Netflix wants to know if you need your diaper changed.
If you use AT&T or Verizon, then Netflix has been throttling your VOD feeds to “protect” you, or at least that’s how the story goes according to the Wall Street Journal.
How long has this been going on? Well, only about five years, give or take. But before you get all up in arms, Netflix’s heart was in the right place.
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Netflix plays babysitter
As Netflix explains, they want to help consumers stay within their monthly data cap, and companies like AT&T and Verizon have strict limits on how many MBs you can use each month. Sure, you can go over that limit, and both carriers will happily charge you a premium for the overages.
This might not sound like a big deal, but I used to have AT&T wireless and home internet, and the cost for overages are fairly steep.
In my calls to customer service, AT&T claimed the policy only affected a small percentile of customers, while the vast majority wouldn’t be effected by their data caps.
Why does Netflix care?
What Netflix is really doing is covering their own ass. If you get dinged by your carrier for binge-watching their content, it essentially makes their service cost more, which may cause you to use it less.
On the flip-side
Carriers like Sprint and T-Mobile offer unlimited calls, texts and data for one monthly fee, so Netflix imposed no throttling limits on those customers.
No, I’m not a lackey for Sprint, but I’ve had both Verizon and AT&T in the past, and fled both for Sprint because of what I felt were underhanded tactics to nickel and dime customers for virtually anything.
Verizon would charge for the air you breathe while using their phones if they could.
Get to the point, dude
In a rather long winded video filled with heavy handed self promotion and corporate branding, T-Mobile CEO John Legere accuses Netflix and his competitors of throttling, point blank.
— John Legere (@JohnLegere) March 17, 2016
What’s Next: Silent data caps and a limit to “unlimited”
Data will replace crude oil as the new global currency. As our lives shift more and more to an online existence, the value of data will skyrocket, and the keepers of that commodity will look for more and more ways to ding you for the use of their currency.
Sure, carriers like T-Mobile and Sprint offer “unlimited” data, but for how long?
If you read the fine print on Sprint’s unlimited plans, there actually is a data limit, it’s just much higher than AT&T’s or Verizon’s. T-Mobile also imposes a silent data cap too, so no one is truly innocent here.
The only reason Sprint and T-Mobile are offering “unlimited” plans is because they’re trailing so far behind the clear front runners, Verizon and AT&T.
If Sprint and T-Mobile gain a foothold against their competitors, they too, will change their policy and charge for data overages.
What’s your take?
What carrier do you use, and have you been imposed any fees for data overages? Did you notice Netflix throttling your VOD? Let us know in the comments below.
featured image (c) digitaltrends.com
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