Netflix and Net Neutrality

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Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:05 am

So I've been getting this message from Netflix, "The AT&T network is congested" when I'm watching. Checking this link kind of explains things, but I think this is Netflix's pushback against anti-net neutrality:

http://ispspeedindex.netflix.com/usa

Anybody else?
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:22 am

Netflix is also doing this for Verizon customers. And Verizon is not to happy about it.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014 ... t-demands/
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:42 am

It's not net neutrality, since net neutrality is not about peering agreements.

It's mainly about Netflix and ISPs arguing about delivery costs of data.
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:33 am

accord1999 wrote:It's not net neutrality, since net neutrality is not about peering agreements.

It's mainly about Netflix and ISPs arguing about delivery costs of data.

Netflix pays it's share of the delivery costs, just to it's own ISPs (Level3, Cogent, etc). End users pay for their data from their own ISP. Comcast, Verizon and co. are trying to double-dip, making Netflix pay for connections it's customers are already paying for.
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:39 am

There's already been a big discussion about Netflix and ISPs in the BP, and so I'm here to say:

In before JAE and Glorious come to tell you how wrong you all are. :lol:
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:43 am

I moved in the summer of 13 to where I live now and promptly signed up for FioS. It was faster, and a hell of a lot more stable (uptime) than Comcast had ever been. Then about 6-8 months ago, youtube stopped loading even the shortest clips. Netflix could no longer instantly load shows, and scrobbling through them took as long as it took to load the entire selection. Twitch.tv because useless. In short, Verizon started shaping all my content and slowing it down.

I am dropping FioS when I move, I've already switched cell phone providers. Comcast is no better, and there is no real choice, that's an illusion. Net Neutrality really is the defining free speech issue of my generation I believe. And I believe we're losing. I won't take this any further in RnP but I feel like we lost this country a long time ago to corporations, lobbyist, and the almighty dollar. The FCC is run by a former cable lobbyist FFS, how much more conflict of interest can you have in your job? Why are decisions about these sorts of things handled by judges and courts that are woefully unprepared and uneducated with respect to what exactly is at stake, the implications, and the technology behind these things? The system needs an overhaul, especially with as fast as technology transforms our daily lives. Anyone with 1/4 a brain can look at the state of the internet in our country and tell you how much better it could be.
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:58 am

Well this thread dove right into the deep end of the R&P pool :lol:

I'll add two points.

1. Write the FCC/Congress/etc. You have a chance to exercise your speech and let everyone know that you aren't happy about the current state of net neutrality rules (or lack thereof). Make some noise and someone might notice and realize that this issue might need some actual action.

2. The good news is that Netflix, while small in the context of all coporations, still has a lot of money. So does Google. So do many companies who rely on the transfer of data to customers. These companies are going to be generating the same sort of noise to get legal attention, and "ISP shaming" is part of that.
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:05 am

<Mod Hat>This is verging on R&P territory, please be careful what you say here or I'll be forced to send the thread to R&P.</Mod Hat>

One thing I did find interesting is the graph by countries http://ispspeedindex.netflix.com/country-averages
There's clearly a European bunch at the top, a South American bunch at the bottom with also USA and Ireland mixed in there, and Canada has now appeared in between the two.

I can't see how there could be a drop in speeds other than by ignoring Net Neutrality and there's a significant drop in the USA line at the end of last year, it seems to be picking up now.

For the Canadian results, last month Rogers who is the big cable incombant came dead last and claimed that it was not representative as they were in the middle of doubling their Netflix capacity. Well this month they have moved up 2 spots to 12th i.e. they still suck.

I'm with TekSavvy, and as a Third Party ISP they run over the last mile provided by Bell Canada DSL and Rogers Cable but then have their own backbone and peering. What's interesting is that they beat both of those ISPs significantly, showing that the problem isn't in the last mile connectivity to the house.
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:09 am

SuperSpy wrote:Netflix pays it's share of the delivery costs, just to it's own ISPs (Level3, Cogent, etc). End users pay for their data from their own ISP. Comcast, Verizon and co. are trying to double-dip, making Netflix pay for connections it's customers are already paying for.


Netflix is now paying Comcast directly instead of paying Cogent to get to Comcast, which immediately blows a gigantic hole in this false narrative you're attempting to peddle:

http://consumerist.com/2014/02/23/netfl ... -slowdown/

Additionally,

The Consumerist wrote:As we’ve pointed out before, the issue of peering was not covered by the recently gutted net neutrality rules. Those guidelines only dealt with whether an ISP deliberately blocked/throttled or unfairly prioritized traffic to a website. The congestion at peering ports occurs further upstream and is a matter of capacity


In other words, accord1999 is EXACTLY CORRECT.

For heaven's sake, what will it take to convince you people? This is the consumerist, a pro-consumer publication that literally voted Comcast the Worst Company in America for 2014.

steelcity_ballin wrote:In short, Verizon started shaping all my content and slowing it down.


:o :o :o :o :o :o Maybe, just maybe, you're experiencing some other sort of problem? I mean, I live in Pittsburgh too, and I also use FIOS. So do many of my friends. We've never experienced anything like what you are describing and your assertion that they are packet-shaping is practically paranoid. Do you have any evidence of this? Shouldn't you exhaust the more mundane explanations before leaping into conspiratorial ones?

steelcity_ballin wrote:Comcast is no better, and there is no real choice, that's an illusion


That problem is the last mile, which "net neutrality" will not fix.

steelcity_ballin wrote:Net Neutrality really is the defining free speech issue of my generation I believe.


To the extent that is even true, it just demonstrates that our generation are absolute idiots.

steelcity_ballin wrote:And I believe we're losing. I won't take this any further in RnP but I feel like we lost this country a long time ago to corporations, lobbyist, and the almighty dollar.


Sounds like we're already there!

steelcity_ballin wrote:The FCC is run by a former cable lobbyist FFS, how much more conflict of interest can you have in your job?


Regulatory capture is nothing new, and in any event I'd prefer someone who has experience over the moronic opinions fomented by inaccurate social media campaigns.

steelcity_ballin wrote:Why are decisions about these sorts of things handled by judges and courts that are woefully unprepared and uneducated with respect to what exactly is at stake, the implications, and the technology behind these things?


Because public opinion is even worse. Like, insanely worse.

steelcity_ballin wrote:The system needs an overhaul, especially with as fast as technology transforms our daily lives. Anyone with 1/4 a brain can look at the state of the internet in our country and tell you how much better it could be


As very discussion on this site( and elsewhere) about this issue shows, NO, they absolutely cannot.
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:22 am

superjawes wrote:1. Write the FCC/Congress/etc. You have a chance to exercise your speech and let everyone know that you aren't happy about the current state of net neutrality rules (or lack thereof). Make some noise and someone might notice and realize that this issue might need some actual action.


Write what?

"Dear sir,

I have no actual understanding of the economic/technical basis of my complaint, and indeed, was only prompted to action by the scare-mongering headlines of publications I never even deigned to read. Furthermore, I have no actual suggestion other than that the FCC evidently did something "doubleplusbad" and that Net Neutrality gives me happy feels and is thus "doubleplusgood." Plz halp."

superjawes wrote:2. The good news is that Netflix, while small in the context of all coporations, still has a lot of money. So does Google. So do many companies who rely on the transfer of data to customers. These companies are going to be generating the same sort of noise to get legal attention, and "ISP shaming" is part of that.


Again, Netflix cut a deal with Comcast. You say they have money. Yes, of course they do, because they are all businesses out to make a buck. None of them, I repeat, NONE OF THEM, has any real interest in the well-being of you, the consumer. They are NOT fighting a crusade on your behalf against the evil ISPs. On the contrary, as I just said, they just got into bed with the biggest one!

Once more, what will it take to convince you people to believe your lying eyes instead of all those strong feels down in your hearts?

notfred wrote:I can't see how there could be a drop in speeds other than by ignoring Net Neutrality and there's a significant drop in the USA line at the end of last year, it seems to be picking up now.


I'm not even sure what you are saying here.

notfred wrote:I'm with TekSavvy, and as a Third Party ISP they run over the last mile provided by Bell Canada DSL and Rogers Cable but then have their own backbone and peering. What's interesting is that they beat both of those ISPs significantly, showing that the problem isn't in the last mile connectivity to the house.


Since you are talking about Netflix, yes, of course. The issue is peering.
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:40 am

They cut a deal because they had to no?


http://knowmore.washingtonpost.com/2014 ... eutrality/

Comcast started throttling them and they paid them off to stop in January.

How accurate is this?
http://mashable.com/2014/06/02/john-oli ... -main-link
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:09 am

Beomagi wrote:They cut a deal because they had to no?


Let's start with your article's headline:

WaPo wrote:This hilarious graph of Netflix speeds shows the importance of net neutrality


At first glance, this could be defensible, because just as I have been saying for years, Net Neutrality is a slogan, not a policy. In fact, it doesn't really mean anything, it is just an empty symbol that equates to "doubleplusgood" in the minds of the public.

Unfortunately for them, they make it clear they're responding to the FCC's recent actions:

WaPo wrote:As the Federal Communications Commission considers new rules on whether service providers can charge popular Web sites additional fees to carry their traffic, advocates for consumers worry that deals like Netflix’s with Comcast will become common throughout the industry.


Oops.

The problem is that neither Verizon nor Comcast nor anyone else was charging or proposing to charge Netflix for its traffic. On the contrary, there was a peering dispute with Cogent. The recent deal isn't related to the narrow area the FCC is considering either.

Again, please don't take my word for it! Here:

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2 ... et-ne.aspx

Netflix didn't have to cut a deal. They could have paid more money to third-party CDNs to host their content, they could have picked a different company than Cogent for their transit for their own hosts. The point is that Netflix didn't want to do any of that. It would cost too much money. So they embarked upon a strategy that should be familiar to everyone here, who are unthinkingly carrying it out: They inflamed public passion by pretending this was about big old evil ISPs. :roll:

Again, look:

http://blog.streamingmedia.com/

Beomagi wrote:Comcast started throttling them and they paid them off to stop in January.


As I've stated before, not even Netflix made that allegation. In fact, the CEO explicitly said otherwise. But that hoary canard just won't die, will it?

If you actually want to know more about what happened, read my links :)

Beomagi wrote:How accurate is this?
http://mashable.com/2014/06/02/john-oli ... -main-link


I have no idea, and no interest in watching some snarky comedian pretend that he understands a policy. His goal is clearly to entertain, not inform. It's sad that anyone would even cite such nonsense seriously.

EDIT: I mean, I can't even let that go. It's indicative of the entire problem. Instead of thinking rationally, you guys just want to get all the self-righteous angry feels out during your two minutes of hate. Do you seriously not see how utterly ridiculous it is to point to some comedian who literally asked the internet to "troll" the website of a federal agency?

I didn't watch the video, but that's what the website proudly, PROUDLY! :o states:

Mashable wrote:After tearing into the FCC, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and the Obama administration, Oliver called for help from someone unexpected — Internet trolls. Oliver pointed viewers (and, more importantly, web commenters) to visit


:o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o

What is the point of that? Are you trying to actually help improve society, or do you just want to ignorantly rant and rage against whoever the man on TV says you should?

:o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o

As I've stated, with ample (and actual) evidence, the FCC hearing doesn't even involve this issue with Netflix and Comcast. But you actually think I should engage with someone who just directed the irresponsible denizens of the internet to flood a legitimate RFC process with incoherent and ignorant screeds about an issue irrelevant to the hearing?

