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Netflix slams data caps as ‘bad for the internet’

Earlier this week, Netflix admitted to throttling streams on certain US mobile networks to prevent customers from going over their data caps.

Now the streaming giant has slammed data restrictions in a public statement that was released online yesterday.

“We believe restrictive data caps are bad for consumers and the internet in general, creating a dilemma for those who increasingly rely on their mobile devices for entertainment, work and more,” writes Anna Marie Squeo, Director of Corporate Communications at Netflix.

To help protect consumers from charges, Netflix confirmed it would be adding a new ‘data saver feature’ in May.

netflixingNetflix has around 75 million subscribers worldwide

Netflix revealed its plans
to help users control mobile data to TrustedReviews earlier this year during a briefing at Mobile World Congress.

We saw a preliminary version of the new settings, which allowed the user to decide whether or not to allow HD streaming. There was also a new data-saving mode for lower bitrate videos, so you use less bandwidth.

At the time, we were told that both iOS and Android versions of the Netflix app would receive the update.

Related: Netflix vs Amazon Video

In yesterday’s statement, Netflix also defended its decision to throttle bitrates for AT&T and Verizon customers.

“In an effort to protect our members from overage charges when they exceed mobile data caps, our default bitrate for viewing over mobile networks has been capped globally at 600 kilobits per second,” explains Squeo.

“It’s about striking a balance that ensures a good streaming experience while avoiding unplanned fines from mobile providers,” the Netflix comms lead continues.

Squeo says the move “hasn’t been an issue” for users, and that Netflix research indicates that “many members worry about exceeding their mobile data cap”.


Do you think mobile networks should finally do away with data caps? Let us know in the comments.

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