Netflix responded on Tuesday to Verizon’s cease-and-desist letter asking them to drop an error message from its site blaming them for slow speeds, with an interesting metaphor about traffic jams during rush-hour.
“To try to shift blame to us for performance issues arising from interconnection congestion is like blaming drivers on a bridge for traffic jams when you’re the one who decided to leave three lanes closed during rush hour,” writes David Hyman, General Counsel for Netflix, to his Verizon counterpart Randal Milch, in a letter dated June 9.
In the letter obtained by Zach Seward at Quartz, Hyman explains what Netflix means by the message — writing that the company has determined the different speeds Verizon serves at peak and non-peak times — and lays the blame solely on Verizon’s doorstep:
“In fact, it is my understanding that Verizon actually upsells customers to higher speed packages based on improved access to video services, including Netflix,” Hyman writes. “Verizon’s unwillingness to augment its access ports to major Internet backbone providers is squarely Verizon’s fault.”
As BI’s Steve Kovach noted last week, we’re in a bit of a he said/she said situation here, with no clear choice as to who is right.
Netflix has taken the error messages down for now, although they said it’s not because of the cease-and-desist.
Here’s the full letter: