Netflix recently confirmed that it is throttling the data of some mobile users so they do not reach their data caps while binging on movies and TV shows. However, some customers are not happy with this; therefore, the video streaming giant has decided to give customers control over their data.
Netflix giving users more control
Netflix recently admitted that for its customers on Verizon and AT&T, it has been throttling video streams, but at the same time, it also insisted that it has not been doing it nefariously. The company clarified that its sole intention was to prevent customers from blowing their data allowance on movies and TV shows too quickly.
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Now the streaming giant has decided that instead of taking control of data on users’ behalf, it will let them choose how they would prefer to stream content. The company is expected to release an update in May that will allow users to choose the quality of video they receive while using a cellular connection.
In a blog post, Anne Marie Squeo of Netflix explained: “The data saver feature will provide members with more control over their data usage when streaming on mobile networks, allowing them to either stream more video under a smaller data plan, or increase their video quality if they have a higher data plan.”
Why data throttling?
Explaining why Netflix has been throttling video for some users, Squeo said that the company believes restrictive data caps create a dilemma for customers who increasingly rely on their mobile devices for entertainment, work and more, and for this reason, they are bad for consumers and the Internet in general.
Netflix intends to protect its members from excess charges when they exceed mobile data caps, so the “default bitrate” for viewing over mobile networks has been capped at 600 kilobits per second, globally. The executive said the company aims to strike a balance which ensures a good streaming experience for customers while avoiding unplanned fines from mobile providers.
Such an approach has not been an issue for its users, says Netflix, because exceeding their data cap is a concern for them. However, the company does realize that some of its users have larger caps and don’t want their video throttled.