance for our customers. The test was across the board, and did not target any individual applications.”
It was confirmed by the representative that for some users 10Mbps cap was in place. The representative wrote “The consumer video experience should have been unaffected by the test,” also, “since the 1080p video is HD quality and looks great at 10 [Mpbs].”
The above clarifications by the Verizon seem reliable with an across-the-board throttle on video applications, which were put in place with no disclosures to the users. As many users would not be able to view videos in 10Mbps video speeds still this is what Verizon says about optimization that looks more like throttling. It is what advocates of net neutrality have been warning about for a long time.
The thing to keep in mind is that Title II is still the official law, even though the FCC is trying its best to roll it. The Verizon Wireless is still legally obliged to follow the ruling of Title II that is they are required to treat all the traffic without any discrimination. There are a number of exceptions for the management of the network, yet throttling of a particular service is simply the violation of the law. It was clear that the traffic on Netflix was not being treated equally which means that it was tangible being treated differently from the other traffic.