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Net Neutrality battle begins as Verizon appears to throttle Netflix

The first salvo might have been fired
Thu Feb 06 2014, 11:55

UNITED STATES TELECOMS CARRIER Verizon appears to have lost no time in taking advantage of a recent appellate court ruling to throttle Netflix traffic.

After a surprise decision in which a US federal appeals court ruled that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) did not have the authority to prohibit traffic shaping by internet providers, it was widely speculated that Netflix was one of Verizon's targets, causing Netflix to bite back in its quarterly earnings report.

However, according to blogger David Raphael, internet throttling has already begun. After experiencing problems with his Netflix service, he conducted performance experiments on different internet providers and found Verizon's service lacking.

In a live support chat with a Verizon representative, Raphael asked if there was any throttling of websites hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS), which include Netflix, and was told, "Yes, it is limited bandwidth to cloud providers."

Raphael said, "In my personal opinion, this is Verizon waging war against Netflix. Unfortunately, a lot of infrastructure is hosted on AWS. That means a lot of services are going to be impacted by this."

The news has prompted Speedchecker Ltd to mount a net neutrality test in an attempt to crowdsource evidence of this first break in net neutrality. Whatever the results, they might be short lived.

A bipartisan bill to prevent any changes to FCC net neutrality rules pending remedial action by the FCC has been introduced in the US House of Representatives to give net neutrality a sporting chance of surviving commercial pressure. µ


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