Netflix Problems on AT&T
AT&T allows its customers to use Netflix's streaming services over a variety of products, from its cable and Internet to the iPhone and the iPad. You can run into problems streaming high-quality video, watching a movie with too many pauses to load, and even hitting your data or bandwidth cap if you use the service too much in a single month, however.
IPhone and iPad Streaming
Netflix offers an application for iPhone and iPad users on any carrier, including AT&T, that allows them to stream any of the site's content to their device with an Internet connection and a Netflix account. If you are using AT&T's 3G wireless network and your connection is weak, you may experience issues with the video. The picture will likely be of lower quality, with images blurry and pixelated, and the video will pause frequently and skip or take a long period to load.
IPhone Data Plan
AT&T requires all customers to select a data plan with a specific data cap. As of the date of publication, the cheapest plan offers 200 MB data per month. The standard plan offers 2 GB per month, and the most expensive has 4 GB a month. If you watch Netflix on your iPhone frequently, in addition to using applications and surfing the Internet, you will hit your data cap and need to pay a $10 fee for an additional gigabyte of data.
If you are an AT&T U-Verse customer, you can watch Netflix on your television if it has Netflix included or you have a third-party device, such as a streaming box or a game console system that supports Netflix, hooked up. Out of each carrier, however, AT&T has the slowest speed for Netflix streaming, according to Sandvine, a network management specialist company based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Viewers may have to wait longer periods for Netflix to load choices to watch, lower-quality images and frequently pause or take more time to load a video.
DSL and U-Verse Internet Bandwidth Cap
AT&T has a bandwidth cap for its DSL and U-Verse Internet customers that affects Netflix. DSL customers may only use 150 GB of bandwidth per month, while U-Verse customers are allowed 250 GB a month. If you go over, you are charged $50 for an additional 50 GB. The average Netflix customer, however, streams about 40 GB a month. If you watch Netflix and use the Internet for other resources often, you may reach your bandwidth cap sooner and be forced to either stop using bandwidth online -- and stop streaming Netflix -- or pay the additional fee to use the services.
References & Resources
- Gigaom: Netflix Data: AT&T Caps Not That Generous After All
- Gotta Be Mobile: IPhone 4S Netflix Streaming: AT&T vs Verizon
- Forbes: Netflix is Slower on AT&T Fiber Than Everyone Else's Cable, Huh?
- AT&T: Wi-Fi Data & Tethering Data Plan
- CNet: AT&T Fires Back at Netflix on Bandwidth Pricing
- Sandvine: Intelligent Broadband Networks