from the smooth-move-exlax dept
That wasn't the brightest move on Verizon's part, since Rayburn covers the streaming video sector for a living. Rayburn was quick to highlight that Ookla data shows that the average bitrate delivered to a Verizon customer last month was around 3.5 Mbps. Even in a household full of streaming video fanatics, there's really not much that 75 Mbps will provide that 50 Mbps won't. And while Rayburn warns that uninformed users can easily fall into Verizon's trap, it should only take the average consumer about five minutes of Google use to avoid this pitfall.
Netflix's website informs users the company's standard definition streaming service eats about 1 GB of data per hour per stream of standard def video, and Netflix recommends roughly 3 Mbps for standard def content. High definition video meanwhile consumes around 3 GB per hour, per stream, with Netflix recommending 5 Mbps for HD video. Even if you're part of the tiny number of people with a 4K set looking to stream Ultra HD, you'll only need a connection of around 25 Mbps, according to Netflix. Of course this requires the average consumer to know what a gigabyte is, which is no safe bet.
Rayburn proceeds to document that this wasn't just a one-off situation, but that Verizon lied about his need for 75 Mbps to obtain "smoother" Netflix streaming numerous times:
"While some might want to chalk this us to an isolated incident, or an over zealous sales rep, that’s not the case at all. I called in three times and spoke to three different reps, plus one online and got the same pitch. Clearly this sales tactic is being driven by those higher up in the company and isn’t something a sales rep made up on their own. And two years ago, Verizon tried to pitch me the exact same story, promising better quality Netflix streaming if I upgraded my Internet package."The biggest irony here, unmentioned by Rayburn, is that he's consistently been one of only a few analysts on Verizon's side during the company's recent interconnection scuffle with Netflix, blaming Netflix, not giant ISPs, for most of the congestion issues that magically started popping up over the last year or so as ISPs like Verizon started pushing Netflix for direct interconnection fees. In other words, Verizon not only tried to bullshit someone who spends their life discussing streaming issues, but it managed to annoy one of the company's few allies on the net neutrality and interconnection front. That's quite a double play.