Netflix recently accepted that it sends a video of lower quality to AT&T and Verizon mobile subscribers. This was brought to light by a recent T-mobile campaign where a video was posted on Twitter which mentioned that AT&T and Verizon customers were getting lower quality Netflix videos than the T-Mobile customers.
Netflix advocated its actions by explaining that mobile users have a data cap which means that they may end up experiencing extremely slow speeds once they reach a certain limit according to their plan. Netflix is based on videos which can be very data-intensive. This is why the company chose to throttle the video quality so that the users do not max out on their data quickly.
This has raised questions regarding Netflix’s stiff stand on net neutrality.
For those who have been following the discussions related to net neutrality closely, you would have noticed that Netflix has been very outspoken regarding net neutrality concerns and has staunchly supported the federal rules which restrict internet providers from charging websites so that they have the ability to access users at an accelerated rate.
Many people are annoyed about Netflix keeping this a secret instead of adding transparency to it by letting the consumers know. If Netflix intended to do it subscribers good then it could have kept them informed about the reduced video quality.
So there is hardly much reason for us to relate Netflix’s support for net neutrality with its decision to reduce the quality of the videos for certain subscribers. Many internet providers throttle the speeds to their users so that they do not end up maxing out on their data. The company is not violating the principles of net neutrality at all.
Amidst all this uproar, Netflix has decided to make the entire thing more user-oriented by allowing the users to choose whether they would like to stream more video in a smaller data plan or not. While this feature is not available now, Netflix plans to release it later this year.