Level 3: Verizon is slowing Netflix to extract money from us

After nearly six weeks of back-and-forth, a confusing corporate blog dispute relating to Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) streaming performance over the Verizon (NYSE: VZ) network has finally, at least, assumed some level of clarity.

The battle isn't really between Netflix and Verizon, which established a business arrangement for interconnection in April, but Verizon and Netflix's interconnection partner, Level 3.

On Friday, July 11, Verizon VP of federal regulatory affairs David Young accused Netflix's transit providers of slowing down the SVOD service's streams, with a blog post featuring a graphic that showed Verizon's network in green and the interconnection points in red. 

On July 17, Level 3's Mark Taylor accused Verizon of hanging itself on its own petard. The ISP, he says, has in fact identified the source of what caused Netflix streaming performance to decline 17 percent from May to June by targeting the interconnection point to the Verizon network. Verizon is intentionally causing the sluggishness, Taylor says, by failing to make simple upgrades. The motive, he adds, is to extract fees from Level 3.

"We could fix this congestion in about five minutes simply by connecting up more 10Gbps ports on those routers," Taylor writes. "[It's something] we've been asking Verizon to do for many, many months, and something other providers regularly do in similar circumstances. But Verizon has refused ... Maybe they can't afford a new port card because they've run out--even though these cards are very cheap, just a few thousand dollars for each 10Gbps card which could support 5,000 streams or more. If that's the case, we'll buy one for them. Maybe they can't afford the small piece of cable between our two ports. If that's the case, we'll provide it. Heck, we'll even install it."

For more:
- read this Level 3 blog
- read this story from The Verge
- read this Verizon blog

Related links:
Let it go? Heck no--Verizon says congestion caused by Netflix transit providers
Netflix calls out Verizon again on streaming speed after ISP continues PR war
Respondring to Netflix PR stunts 101: Don't get into a fight you can't win