Why I will downgrade my broadband.

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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:41 am

Something else I just thought of: If those customers weren't streaming from Netflix, many would probably be streaming from Comcast's own on-demand video services instead. So Comcast had better already have the capacity to carry that traffic within their own network. It really does come down to either artificial throttling of some sort (which they deny doing AFAICT), or a bottleneck (intentional or not) between Comcast and Netflix's CDN.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:59 am

Just Brew It! wrote:It really does come down to either artificial throttling of some sort (which they deny doing AFAICT), or a bottleneck (intentional or not) between Comcast and Netflix's CDN.


The interesting thing is that Comcast has slid both in relative and absolute terms on Netflix's ISP ratings.

http://ispspeedindex.netflix.com/usa

Still, they're certainly better on average than SpotTheCat's experience, but we don't have regional breakdowns and the data is a few months out-of-date.

The real question is to what degree this is due to actual policy as opposed to some technical/administrative issue unique to SpotTheCat.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:50 am

Also, Netflix manages to provide all that content, including licensing, employee salaries, their open peering platforms, servers, the upload bandwith to send the information to users, I'm sure there's some FCC fee's in there too and dozens of other things for 8 dollars a month. If they can make a a third of all internet traffic with all the costs that go along with that just what is Comcast complaining about? 65 dollars a month is not 3 times 8.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:05 am

I'm not sure if anyone read this yet:

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201301 ... tion.shtml

Seemed kinda relevant to the topic.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:27 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:Netflix puts out more than half of all of the non-SPAM traffic (and one third of all traffic) on the entire North American internet. Netflix pays the ISPs nothing for the traffic load that they create that overtaxes billions of dollars worth of Comcast's network infrastructure.
http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/01/22/ ... pert-says/
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-576048 ... o-for-all/

A bit of a bad analysis here JAE.
Netflix pays its provider for access to the internet backbone.
The end user is the one who pays the local ISP for their traffic.
It is just how the economics of how the internet works. Greedy ISPs tend to forget that digging for more profits.

If Comcasts network is over taxed then they need to look at upgrades. The profit margin on ISPs is ridiculous due to the fact they need to do large capital spends every couple years to keep their infrastructure up (I have a friend whose brother used to own a small ISP and got bought out by the big guys so this is not just some **** I made up)

In this case it is just Comcast being anticompetitive and trying to bury a competitor locally.

I'm just lucky I have an awesome provider, no throttling and no caps now (1.3 years and counting)
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sigh people still standing up for the crappy duopoly isps...

Postposted on Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:13 pm

You pay Netflix $8/month, then you use $0.50/month worth of Comcast's bandwidth to stream your HD videos. However, Comcast charges the same fee to all of its customers, whether we use Netflix or not, so the rest of us have to foot the bill for the bandwidth that you and Netflix consume.


I fixed this post, someone clearly doesn't know how little bandwidth costs providers.

Hint: look at what hosting providers charge for traffic counted both ways and consider that it comes with a portion of a server running 24/7 as well.

Infrastructure is the only big cost for isps, transit is a joke.

Allowing isps to manipulate your packets to netflix is no different than letting the post office open your letters to people they don't like and delaying or mangling them.

Right now on verizon I get lower latency and a more stable connection to the EXACT SAME NETFLIX SERVERS IN NoVA 10 MILES AWAY by first VPNing to TORONTO CANADA and coming back. Routing is a powerful tool when dealing with bad connections but it is NOT MAGIC and there is no army of backhoes cutting fiber on the east coast right now.

There is a giant power grab of the various north american isps right now, and they are in court to try and get the "right" to be permanent slum landlords of the internet with high rent for the next couple decades at least.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:40 am

On Monday I did a little experiment - I fired up a show on my PS3 at around 7:30PM and it would not go beyond "288p" according to the stream info on the device. Then I fired up the wifi hotspot on my phone and ran a speedtest - 7.45mbit on Verizon LTE, about 1/4 of what I get when I run it on my PC connected to Comcast. And then I connected the PS3 to the phone's hotspot and started streaming Netflix again - and lo and behold, I got a solid 720p on the same show right away and it went up to 1080p on the same device just connected to a different internet connection. Apparently paying extra to go over my shared 4GB plan is motivation enough for Verizon to allow full-speed Netflix streams. So the problem isn't the PS3 and the problem isn't Netflix, the problem is somewhere in the middle. After talking to a couple people and an informal request for information on Facebook, I called ITV-3 yesterday and I'm switching providers on Feb 3, which will give me a bit over 2 weeks of overlap until my Comcast promotion expires on the 18th - I got my first bill of un-promotional pricing and yikes they don't make it cheap. At that point (assuming ITV-3 is working well) I'll be returning their equipment and canceling my service. I'll "only" have 20mbit down as opposed to the 30mbit from Comcast but everyone I talked to loves the service and has no problems with streaming so I'm only too happy to dump my current provider. I'm also paying less per month for the equipment and less per month for the service, for a total net savings of around $45.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:04 am

I just wanted to chime in to say I am so glad to hear/see someone else having this issue. For the past month my Netflix has been insanely slow/SD - 288 / 248 /384p at max, when I was easily getting 720p on my 50mb connection.

