Verizon video tests show us what the end of net neutrality might look like

US cellular network Verizon has given customers a taste of what they could expect if net neutrality laws are eroded.

The nation’s largest network has admitted to throttling Netflix, YouTube and other video portal speeds at a maximum of 10Mbps.

This apparent violation of net neutrality rules, first noticed by Reddit users on Thursday, has been explained by the network as a temporary test geared towards optimising video performance.

In a statement (via The Verge), the carrier says: “We’ve been doing network testing over the past few days to optimise the performance of video applications on our network. The testing should be completed shortly. The customer video experience was not affected.”

The company also asserted that most users shouldn’t have been affected by the tests because those speeds are just fine for handling 1080p video.

That wasn’t the case for everyone though. One Reddit poster explained that Netflix was “throttled at a constant 9.59Mbps.” At the 1440p streaming resolution “it wasn’t even able to keep up and buffered a few times,” the poster asserted.

Although we have to take Verizon at its word right now and assume this was a temporary test, it may be a sign of things to come should efforts to revoke net neutrality laws in the United States succeed.

Earlier this month a raft of the world’s biggest online companies held a ‘day of action’ against the plans, which go against the founding principles of the world wide web.

Should the Federal Communications Commission succeed in its goal, web companies could face paying more to provide customers with ‘fast lane’ access to content.