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FCC Weighs in on the Netflix-Verizon Dispute

by Jacob Kleinman | June 13, 2014June 13, 2014 4:00 pm PDT

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Netflix and Verizon are not on very good terms right now. After the video-streaming company started rolling out warning messages blaming Verizon’s “crowded” network the carrier shot back with accusations that Netflix is slowing down its own service on purpose. Since then both companies have continued to throw barbs at one another, but today the FCC is finally stepping in to (hopefully) resolve the dispute.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler issued a statement this morning, noting that he still hasn’t picked a side and promising to protect consumers above all else. The FCC hopes to “obtain the information” needed to figure out exactly what’s going on between Netflix and Verizon. “Consumers must get what they pay for,” Wheeler notes.

In statements to TechCrunch, Verizon and Netflix responded to the FCC’s comments today, offering a bit more insight into the dispute. Verizon argues that Internet traffic should be a strictly commercial affair, essentially suggesting that the government should get out of the way or risk mucking things up. Meanwhile, Netflix says it supports any efforts to “bring more transparency in this area.”

Hopefully the FCC can get to the bottom of this very public dispute. As we saw earlier this week in the latest Netflix speed index, Verizon’s streaming speed’s are starting to look pretty dire. If the two companies can’t come to an agreement we have a feeling things will only get worse.

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Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...