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Is Your Netflix Slow? This May Be Why

Verizon and Comcast customers aren’t hallucinating — Netflix really has gotten slower for them.

The streaming video service released its monthly ranking of Internet service providers from fastest to slowest in terms of average performance of Netflix streams. Comcast again ranked among the slowest on the list, while Verizon FIOS dropped one spot, to seventh of 17, according to a Netflix analysis of data culled from its millions of subscribers.

The news hardly comes as a surprise to many customers of Comcast and Verizon, who’ve gone to message boards and blogs to voice their complaints about Netflix speed in recent months. Some question whether slower Netflix performance is related to last month’s federal court ruling that struck down the government’s ban on Internet traffic throttling.

One person, a satisfied Verizon customer for a few years, wrote in January that Netflix had become “pretty much unusable” over the previous month. “During a movie or show, it will stop for buffering every minute or two and hang for about 30 seconds, then resume, then repeat.”

A frustrated Comcast customer in Spokane, Wash., wrote on a thread in November about issues with Netflix “over the last couple of weeks.”

“Daytime is fine but the evenings suck bad,” the person wrote, adding that Comcast has “replaced 2 modems and changed all my connections.”

“This has not been a problem for the last 5 years in this house, just the last 2 weeks.”

As Ars Technica’s Jon Brodkin noted, Netflix speeds on both Verizon FiOS and Comcast, which have 6.1 million and 20.7 million respective subscribers, have been slowing for the past few months.

Netflix speed on Verizon’s network has become a controversial topic after a blog post accused Verizon of “throttling,” or slowing down, content hosted by Amazon’s cloud computing service, including Netflix.

The charge gained significance because it comes after last month’s federal appeals court ruling that struck down Federal Communication Commission rules known as net neutrality. Now, theoretically, an ISP like Verizon or Comcast could charge a company like YouTube, Netflix or Facebook to deliver content faster to subscribers.

Verizon denied the report and said in a statement to HuffPost that it “treat[s] all traffic equally, and that has not changed.”

Netflix, for its part, reportedly said Verizon is not slowing its traffic, and the streaming video company isn’t concerned with the possibility that ISPs may throttle its service, according to an article on Re/Code.

Still, when it comes to streaming Netflix, the average performance of Comcast and Verizon’s FiOS networks has been declining.

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