What I am supposed to say? That he has some telling "points" when he calls it "cable company ***kery." That there is no possible retort to such compelling rhetoric and logical analysis? :o

---

That's the true sickness here: You guys can't believe your lying eyes because you are COMPLETELY INCAPABLE of differentiating between incoherent demagoguery & empty theatrics and actual sources. You evidently cannot tell the difference. :o
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:54 am

So, thanks for keeping your cool!

That link was informative.

Basically, Netflix's issues are not related to net neutrality because they're rolling out their own content delivery network.

"Up until 2012, Netflix primarily relied on third-party content delivery networks, or CDNs, such as Limelight Networks, Level 3, and Akamai to deliver content. In 2012, Netflix rolled out its own CDN called Open Connect. This is when things got tricky. Operating a CDN means you have to buy transit from multiple providers to connect to ISP networks."

"transit providers can only pass a certain volume of traffic into an ISP's network before fees kick in"
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:06 am

beomagi wrote:So, thanks for keeping your cool!


It's really, really, hard to do so when you affirmatively cite someone who directed internet trolls to unleash their indiscriminate rage upon the FCC. :P

beomagi wrote:Basically, Netflix's issues are not related to net neutrality because they're rolling out their own content delivery network.


The deeper issue is that Net Neutrality is an empty slogan that doesn't mean anything. :wink:

beomagi wrote:"Up until 2012, Netflix primarily relied on third-party content delivery networks, or CDNs, such as Limelight Networks, Level 3, and Akamai to deliver content. In 2012, Netflix rolled out its own CDN called Open Connect. This is when things got tricky. Operating a CDN means you have to buy transit from multiple providers to connect to ISP networks."


And Netflix didn't. They stuck with only Cogent.

That guy posted that very informative analysis yesterday, but I deduced the same conclusion from general principles months ago. Because, if you listen to your head and not your heart, you can learn some astonishing things. 8)

But I was drowned out by people who simply could not understand any approach contrary to indignantly ignorant rage against the ISPs. As if the entire point of any discussion about Net Neutrality was to denounce Comcast and Verizon as evil and Netflix as good. :-?

So, yes, I occasionally lose my cool. :lol:
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:43 am

There were times where my ISP, Mediacom, would throttle my 12 Mb/s connection.

On occasions, Youtube would repeatedly default to 360p or 240p due to "low internet speed". Yet as Youtube is running, I would run Speedtest, and it would report that my download speed is over 15 Mb/s, sometimes closer to 20 Mb/s. That's plenty enough bandwidth to handle 1080p. When I open up Youtube's bandwidth meter while the video is running, the download speed would be 18 kb/s to 54 kb/s.

Could Youtube be experiencing hiccups? Maybe.

But for this slowdown to occur at least once a week, outside of regular heavy internet usage times (5pm to 10pm)? I should've seen reports about Youtube being that slow by now.

EDIT: I don't have Netflix, but if Mediacom is ballsy enough to annoy Google, I wouldn't be surprised if they pull the same stunt on a smaller company.
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:05 am

UnfriendlyFire wrote:There were times where my ISP, Mediacom, would throttle my 12 Mb/s connection.

On occasions, Youtube would repeatedly default to 360p or 240p due to "low internet speed". Yet as Youtube is running, I would run Speedtest, and it would report that my download speed is over 15 Mb/s, sometimes closer to 20 Mb/s. That's plenty enough bandwidth to handle 1080p. When I open up Youtube's bandwidth meter while the video is running, the download speed would be 18 kb/s to 54 kb/s.


As I've said repeatedly, the iconographic "cloud" of the internet with little arrows between equally iconographic computers is no such thing in reality. "Youtube" isn't one site. "Youtube" is actually one gigantic CDN (N as in Network) with hundreds, if not thousands, of different server farms across the world with dozens of different Tier-1 and Tier-2s as transit providers.

So when "Youtube" is having problems on your connect, it might just be because your DNS server erroneously or ignorantly pointed you towards a particular CDN server that is overwhelmed, nowhere near your geographically/logically or both. Without further investigation, it's impossible to tell.

