Speed Reads

Streaming wars

New Netflix alert visibly blames ISPs for streaming issues


Netflix doesn't want to be blamed when your Orange Is the New Black binge session is interrupted by constant dropouts, so it has launched a new tool to alert users when internet service providers aren't allocating enough bandwidth for your streaming needs.

Last night, a Twitter user noticed a pop-up message on his browser blaming Verizon for the slow speeds. "The Verizon network is crowded right now," it blared. Netflix spokesman Jonathan Friedland said this type of message isn't putting all the blame on Verizon, which has a deal with the telco so it doesn't bottleneck its content, and clarified that these notifications are just part of a test. "We'll see whether [Netflix customers] think it is valuable or not," he said.

A Verizon rep shot back: "This is a PR stunt. We're investigating this claim but it seems misleading and could confuse people."