Netflix has found itself hitting the headlines quite a bit lately and probably not for reasons expected. The streaming service was brought into the spotlight a few days ago when outspoken T-Mobile CEO, John Legere, announced that the video resolution of Netflix is reduced on AT&T and Verizon’s networks. This almost immediately was followed by both carriers releasing statements that they do not reduce resolutions at all.
While the assumption would be that either AT&T and Verizon or Legere were not telling the truth, it has since come to light that all parties were correct in their statements. Netflix confirmed that their content streamed over AT&T and Verizon networks does have its resolution reduced. However, in AT&T and Verizon’s defense, it is not them doing the slowing down but instead, Netflix. A practice that the streaming service notes is something they do worldwide with various carriers and as a means to “protect consumers from exceeding mobile data caps“. In the U.S. this unfortunately meant through the likes of AT&T and Verizon, but incidentally, not the likes of T-Mobile and Sprint, due to their “more consumer-friendly policies“.
Either way, Netflix has also came out defending this issue and noting that they are planning on giving customers an ability to control the amount of data the streaming service consumes. Those who are happy to steam at a higher resolution (and therefore higher data cost) will be able to do so, while those who are more interested in saving data where possible and at the expense of resolution will be able to. This level of control will become available through the company’s new Data Saver feature. To some, this won’t be exactly new news as it has already been reported that a beta version of Netflix which is currently doing the rounds, comes with a beta version of the Data Saver feature included. So the latest announcement is more bringing the information of Data Saver to the attention of the general public before the feature hits the mainstream version of Netflix and look to offer some closure on the current AT&T/Verizon/T-Mobile issue. For those keen to get the new feature without going through the beta app, Netflix has confirmed the feature should be ready to roll out in May, although firm dates on when in May were not provided.