Netflix has taken their data throttling gripes up with the FCC.
In a statement to the Federal Communications Commission, the movie/TV streaming service blamed Comcast’s slow speeds for their recent loss of customers.
The company also declared that it was this loss of customers that led them to pay a toll for faster load times.
In a recent report from CNN, it was stated that Netflix speeds were so slow in December 2013 and January 2014 that customers grew angry, resulting in four times the amount of irate callers during those months.
According to a petition submitted to the FCC by the company, “For many subscribers, the bit rate was so poor that Netflix’s streaming video service became unusable… Some of them canceled their Netflix subscription on the spot, citing the unacceptable quality of Netflix’s video streams and Netflix’s inability to do anything to change the situation.”
The company added that it “had to do something” to stop the bleeding, and that “something” was paying additional monies.
Ever since net neutrality was thrown out by a federal court earlier this year, the debate has raged on as to whether internet data should be treated as a utility or as a premium service similar to cable.
Opponents of the decision to throw out net neutrality state that the internet has become so ingrained in our culture that it’s no longer a frivolity. Most businesses require it in order to function in the 21st Century, and because of that, people cannot make a living without a fair and open internet.
Furthermore, if there are “internet fast lanes” as the FCC has proposed, major companies will be able to stifle innovation and beat out new businesses that are more cash-strapped before they ever have a chance to get off the ground.
Supporters of the decision to abolish net neutrality believe that consumers and the free market will sort things out in a fair manner, and that getting the government involved in regulation of the Internet would be worse than the alternative.
Supporters also think that companies like Netflix should have to pay more because they use more data. However, this argument fails to address the fact that data companies like Comcast are charging their customers for certain data speeds and then not delivering those speeds based on a beef they have with Netflix and other usage-heavy companies.
What do you think, readers? Is Netflix justified in blaming Comcast for their loss of customers?