I am looking at going the VPN route soon.

Thanks for posting this. :D
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:05 am

This whole ordeal begun because of streaming media services. There are third parties who offer such services that don't have most of the infrastructural costs. ISP who also have a multimedia service on the side see this as one big conflict of interest. They want their own customers go for their own stuff. In Comcast's case, they want their customers to use the Xfinity program.

It is basically two camps trying to screw each other over. Old media versus New media. The customer is ending up being the loser of this conflict.

ISPs have been manipulating packets and ports for years. This is hardly new. Most ISPs frown upon hosting private servers and VPNs under most of their residential plans. They want you to opt for their business plans (more expensive but more reliable) which are meant for this.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:18 pm

As far as "promotional" versus "non-promotional" prices are concerned, you can usually threaten to cancel your service to get the lower rate again (or at least lower than what they consider standard).
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:23 pm

If an ISP wants to throttle traffic they have to be ready for people to either VPN (and Comcast is ready for that - if you have their phone service, they give you an all-in-one modem/phone/router/wifi access point that doesn't allow a VPN to be configured for your whole network) or for people to leave - which is my preferred method of business. I'm sorry, but I don't feel badly for them. This is a business they're in and if they want customers they have to offer attractive packages with the features people want. The problem is that for so many people, it's effectively a government-supported monopoly.

superjawes - I could, and I have over the last 6-7 years with them (as well as the 5-6 years that it was Insight). At this point I just don't want to stay with Comcast.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:27 pm

I can understand that. I just find that many people don't know that you can "negotiate" your rates.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:32 pm

Has anyone tried changing your DNS configuration to point to something other than Comcast's defaults? (E.g. Google public DNS 8.8.8.8 / 8.8.4.4 or DNS Advantage)

I switched to DNS Advantage's (provided by Neustar) a while back because my iTunes movie streaming was slow, and found it boosted the speed significantly. My assumption is that it was just changing which download servers it pointed to from West Coast to East Coast (closer to me).

Curious?
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:54 pm

superjawes wrote:I just find that many people don't know that you can "negotiate" your rates.
I don't want to argue pricing, tell me what it costs and if I agree then I'll buy otherwise I'll take my business elsewhere. I have a co-worker who is ex-sales and loves this stuff, comes in talking about how much he "saved" by arguing with the CSR, I've got better things to do with my time than argue on the phone about what I'll pay.

JdL wrote:Has anyone tried changing your DNS configuration to point to something other than Comcast's defaults? (E.g. Google public DNS 8.8.8.8 / 8.8.4.4 or DNS Advantage)

I switched to DNS Advantage's (provided by Neustar) a while back because my iTunes movie streaming was slow, and found it boosted the speed significantly. My assumption is that it was just changing which download servers it pointed to from West Coast to East Coast (closer to me).
Lots of the big stuff on the Internet is hosted in multiple places and the DNS entries that they return are based on where your DNS server is. Google's public DNS is anycast so it goes to the closest one (in BGP routing distance) and then that will return the servers that are close to that.

If you have a good ISP (like TekSavvy) then their DNS servers are not only faster than going to Google, but also return results that point at the local cache at the ISP. If you have a bad ISP (basically any of the big ones) then you are better off with Google DNS because they are either pointing at their local cache that is horrifically overloaded and melting down, or pointing at some random place somewhere across the country.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:56 pm

just brew it! wrote:
clone wrote:is it the content creators or the providers that are the problem..... a little blame goes to both but mainly it's the providers that are the problem and I don't really consider the disagreements legitimate so much as a demonstration of the flaws in the mechanics of a web that's growing faster than the providers want it too.

Actually, I'm convinced that the issue is ISPs who are *also* in the content business. Comcast would have a lot less incentive to mess with Netflix if they didn't compete with them in the content business.


This is the problem, not a doubt in my mind, there are times that capitalism drives me nuts and this is one of them,lol.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:22 pm

credible wrote:This is the problem, not a doubt in my mind, there are times that capitalism drives me nuts and this is one of them,lol.

