When he announced T-Mobile’s latest Binge On expansion last week, John Legere also took a shot at AT&T and Verizon, saying that their customers’ Netflix streams are capped at 360p, lower than Binge On’s 480p quality. AT&T and Verizon denied Legere’s claim, but it’s turned out to be true.
Netflix has confirmed that it’s throttling the streams of most wireless carriers around the world, including AT&T and Verizon. Those streams are capped at 600Kbps, which is lower than the 1.5Mbps streams that Binge On has previously been shown to deliver. Netflix explains that it’s been throttling users’ data in order to “protect consumers from exceeding mobile data caps.”
While Netflix has been throttling most wireless customers’ speeds, there are two carriers who it hasn’t been capping: Sprint and T-Mobile. “Historically those two companies have had more consumer-friendly policies,” Netflix explained.
AT&T and Verizon both responded to Netflix’s admission, with Verizon saying that it “delivers content at the resolution provided by the host service, whether that’s Netflix or any other provider.” AT&T was a bit more animated in its response, saying that it’s “outraged to learn that Netflix is apparently throttling video for their AT&T customers without their knowledge or consent.”
We’ll probably never know for sure if AT&T or Verizon actually knew about Netflix’s throttling, and it remains to be see if either carrier will try to get the Netflix throttling placed on their customers lifted. Netflix does say that it’s working on “new ways to give members more control in choosing their video quality” and that it’s prepping a “mobile data saver” that’ll let customers stream Netflix while preserving bandwidth. In the mean time, John Legere is relishing in today’s news.