Hence, simply running Speedtest does not eliminate scenarios other than "throttling" as the cause. You have not even remotely proven the null hypothesis. Believing otherwise is fundamentally misunderstanding the nature of the internet. As I said, it isn't a simple line diagram of two computers with an amorphous cloud labeled "the Internet" in the middle. :P

UnfriendlyFire wrote:But for this slowdown to occur at least once a week, outside of regular heavy internet usage times (5pm to 10pm)? I should've seen reports about Youtube being that slow by now.


Again, "Youtube" is not a singular entity when we're talking about the internet. Instead of tending towards the conspiratorial, shouldn't you, like, consider other options first? Starting, if the suggestion isn't too cruel, learning about how the internet actually works?

UnfriendlyFire wrote:EDIT: I don't have Netflix, but if Mediacom is ballsy enough to annoy Google, I wouldn't be surprised if they pull the same stunt on a smaller company.


They're almost certainly not pulling any stunt at all. Do you seriously believe they are just randomly slowing your Youtube connection, particularly during times of low demand as you say? :o Why? Because of spite?

Does that even make sense? Is that silliness actually easier to believe than anything else? This is akin to paranoia guys!
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:29 am

I may not agree with Glorious all the time, but in this instance I believe that I (and the rest of you nubs) owe him a beer.
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:04 pm

Not arguing with Glorious about Net Neutrality, but wanted to go off on a tangent.. Could part of the problem be the local monopolies which currently exist in the US?

I thought John Oliver did a pretty good job at pointing out the hypocrisy of the ISPs (re: TWC and Comcast merger). While he may not have the Net Neutrality quite right, it's worth a watch (at least for the humor value).

Back to my argument about local monopolies being the issue, and what can be done to resolve them. In most areas where there is competition (re: Google Fiber) prices and products greatly expanded... (I think this may be true in UK/Europe). I know when we bought our house, we were told our only options for internet were Comcast and AT&T. My friend about 5 miles north had a local ISP who offered way better service and prices. When I contacted them, they said they weren't allowed to service our area.

Is it too late to break up the ISPs?
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:12 pm

In order to attempt to answer the question (and I do await Glorious' response), you have to have an understanding of just why the monopolies are allowed to exist in the first place- i.e., they are/were the result of otherwise poor municipalities making a 'deal with the devil', to get any service provided to their residents at all. Essentially, the telcos/cablecos said that it's just not worth building up the infrastructure if they don't have exclusive rights to service it.

Which lets you know who to blame; now fixing the problem, well, that's harder. It'd likely be a state-by-state thing, and it'd also likely be very hard fought and slow going. Cable companies own politicians at every level, you know.
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:22 pm

druidcent wrote:Not arguing with Glorious about Net Neutrality, but wanted to go off on a tangent.. Could part of the problem be the local monopolies which currently exist in the US?

I thought John Oliver did a pretty good job at pointing out the hypocrisy of the ISPs (re: TWC and Comcast merger). While he may not have the Net Neutrality quite right, it's worth a watch (at least for the humor value).

Back to my argument about local monopolies being the issue, and what can be done to resolve them. In most areas where there is competition (re: Google Fiber) prices and products greatly expanded... (I think this may be true in UK/Europe). I know when we bought our house, we were told our only options for internet were Comcast and AT&T. My friend about 5 miles north had a local ISP who offered way better service and prices. When I contacted them, they said they weren't allowed to service our area.

Is it too late to break up the ISPs?


You are not arguing with me at all! :wink:

I've said, repeatedly, that I am sympathetic towards the idea of governmental remediation of the natural monopoly inherent in the last mile. But that's a very complicated issue that can't be summarily dealt with either.

I have also explicitly stated, in previous discussions about this issue, that the TWC and Comcast merger should be opposed. Like, well beyond mere sympathy, I'm entirely against such a merger.

