Lifestyle

What the hell is Netflix ‘throttling’?

People are pissed. Piper’s face says it all.

By Erin Van Der Meer
What the hell is Netflix 'throttling'?

Today’s buzzword starts with the letter ‘T’: throttling. Netflix throttling, to be precise.

Some US users of the streaming service have 1) learnt what 'throttling' is and 2) become understandably pissed about it, as the Wall Street Journal reported.

No, Netflix throttling is not what happens when your bestie tells you the ending of the latest episode of Orange Is The New Black when you haven’t seen it yet, and you’re so mad you could put your hands around her neck.

It’s the term for when Netflix restricts the bandwidth available to certain mobile customers, meaning the videos stream at a lower resolution than for others.

This week Netflix confirmed it has been throttling the customers of American service providers AT&T and Verizon for more than five years. Basically, it’s worried those customers will quickly reach their data limit after binge-watching House Of Cards, get bank account-crippling phone bill, and quit the service.

Netflix said it doesn’t throttle customers of other US internet providers, like T-Mobile or Sprint, because they have “more consumer-friendly policies”.

In a statement posted on the Netflix website, the company said throttling "hasn't been an issue for our members".

"Our research and testing indicates that many members worry about exceeding their mobile data cap, and don’t need the same resolution on their mobile phone as on a large screen TV to enjoy shows and movies."

The company also announced it's introducing a new data saving feature in the coming months that will give mobile users more control over data usage.

So if Netflix is making your stream a little grainy, it’s only doing it for you, guys. But the news has many asking why this information has only been revealed just now.

There’s no word on whether Netflix has been throttling Aussie customers. Watch this space – when you’re not watching OITNB.