Feb. 19 - A standoff between Netflix and broadband providers like Verizon is reportedly behind a slowdown in streaming time for Netflix's video service. Fred Katayama reports.
If your Netflix video is taking much longer to load, you can blame Verizon, among others. The Wall Street Journal reports the problem is particularly acute on Verizon's fiber optic FiOS service. Netflix claims its average prime-time speed on Verizon dropped by 14 percent last month. The slowdown began last fall when Netflix launched its data-gulping super high-definition video service. The standoff is over payments. Netflix wants broadband providers to partner with its video distribution network, and it doesn't want to pay them for carrying its videos, according to the Journal. But Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and AT&T insist on compensation. At peak hours, Netflix accounts for about a third of all North American Internet traffic. The paper says the providers have had the upper hand in similar disputes. Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have begun paying them for connecting to their networks. Neither side was winning investors this morning. Shares of Netlix fell at the start of trade. So did those of the providers. One positive note for Netflix: It was the biggest gainer last year among Internet retailers in customer satisfaction in North America.