Spinning Wheels Making Your Head Spin? Here’s Why Netflix Is Slow

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If you are one of the million of Americans who have recently had trouble getting your Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) to load, rest assured you’re not alone. Many Netflix subscribers have issued complaints about the impossible loading times and poor quality of their favorite TV shows and movies, and the disruption can all be attributed to an ongoing feud currently taking place between Netflix and Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ). According to the Wall St Journal, Verizon and Netflix have long disagreed over which party should be responsible for the extra fees that result from increased user traffic, but now the conflict is really heating up, and Netflix users are the ones paying the price. The Scotts Valley, California-based company acknowledges that its average prime-time speeds dropped by 14 percent last month.

The Journal explains that Netflix is currently navigating ongoing drama with Verizon and other broadband carriers over how much Netflix streaming content they are willing to carry without being paid additional fees. The problem is that more and more consumers are now subscribing to Netflix, and as a result, the infrastructure that is behind the scenes of the Internet is getting strained, requiring that upgrades get made. But no one wants to pay. Verizon says that Netflix should be the one to do it, considering its business is the reason the upgrades are needed in the first place, but the video subscription service contends its Verizon’s responsibility because part of its deal is that the carrier supports its traffic.

Which party has the better argument? That much is still up for debate, but until the issue gets solved, most of Netflix’s traffic will flow across Internet intermediaries like low-cost carrier Cogent Communications (NASDAQ:CCOI), the Journal says. It’s not a good solution for anyone, considering users are still facing slow loading speeds, Netflix is risking a loss of subscribers, and Verizon is in the danger zone with one of its most lucrative clients, but Verizon continues to maintain that cable and telephone companies should stop delaying upgrading existing connections, while executives at those providers think Netflix’s traffic jam highlights a need for it to distribute its traffic more evenly.

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