This is the entire problem. Comcast bears no transit costs to transmit its VOD or other products within its own network. Netflix costs them transit fees and they really hate that they cannot find a way to either make Netflix pay for the traffic or degrade the traffic. Remember, the Comcast/NBC deal came with a 5 or 7 yead pledge (can't remember) to honor the existing net neutrality rules.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:45 pm

I upgraded performance and downgraded on the price. Thanks Bell FiberOP for giving Eastlink a small bit of competition here. (although I did stick with Eastlink)
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:22 am

What needs to happen is the FCC declaring them as "common carriage services" thus only selling dumb pipes.

This would force them to spin their content services into separate entities that compete on equal footing with others like Netflix etc.

By that classification they become restricted from controlling or shaping the traffic traveling through them, the way it should have been from the beginning.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:07 pm

Update time!

I have both ISPs right now. I couldn't afford any downtime. Let's do a speed comparison on Netflix during prime time! I used a free bandwidth program to calculate running 10 second averages of my connection.

Comcast scored 20Mbps on a speed test to a 'neutral' server. When I play "Into the Wild" from Netflix I stream between 0.4-0.7Mbps. Image quality is poor with frequent buffering.
Centurylink scored 2.7Mbps on the same speed test. When I resumed "Into the Wild" I initially streamed between 2.0-2.5Mbps. It has since dropped and steadied at about 1.5Mbps. Image quality is worth watching!

Anybody want any different data?
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:09 pm

While you're comparing throughput, you should probably check out your latency. Are you an LPB?
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:16 pm

How about some sustained downloads of large multi-GB files rather than the potentially deceptive 'speedtests' that can be distorted by Comcast's speedboost stuff?

It may end up being bottlenecked on the server end, so I'm not sure exactly how to could test it, but that would be something interesting to compare.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:38 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:While you're comparing throughput, you should probably check out your latency. Are you an LPB?

Comcast, 22ms
Centurylink (DSL) 61ms

It's a clear win for Comcast, but I expected the DSL to be worse.

Throughput of either is pretty stable (though slow on DSL) provided it isn't throttled and the host can provide it to me quickly. Old torrents are a good test for this.

Overall, I'm happy. To me, it's a better internet because it delivers what I want more quickly.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:43 pm

Is this analogy accurate?

Requiring Netflix to pay a local ISP to provide Netflix to its subscribers is like requiring Sony to pay a local utility to provide power to a PS4.

I understand that the pricing of these two services is different, but they don't have to be.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:47 pm

I'm getting 35.1 Mb/s down, 8.8 Mb/s up, with a ping of 19 ms between here and Atlanta.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:27 pm

In addition to the many other posts here debunking the "netflix users cost cable companies too much" argument, there's also the fact that Netflix has a program to provide ISPs such as Comcast with free storage appliances that can cache/host the Netflix content within the ISP's network, thus vastly reducing the amount of data that needs to go across their backbone or from outside their network.

https://signup.netflix.com/openconnect

Comcast's lack of interest in a free program that would improve service for their customers while lowering bandwidth costs for them says a lot about where their true motivation lies.

What we have here is not a problem with capitalism / free markets, but with a specific market that is not free enough. Communities rightly place limits to the number of companies that can string wire across the sky or under streets, for good reasons. The few companies that have been given the exclusive privilege of owning those lines need to be regulated accordingly, including being prevented from using their granted exclusivity in one area (the wire to the home) to bolster more needless exclusivity in another (their video content business.)
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:10 am

Glorious wrote:http://ispspeedindex.netflix.com/usa

Still, they're certainly better on average than SpotTheCat's experience, but we don't have regional breakdowns and the data is a few months out-of-date.

The real question is to what degree this is due to actual policy as opposed to some technical/administrative issue unique to SpotTheCat.


Is that chart mislabeled or am I missing something? Those speeds seem VERY slow if it's indeed megaBITS per second being measured. I have Comcast cable and can download at 3 MegaBYTES per second nonstop for hours, which is about 15x the speed that chart shows. I know plans and speeds can vary from region to region, but the last time Comcast cable had 1.5mbps speeds in my area was around 2002.

Even Google Fiber according to that chart is only about 1/6th as fast as my current internet.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:17 am

travbrad wrote:Is that chart mislabeled or am I missing something? Those speeds seem VERY slow if it's indeed megaBITS per second being measured. I have Comcast cable and can download at 3 MegaBYTES per second nonstop for hours, which is about 15x the speed that chart shows. I know plans and speeds can vary from region to region, but the last time Comcast cable had 1.5mbps speeds in my area was around 2002.

