Last week, AT&T and Verizon denied T-Mobile CEO John Legere’s claim that they were throttling their customers’ Netflix streams to 360p quality, but it turns out that those streams are being throttled. It’s just that it’s not AT&T and Verizon that are doing the throttling.
Netflix has admitted that for more than five years, it’s been throttling the streams for most wireless carriers around the world, including AT&T and Verizon. The streams are being capped at around 600Kbps, and Netflix says that it’s throttling its streams in order to “protect consumers from exceeding mobile data caps.”
The only two carriers that Netflix hasn’t capped streams on are Sprint and T-Mobile. Netflix says that this is because “historically those two companies have had more consumer-friendly policies.”
Both AT&T and Verizon have responded to Netflix’s admission, with AT&T saying that it’s “outraged to learn that Netflix is apparently throttling video for their AT&T customers without their knowledge or consent.” Verizon was a bit less animated in its response, saying that it just delivers to its customers whatever video it gets from the provider. “Verizon delivers video content at the resolution provided by the host service, whether that’s Netflix or any other provider.”
As for what happens next, Netflix is working on “new ways to give members more control in choosing video quality.” The video streaming service says that it’s got a new “mobile data saver” tool coming in May that’ll let consumers stream video while preserving bandwidth.
The news that Netflix has been capping streams at 600Kbps is sure to bother some folks that feel like they should be able to use their mobile data however they’d like. Netflix’s upcoming tool will let you increase your video stream quality if you’d like, though, so AT&T and Verizon customers that are miffed have that to look forward to.