I also think Jon Oliver is a funny guy, and I don't generally begrudge him ranting about subjects, however ignorantly. I just don't want 1) people promoting such entertainment as informative and 2) Mr. Oliver directing real action against real government agencies.

But, in all due fairness to 2), I don't think the FCC should even bother with public commentary in the first place, so I'm not, like, really upset or anything. :P

But that's the point. You're not arguing with me about Network Neutrality, because the last mile and the TWC/Comcast merger don't actually have anything to do with Net Neutrality, even when broadly interpreted. It's an ambiguous slogan, yes, but even the slogan doesn't apply to either of those two things.

But yet people continually conflate them! Grrr!

--

Heck, just to note (not to pick on) UnfriendlyFire, he suspected his ISP of throttling Youtube. But the allegation against Comcast/Verizon in regards to Netflix at least has the clear subtext that Verizon/Comcast don't want competition over TV services, which they provide to their captive consumers. You know, the conspiracy revolves around a clear motive.

But unless Mediacom was competing with youtube, why would they bother? What's the motive?

It's all conflated together, to point of complete and utter confusion. And yet everyone keeps hopping on the bandwagon, despite the fact that driver and all of the passengers are all babbling incoherently and drooling on themselves.

Grrr!!!!
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:23 pm

First of all, what is the Netflix ISP Speed Index even showing? Average streaming speed to the customer? Edit Past central switching equipment (ie, last mile)?

The sources Glorious provides seem informative. But I think the only thing we can take away for certain is that neither side is interested in total transparency to the customer. While superficially appearing informative, however, even the streamingmedia article presented offers little data that can be backed up by any appreciable source. But perhaps that's because these just don't exist.

I do agree that there does seem to be a lot of ignorance and general confusion between the Netflix issue and the current tabled issue of whether the FCC will allow ISPs to charge for "paid internet fast lanes". On the other hand they sort of deserve what they are getting. if these companies really cared about the truth/transparency to customers (either companies like Comcast or Netflix), rather than trying to use tactics to obfuscate or make themselves appear the victim to leverage a better deal over the other guy then, as the streamingmedia article suggests, they could provide more transparent data to back up their claims. Nobody seems interested in doing this. Until this happens, this can only continue as fodder for media fanfare/baseless accusations.
Last edited by cynan on Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:35 pm

cynan wrote:Through their DNS server?


Am I missing something here? What level of streaming traffic actually flows through DNS servers?


(I am quite aware of what a DNS server is, which is why I'm asking the seemingly 'dumb' question)
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:46 pm

Airmantharp wrote:
cynan wrote:Through their DNS server?


Am I missing something here? What level of streaming traffic actually flows through DNS servers?


(I am quite aware of what a DNS server is, which is why I'm asking the seemingly 'dumb' question)


Woops. That was pretty nonsensical. No traffic that I know of. What I was trying differentiate between was whether these numbers reflect streaming to central switching equipment (where the "backbone" terminates). Or whether they also include "last mile", ie, past the CMTS for cable or DSLAM for DSL. Please ignore. :oops:
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:51 pm

First of all, what is the Netflix ISP Speed Index even showing? Average streaming speed to the customer? Through their DNS server?


It's at the bottom in small print:

Netflix wrote:"These ratings reflect the average performance of all Netflix streams on each ISPs network from Nov. 2012 through Jun. 2014 and average performance during prime time starting in Oct. 2013. The average is well below the peak performance due to many factors including the variety of encodes we use to deliver the TV shows and movies we carry as well as home Wi-Fi and the variety of devices our members use. Those factors cancel out when comparing across ISPs, so these relative rankings are a good indicator of the consistent performance typically experienced across all users on an ISP network."


I've never had any reason to doubt these numbers.

cynan wrote:The sources Glorious provides seem informative. But I think the only thing we can take away for certain is that neither side is interested in total transparency to the customer. While superficially appearing informative, however, even the streamingmedia article presented offers little data that can be backed up by any appreciable source. But perhaps that's because these just don't exist.


