Netflix is one of the biggest online services at the moment, generating more traffic than the entire global Internet, according to some sources. It’s also one of the most adored companies of our time, with “Netflix and Chill” even becoming a huge Internet trend among teenagers. The popular service has also become extremely popular after its global expansion at the start of this year, which saw Netflix opening for the first time to all countries of the globe, excepting communist countries such as China, North Korea, and smaller countries, such as Qatar.
However, it seems that pressure from business investors and just plainly bad decisions are starting to destroy this great relationship between Netflix and its consumers. Lately, Netflix has been taking some actions which, although understandable from a business and legal viewpoint, have angered many users, to the point of even abandoning the service.
Lately, reports that Netflix has been throttling Internet connection to mobile data users have emerged on the Internet. The reports attracted so much attention that Netflix has even come out and admitted throttling.
The initial reports, published by The Wall Street Journal, state that Netflix has been reducing the Internet speed for consumers on wireless data plans around the world for the past five years. The company has stated that they have been doing this for most carriers in order to protect them from themselves, or at least that’s what they thought.
Apparently, the reason for the throttling was to protect users from exceeding their data caps. However, it seems that they haven’t taken into account the fact that more and more users nowadays are opting for unlimited plans, so they are getting worse quality for no reason. Among carriers affected are AT&T and Verizon. “We’re outraged to learn that Netflix is apparently throttling video for their AT&T customers without their knowledge or consent,” Jim Cicconi, head of legislative affairs for AT&T stated.
At the same time, Netflix stated that T-Mobile and Sprint customers are exempt from the policy because “historically those two companies have had more consumer-friendly policies”.
Honestly, Netflix may have had genuinely good intentions, but it all seems like the service’s higher-ups have an agenda to carry out against certain carriers. Since this incident, though, Netflix has given mobile users the option to get higher speeds and better quality, but at their own risk.
Since releasing worldwide at the start of this year, Netflix has been severely enforcing bans on VPN services, flat out denying to stream content if a proxy is detected. This move has stirred up quite a lot of discussion among customers, especially those from smaller countries in which the service is still fairly new. The issue here is that even though users in most countries pay the same price for Netflix as users in the United States, their countries’ catalogs only have ~10% of the content the US catalog offers.
This is why many people relied on VPNs and proxies to watch their favorite shows on Netflix. However, with the aggressive crackdown on VPNs, Netflix has lost a small part of its user base, which can be seen in the comments of disgruntled VPN users. Still, it seems that Smartflix (a desktop VPN designed for Netflix) developers are still trying to fight against this crackdown and regain its users.
While this move has been criticized by many users, and has even pushed some back to piracy, it is easy to understand why Netflix has to do this: the company is probably under a lot of pressure from content providers.
Even with these misunderstandings, it seems that Netflix is still holding on to its friendliness towards its users, and to its popular status. Honestly, given that it is the biggest TV and movie streaming provider on the Internet, it’s not hard to see why.