Verizon Working With Netflix to Improve Streaming Quality

Jul 10, 2014 4:10 pm ET

(Updates with closing stock prices.)

July 10 (Bloomberg) -- Verizon Communications Inc. said it’s “aggressively” working with Netflix Inc. to establish new, direct network connections to improve the quality of video streaming for customers.

Verizon has reviewed its data traffic and confirmed that it’s not experiencing network congestion that would slow Netflix’s video streams, the phone carrier said today in a blog post. There are traffic jams in the interconnection points between Verizon’s network and the providers Netflix uses to deliver video, Verizon said.

Netflix has been in a war of words with some Internet service providers, including Verizon and Comcast Corp., about who to blame when consumers have trouble watching “Orange Is the New Black” and other shows. Last month, some Netflix subscribers began seeing a message when their picture cut out that read, “The Verizon network is crowded right now.”

“Even though there is no congestion on our network, we’re not satisfied if our customers are not,” New York-based Verizon said today. “We are working aggressively with Netflix to establish new, direct connections from Netflix to Verizon’s network.”

Netflix, based in Los Gatos, California, said in a statement congestion at interconnection points is controlled by Internet service providers like Verizon, and reiterated its call for “strong net neutrality” rules to govern such links.

“When Verizon fails to upgrade those interconnections, consumers get a lousy experience despite paying for more than enough bandwidth to enjoy high-quality Netflix video,” Anne Marie Squeo, a spokeswoman, said in the statement.

Netflix fell 1 percent to $438.55 at the close in New York and has gained 19 percent this year. Verizon added 1.5 percent to $49.64 and is up 1 percent in 2014.