Well, I mean, the specific details of specific agreements certainly aren't public, but the general framework is very well known.

http://drpeering.net/white-papers/Art-O ... ybook.html

That's about various strategies related to obtaining peering, but there is a ton of information on that site about how this stuff works and what is known about it. :wink:

---

But, more importantly, I'm not just relying on arguments from authority here. I have, across the numerous threads on this issue, discussed the issue purely theoretically. If you review those posts, you can see that I construct scenarios and counter-scenarios as a thought-experiment to see if what people promote even makes sense in an abstract sense. Frequently it doesn't.

As I've pointed out, a lot of people have very, very simplistic conceptions of how the internet works that simply don't match reality. For instance, people have angrily stated that when they pay for X megabits/sec of bandwidth, they should ALWAYS get that amount of bandwidth to the "internet." My simple retort is that just because you have a decent internet connection doesn't mean everyone has a decent internet connection. When you bought a fat-pipe to the internet, which is merely a bunch of INTERconnected NETworks :wink:, you didn't buy a better internet connection for the guy on a 14.4 modem in Siberia as well. :P

As I've said repeatedly, that iconographic cloud in the diagrams ain't actually a real thing people. It's merely an abstraction, and treating it otherwise is a fallacy known as reification.

cynan wrote:I do agree that there does seem to be a lot of ignorance and general confusion between the Netflix issue and the current tabled issue of whether the FCC will allow ISPs to charge for "paid internet fast lanes". On the other hand they sort of deserve what they are getting. if these companies really cared about the truth/transparency to customers (either companies like Comcast or Netflix), rather than trying to use tactics to obfuscate or make themselves appear the victim to leverage a better deal over the other guy then, as the streamingmedia article suggests, they could provide more transparent data to back up their claims. Nobody seems interested in doing this. Until this happens, this can only continue as fodder for media fanfare/baseless accusations.


I'm certainly not a huge fan of Comcast, but you are putting an unfair onus on them here. Comcast didn't ask for this topic to be fought out in the public, and there is little reason for them to even attempt to humor popular opinion. There really isn't an upside, and the public is already pre-disposed to ignorantly hate them. Getting "their side of the story out there" means millions of dollars to lobbyists/advertisers and would accomplish very little if it didn't just backfire outright. All the activists would accuse them of trying to buy the story, and the intricacies of peering and just general network infrastructure is far beyond the ken of the general public.

So they simply say the truth to journalists and wait the story out. Considering that, you know, that's what worked (Netflix caved and paid) why second-guess them? As I've discussed, I came to the same conclusion that analyst did, without any real figures, months ago. Because, as I said, if you just try and think it through certain things become readily apparent.

You just have to use your head, not your cheating heart. :P
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:53 pm

cynan wrote:Woops. That was pretty nonsensical. No traffic that I know of. What I was trying differentiate between was whether these numbers reflect streaming to central switching equipment (where the "backbone" terminates). Or whether they also include "last mile", ie, past the CMTS for cable or DSLAM for DSL. Please ignore. :oops:


No it's cool, and thanks for the clarification!

What I'm seeing here in the 'DNS' argument is that an endpoint in a person's house might get routed to a distant server that has a multitude of bottlenecks to the endpoint as opposed to being router to a more local, largely unconstrained server, somehow by accident. Does this really happen often, and wouldn't a quick flush of the local DNS cache largely fix the problem, allowing for a quick sanity test before blaming the local ISP?
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:00 pm

Are you referring to how the DNS server you are connected through routes ISP requests? Or are you referring to the selection of the DNS server by the local router? I know that I get more consistent performance if I turn off dynamic DNS in my router and enter the DNS servers of my ISP directly. How connection requests are routed beyond that is up to my ISP (which usually does a better job than my relatively cheapo router).
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:02 pm

cynan wrote:Woops. That was pretty nonsensical. No traffic that I know of. What I was trying differentiate between was whether these numbers reflect streaming to central switching equipment (where the "backbone" terminates). Or whether they also include "last mile", ie, past the CMTS for cable or DSLAM for DSL.


I am still unsure of what you are getting at, but in my above post you can see what Netflix says.

Again, I don't understand your question, but Netflix is simply reporting the average of what all their clients likely self-report as the average bandwidth of their stream. As Netflix notes, internal network issues (crappy WiFi), the variable encoding rates of the different media they offer (cheap SD animation like Hanna Barbera is inherently less complex than HD Planet Earth) and the variety of devices used to view the material (no sense in sending native 720p content to a 640x480 display) can impact the bandwidth used as well. But, as Netflix equally notes, there no reason not to believe that such differences wouldn't cancel out between ISPs.

As I said, there is no reason to doubt their numbers. I accept them fully.

Does that explanation answer your question?
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:07 pm

cynan wrote:Are you referring to how the DNS server you are connected through routes ISP requests? Or are you referring to the selection of the DNS server by the local router? I know that I get more consistent performance if I turn off dynamic DNS in my router and enter the DNS servers of my ISP directly. How connection requests are routed beyond that is up to my ISP (which usually does a better job than my relatively cheapo router).


In theory, both. It's DNS as it relates to the end-point, so 'where' the DNS routes come from is really only a matter of discussion if it's being adjusted as part of the troubleshooting process.

And on that note, what about OpenDNS?
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:08 pm

Glorious wrote:
druidcent wrote:Heck, just to note (not to pick on) UnfriendlyFire, he suspected his ISP of throttling Youtube. But the allegation against Comcast/Verizon in regards to Netflix at least has the clear subtext that Verizon/Comcast don't want competition over TV services, which they provide to their captive consumers. You know, the conspiracy revolves around a clear motive.

But unless Mediacom was competing with youtube, why would they bother? What's the motive?

It's all conflated together, to point of complete and utter confusion. And yet everyone keeps hopping on the bandwagon, despite the fact that driver and all of the passengers are all babbling incoherently and drooling on themselves.

Grrr!!!!


Mediacom also implemented a 250GB data cap last year.

I would like to hear your explanation of my ISP's reasoning.

I'm interpreting the data cap and the unusually slow Youtube download speeds as an attempt to reduce load on their network without telling the customers that they're going to have to downgrade connection speeds and still charge the same.

And to charge more with the data cap for people that went overboard with Netflix or downloading games during a Steam sale.
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Re: Netflix and Net Neutrality

Postposted on Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:14 pm

To comment on the last mile issue, it actually isn't so much of a "deal with the devil" scenario, but an actual limitation of utilities (although ISPs aren't quite classified or regulated as utilities). Local internet service resembles the models used by the telephone companies in the past. Basically, you would have wires connecting houses (customers) to the exchange, but the exchange would never have the capacity to hangle every single customer making a call at the same time because A) that will almost never happen, and B) it is expensive.

So the telephone company analyzed how many customers it had/wanted to service, made an estimate for how many lines they needed to install, and built the infrastructure around that estimate. Now, ISPs operate in a similar fashion. They aren't going to install the infratructure to give every customer his/her max speed at all times because customers will never need that speed 24/7, and laying more cable is expensive. This worked out pretty well for a long time because the internet was (and is, for the most part) bursty. Faster speeds only meant that your page loaded faster. The monkey wrench getting thrown in to internet traffic (at all levels) is the rise of streaming content, which actually requires a constant stream of data instead of a burst.

That didn't really address the monopoly in there, but that part is easy to explain. You see that there actually are physical wires running to houses providing internet connection. Your local ISPs manage the local traffic, but more importantly, they also have to maintain and upgrade those wires to offer faster speeds and service more customers. These lines run in the same way that power lines would run. The monopoly is really an inevitable result of the physical connections that must be made. In order to break a monopoly, a new ISP might have to invest millions just to lay their own network in a service area.

The local monopolies are the result of physical limitations more than "back room deals" (although that isn't to say that said deals never happen...).
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