Your Replies! Should Netflix Throttle DC to Protest Anti-Net Neutrality Policy?

Last week we asked if a company could (or should) engage in civil disobedience to protest political policy that would harm their business. I got some great replies to this question, and here are some of my favorite comments.
Original Netflix vs Washington DC video

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Should Netflix Fight Congress by Throttling in Washington DC?

Tech and politics will be common discussion points over the next several years. One idea which keeps circling net neutrality is the idea of tech companies like Netflix, Google, and Amazon purposely degrading their services in areas like Washington DC, to protest an moves made against net neutrality. Continue reading “Should Netflix Fight Congress by Throttling in Washington DC?”

T-Mobile Offering One Year of Netflix with Samsung Galaxy S6 Pre-Order

t-mobile free netflix samsung galaxy s6 somegadgetguyAnnounced yesterday via his Twitter account, rambunctious T-Mobile CEO John Legere took the wraps off of a pretty sweet “value add on”, getting a one year subscription to Netflix when you pre-order a Galaxy S6 on Lil’ Magenta.

There’s quite a bit of fine print to this offer though. While it’s good from March 27 through April 12th, it seems that there might be a limited number of subscriptions to be had, as the offer details stipulate 92,000 available. If you were already planning on a GS6, does this motivate you to put your cash down on a pre-order?

(via T-Mobile)

Verizon FiOS Customer Posts Video Showing Netflix Throttling

verizon throttling netflixColin Nederkoorn pays for a 75Mbps Verizon FiOS connection. That should be screamingly fast for streaming HD video, yet he often finds his video buffering and the quality regularly scales back to a mess of 8-Bit impressionism.

Connecting to Netflix directly, even a 320 x 240 resolution video at a meager bitrate of 235Kbps  will often stutter. It’s an insanely frustrating situation to pay for that level of service and not be able to watch even the bare minimum quality video without interruption.

The funny thing is, when Colin connects to Netflix through a VPN, his video SCREAMS, chewing through 720p streams at 3Mbps without issue.

To over-simplify, the VPN masks the final destination for Colin’s web traffic, which means Verizon can’t see that he’s pulling info from Netflix. Suddenly that “Network Congestion” evaporates.

This is of course one person’s experience, so we shouldn’t extrapolate this as a company-wide business practice without more evidence, but it certainly doesn’t paint Verizon in a positive light, especially after their recent feuds with Netflix over who is to blame for streaming interruptions.

Netflix to End “Network Congestion” Warnings Following Verizon Cease and Desist

netflix-logoNo company has been working harder to illustrate streaming performance on different ISP’s networks than Netflix, and they’ve collected years worth of data on which companies are actually living up to their “high speed” claims.

This month’s speed report from the video service is chock full of all kinds of inside baseball info on what the relationship is like between companies like Netflix and ISP’s like Verizon. Following a controversial deal in which Netflix agreed to pay Verizon for more stable streaming service, we’ve actually seen speeds on Verizon’s networks dip, with their FiOS service now slotting in behind two DSL carriers. What exactly is Netflix getting here for their “Fastlane” money?

netflix congestion warning

Starting out as a test platform, Netflix started broadcasting “congestion” warnings, alerting customers that Verizon’s network was having difficulty streaming high quality video. This prompted a cease and desist from Verizon, and Netflix countered with this letter.

To ensure that these customers get the level of service they pay you for, it is your responsibility to make sure your network, including your interconnection points, have sufficient capacity to accommodate the data requests made by those customers. To try to shift the blame to us for performance issues arising from interconnection congestion is like blaming drivers on a bridge for traffic jams when you’re the one who decided to leave three lanes closed during rush hour.

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Post-Play Netflix Streaming Comes to Android – Chromecast to Follow

netflix post play android updateOh happy day for folks who like to binge watch their shows on Netflix.

Announced on the Netflix blog, Android devices will receive an update allowing phones and tablets to Post-Play, which is a fancy way of saying that when you finish one episode, the next episode of your show will automatically start playing.

Best of all, we also have word that this functionality will be coming to Chromecast “in a couple months”. Now that most Android phones now have the ability to act like a universal remote, I might never need to leave my couch ever again.

Read the full PR below.

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‘Breaking Bad’ Coming to Netflix in 4K!

breaking bad 4k netflixNetflix debuted their Ultra-HD service this year with the second season of House of Cards, allowing viewers to watch the series with an image resolution four times that of 1080p.

Now Netflix has announced via their blog that the next series to make the transition to 4K will be Breaking Bad, giving me yet another reason to re-watch the whole series… Again…

Netflix recommends at least a 20Mbps data connection to stream 4K video, as the stream stream clocks in at around 16Mbps. Puts that “50 megs innernet” offered up here in LA into perspective. The future is coming, and our current infrastructure probably wont handle it well.

If you’re groovy enough to own a 4K TV, be on the look out for Breaking Bad in Ultra-HD starting in June.

Netflix Hikes Price for New Subscribers, Current Users Stay at $7.99 for 2 Years

netflix price increaseWe’ve already heard rumblings of the Netflix price increase. New customers will see a $1 rate increase to $8.99 for unlimited streaming.

Confirmed via an email which was sent out today, current customers will have their $7.99 rate locked in for the next two years. It’s a nice gesture, and one which is appreciated considering the extra expenses Netflix might face fighting for Net Neutrality and negotiating bandwidth with carriers and ISPs.

To continue adding more movies and TV shows and delivering a great streaming experience, we previously announced that we planned to increase our price slightly for new members. That increase is happening today. We are increasing the price of our service by US$1 a month for new members. Existing Netflix members get to keep their current (US$7.99) price for two years, enjoying HD-quality movies and TV shows on any two screens at the same time.

Not bad at all as we’re also going to see a lot of new original content going into production soon as well.

More info on the Netflix Blog