Friday, March 25, 2016

Press Statement Regarding Netflix's Throttling of Its Videos

Here is my statement of the press regarding the discovery that Netflix has been throttling its videos accessed by subscribers of AT&T's and Verizon's wireless services: 

“There are many different reasons to be concerned about the discovery that Netflix has been engaged over a period of years in throttling the speed of its videos accessed by Verizon and AT&T wireless subscribers. First is just Netflix’s complete lack of transparency about the practice, especially in light of its strident advocacy against treating Internet communications differentially. Netflix’s hypocrisy in this regard is pretty stunning, if perhaps not surprising.

Second is the light Netflix’s actions shed on the FCC’s faulty approach to ‘Open Internet’ regulation. The FCC only concerns itself with practices of the ISPs, not the so-called edge providers, and this leads to a double standard. I’m not in favor of most of the FCC’s newly-adopted Internet regulation (except reasonable disclosure requirements), and I don’t really want to see Netflix’s practices regulated by the FCC either. But by acting in the way it does, the FCC lends itself to becoming part and parcel of Netflix’s hypocrisy.

Third, you can bet you will see this double-standard — and the hypocrisy — recur, sooner or later, in the realm of privacy regulation, where the FCC wants to adopt a regime that will facilitate differential privacy regulation for Internet market participants.”