Netflix Will Stop Posting Messages Blaming Verizon for Slow Speeds

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Netflix will stop posting messages that blame Verizon for slow video-streaming speeds, at least for now. But make no mistake: Netflix wants you to know it still does blame Verizon.

The company started sending error messages about Internet providers' network performance in early May, and it will end the "small scale test" on June 16, the company said in a blog post published Monday.

But the cease-fire could be temporary, as Netflix said it "will evaluate rolling it out more broadly."

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The move comes after Verizon sent Netflix a cease-and-desist letter last week, threatening legal action over messages that Netflix was sending to some Verizon customers for low-quality video streams.

"The Verizon network is crowded right now," the messages read. Others reported seeing similar messages on the AT&T network. Verizon termed the campaign a "PR stunt."

Netflix stressed on Monday that its move to halt of those messages doesn't mean it blames Internet providers any less: "Netflix does not purposely select congested routes. We pay some of the world’s largest transit networks to deliver Netflix video." The post was part of Netflix's monthly Internet service provider speed rankings, according to which Verizon placed last.

Netflix cut a deal with Verizon to ensure faster video delivery to customers in April, two months after signing an agreement with Comcast (which is the parent company of NBC Universal).

Netflix had even sharper words for Verizon in a separate letter it sent on Monday, in its formal response to Verizon's cease-and-desist letter about the messages.

"Verizon’s unwillingness to augment its access ports to major internet backbone providers is squarely Verizon’s fault," Netflix general counsel David Lyman wrote in the letter.

Netflix confirmed the veracity of the letter, but did not comment further.

Verizon spokesman Bob Varettoni told NBC News via email: "We look forward to working with Netflix to improve our mutual customers' enjoyment of Netflix."