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Asa Mathat

Media


A federal court may have given the pipe guys clearance to start slowing down Web services like Netflix.

But so far, that’s not happening, Netflix says.

That update comes to us via a note from J.P. Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth, who says he has been talking to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells, and they told him they don’t think cable and telco companies are hampering the company’s video streams.

Anmuth doesn’t have much to report on the topic, so here are his comments in their entirety: “Netflix does not seem overly concerned regarding Net Neutrality, and continues to believe that violations would be escalated quickly. Netflix also indicated that it has no evidence or belief that its service is being throttled.”

Hastings’s and Wells’s position on the potential loss of net neutrality, and the possibility that broadband providers could make it more difficult or expensive for their streams to reach Netflix subscribers, echoes the comments they made last month: They don’t think it’s going to happen. And if it does, they expect there will be a big ruckus.

But the non-update about the status of their streams is important because we are already seeing speculation that broadband providers are starting to choke off Netflix.

Last week a blog post accusing Verizon of slowing down Netflix got lots of pickup, even though the evidence it provides is much less than conclusive, and Verizon said the claim was untrue.

New data from Netflix itself, which shows that its customers are seeing slower speeds from providers including Verizon and Comcast, may add fuel to the fire.

What is true is that the carriers have said they would like to treat different kinds of Web traffic in different ways. And in the past, Netflix has complained loudly about net neutrality issues.

So it’s reasonable to think this could be a problem for them or their customers at some point. It’s just that the company says that point is not now.



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