Yes, I believe the chart is showing the speeds achieved while streaming Netflix videos, which is very different from the maximum speed of a customer's entire bandwidth.

The highest possible score on the chart would thus be no higher than the bandwidth used by the highest quality stream from Netflix, and that only if every user selected that quality and watched only videos offered in that quality (and the ISP delivered them all perfectly.)
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:44 am

SpotTheCat wrote:Anybody want any different data?


Try an anycasted public DNS with your Comcast connection, such as Google's (8.8.8.8 or 8.8.4.4).

brucek2 wrote:In addition to the many other posts here debunking the "netflix users cost cable companies too much" argument, there's also the fact that Netflix has a program to provide ISPs such as Comcast with free storage appliances that can cache/host the Netflix content within the ISP's network, thus vastly reducing the amount of data that needs to go across their backbone or from outside their network.

https://signup.netflix.com/openconnect

Comcast's lack of interest in a free program that would improve service for their customers while lowering bandwidth costs for them says a lot about where their true motivation lies.


lolwut?

Openconnect openly and purposefully contravenes the same network neutrality nonsense you guys are always flogging. To wit, netflix offers superior service only to those who participate:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases ... 02862.html

Article wrote:Now available through Open Connect partners, Netflix Super HD is the highest quality video format offered by Netflix, providing an even better picture on 1080p HDTVs.


This is EXPLICITLY the exact kind of "tiered service model" for the internet that network neutrality is supposed to thwart!

This is why I have repeatedly said that the vast majority of people promoting "network neutrality" and hating on Comcast/Verizon in favor of Netflix have very, very little idea what they are talking about, if indeed any at all.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:18 am

I'm not saying it's ethical or legal (gray area) but most 4g LTE capable phones can tether and if rooted, go undetected indefinitely by the carrier. I have T-mobile and while they want you to pay additional to tether, their service(s) are unable to distinguish many side-loaded apps that allow wireless tethering. I've also heard of blue-tooth tethering though I've never used it. In this way, it's possible to stream Netflix in HD rather well provided your area is LTE enabled.

The reason I call this a gray area is that T-mobile (as well as others) generally allow a limit on tethering but want to push their version of a hotspot. To me, this is double dipping. If T-mobile has given me unlimited data (truly unlimited, no throttling on my phone at all, ever) then I should be allowed to use it as I see fit. Now, I recognize that T-mobile is not an ISP so I think my data usage is more than your average smart phone user, but reasonably less than your average laptop/desktop. My specific carrier has a theoretical maximum of 9.99TB or so as a monthly quota I will never hit. I've been told by more than one rep that as long as I'm not tethering, and as long as I'm not using my bandwidth as a file server, they honestly do no care. It's the primary reason I switched to them, and happy to have done so.

My monthly usage is generally 20-30GB a month. I stream netflix on my phone a lot, as well as ESports and the like. I do tether occasionally via a side-loaded app that so far, T-mobile has done nor said anything about. If I'm not abusing the plan, I think it's pretty fair to both of us for $70 a month.
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Re: Why I will downgrade my broadband.

Postposted on Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:04 pm

Glorious wrote:
brucek2 wrote:In addition to the many other posts here debunking the "netflix users cost cable companies too much" argument, there's also the fact that Netflix has a program to provide ISPs such as Comcast with free storage appliances that can cache/host the Netflix content within the ISP's network, thus vastly reducing the amount of data that needs to go across their backbone or from outside their network.

https://signup.netflix.com/openconnect

Comcast's lack of interest in a free program that would improve service for their customers while lowering bandwidth costs for them says a lot about where their true motivation lies.


lolwut?

Openconnect openly and purposefully contravenes the same network neutrality nonsense you guys are always flogging. To wit, netflix offers superior service only to those who participate:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases ... 02862.html

Article wrote:Now available through Open Connect partners, Netflix Super HD is the highest quality video format offered by Netflix, providing an even better picture on 1080p HDTVs.


This is EXPLICITLY the exact kind of "tiered service model" for the internet that network neutrality is supposed to thwart!

This is why I have repeatedly said that the vast majority of people promoting "network neutrality" and hating on Comcast/Verizon in favor of Netflix have very, very little idea what they are talking about, if indeed any at all.


Old news Glorious:
http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/26/47747 ... on-all-isp

Netflix WANTS these devices in big ISP racks. It lowers the ISP congestion, lowers Netflix CDN costs, and improves the experience for end users. Big media ISP companies want to make more money off this popular service, or drive people to their other, oftentimes inferior or more expensive services.
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