Netflix now reports around 100 million monthly users, which is quite a larger number to show that people really like Netflix. The streaming platform is arguably the best one out there with the most content available, the most original shows, and the best apps.
In a lot of ways it’s started to replace TV completely for millennials, and now it’s starting to cause telecom providers like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast to lose money on their own streaming platforms as well as expensive contracts that include TV subscriptions. Why pay for cable TV if you will never even catch up on all of your favorite Netflix shows?
Now, perhaps unsurprisingly, Verizon users on the Verizon subreddit are started to report cases of data capping when watching YouTube and Netflix. A new reported speed cap of 10 Mbps seems to be the limit for 1080p video, but anything past 1080p like 1440p or 4k video is no longer streamable. This means that Verizon is intentionally throttling apps like Netflix and Youtube.
To clear away any suspicion that Netflix was responsible, a Netflix spokesperson spoke out by saying “we are definitely not capping data on our end and don’t cap data for any mobile networks.”
Then, just today a Verizon representative released a statement to Arstechica admitting to capping traffic and blaming the issue on a “temporary video optimization test”:
“We’ve been doing network testing over the past few days to optimize the performance of video applications on our network,” a Verizon Wireless spokesperson said. “The testing should be completed shortly. The customer video experience was not affected.”
What is very unusual about this statement is that the tests resulted in the opposite of “optimization” for many Verizon customers. What users witnessed was a bandwidth cap with tests from Netflix’s own speed test tool showing considerably lower transfer rates than non-Netflix streaming services. Additionally, many users reported transfer caps on YouTube although it is not clear how many services were affected.
Interestingly enough, Netflix has been reporting throttling for years, like back in 2016. Netflix really seems interested in keeping customers and thus keeping up speeds, so the incentive to throttle isn’t on their end.
As we mentioned, it seems like Verizon is doing this to try and edge out competitors and make their own streaming products and cable TV more appealing. However, just because you’re a Verizon customer, doesn’t mean that you need to give into their schemes and pricing models.
With a VPN like TorGuard, you can easily connect to our fast VPN servers to bypass throttling restrictions. Reddit users have confirmed using a VPN does remove throttling issues with Netflix and Youtube.
Without net neutrality laws protecting consumers, these internet providers can pretty much come up with any pricing models they want. They can charge us to use more data, or even charge us if we aren’t using much at all for some baseline price. Instead of paying more to your greedy internet provider, why don’t you take your internet into your own hands and encrypt it and make it faster with a VPN?