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FCC Wants to Know Who Is to Blame for Slow Internet Streaming

Netflix(NEW YORK) -- Fans who are frustrated over slow streaming of Orange is the New Black, House of Cards or other Netflix hits may finally learn who is to blame.

The Federal Communications Commission announced it is investigating service problems for customers of Internet service providers (ISPs), such as Comcast and Verizon, and content providers like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon.

This month, Netflix battled publicly with Verizon, with each party blaming the other for slower video streaming. When some Netflix customers were faced with video service problems, Netflix showed a statement that read, "The Verizon network is crowded right now. Adjusting video for smoother playback..."

In response, Verizon sent Netflix a "cease and desist" letter, blaming the content company for the service issues. On Monday, Netflix stopped posting the notice that mentioned Verizon.

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said that his staff is collecting information from ISPs and content providers to understand "precisely what is happening in order to understand whether consumers are being harmed."

Wheeler said he has received agreements between Comcast and Netflix and Verizon and Netflix, and he is asking for others.

“To be clear, what we are doing right now is collecting information, not regulating," Wheeler said in a statement on Friday. "We are looking under the hood. Consumers want transparency. They want answers. And so do I."

Earlier this week, Netflix fired back at Verizon, which it has been paying since April for a direct connection to its customers to improve video delivery. Netflix also entered into an arrangement with Comcast in February.

"Some broadband providers argue that our actions, and not theirs, are causing a degraded Netflix experience," Netflix spokesman Joris Evers wrote in a company blog post on Monday. "Netflix does not purposely select congested routes. We pay some of the world’s largest transit networks to deliver Netflix video right to the front door of an ISP. Where the problem occurs is at that door -- the interconnection point -- when the broadband provider hasn’t provided enough capacity to accommodate the traffic their customer requested."

Netflix, Verizon, and Comcast did not respond to a request for comment.

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