AfterDawn: Tech news

Verizon responds to Netflix throttling allegations

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 06 Feb 2014 16:36 User comments (20)

Verizon responds to Netflix throttling allegations Verizon has responded to a claim that it is throttling (limiting bandwidth to) Netflix and other services in the cloud, just weeks after a federal court struck down the FCC's net neutrality rules.
The allegation comes from David Raphael, an engineer with cloud security firm iScan Online. According to Mr Raphael's account, he was first made aware of speed problems when using Amazon's AWS cloud services after the president of the company told him there was a dramatic slowdown. Raphael could not find a problem in the company's product, but all of the company's infrastructure is hosted on Amazon's servers.

One evening, Raphael noticed a considerable slowdown when using the company's services from home, and realized that both the company president, and himself, used Verizon's FIOS Internet service. He tested the speed at which he could retrieve data from Amazon AWS S3 and got a dismal 40kB/s. After remoting into the office - less than a mile away - the speed bumped up dramatically to 5000kB/s. A clear difference between both connections is one is for residential purposes, while the other is for business.

Around the same time, Raphael had noticed considerable degrading in the quality of Netflix video streaming. Netflix also uses Amazon's AWS services to host content.

Conflicting answers from Verizon

Raphael contacted Verizon to get some answers and eventually ended up on the phone with a customer representative who initially walked him through the typical rigmarole of running a general speed test, rebooting router, checking the system is up to date, and so on. Eventually, the rep ended up providing remote assistance via a screen sharing tool, and this is where it gets interesting.

During an exchange with Raphael, the rep seemingly admits that Verizon is actively "limiting bandwidth to cloud providers."


That would suggest that Verizon is taking full advantage of last month's DC Circuit court decision against the FCC's net neutrality rules, but as it turns out, Verizon has contradicted its own support rep.

"We treat all traffic equally, and that has not changed," a statement from Verizon, obtained by the Washington Post, reads.

"Many factors can affect the speed of a customer's experience for a specific site, including that site's servers, the way the traffic is routed over the Internet and other considerations. We are looking into this specific matter, but the company representative was mistaken. We're going to redouble our representative education efforts on this topic."

FCC's Net Neutrality loss

Last month, January 14, in the case of Verizon v. Federal Communications Commission, the DC Circuit Court struck down net neutrality rules enforced by the regulator. The court found that the FCC does not have the authority to enforce the rules because service providers are not identified as "common carriers."

The FCC can still enforce rules on broadband services up to a point without identifying service providers as common carriers, and the court confirmed this, meaning net neutrality is in no way dead yet.

David Raphael's account & pic source: Dave's Blog
Verizon statement via Washingtington Post: www.washingtonpost.com (by Brian Fung)
Verizon v. Federal Communications Commission decision: www.cadc.uscourts.gov (PDF)

Previous Next

Related news

 

20 user comments

16.2.2014 18:48

Had similar problems with AT&T with Netflix and Youtube. They claimed they were not but it was pretty evident they were.

I hope the first ISP that pulls this BS loses all their customers and maybe the others will be more wise to not fall in line with the trendsetter.


AMD Phenom II 965 @ 3.67Ghz, 8GB DDR3, ATI Radeon 5770HD, 256GB OCZ Vertex 4, 2TB Additional HDD, Windows 7 Ultimate.

http://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices

26.2.2014 21:24

The court ruled that since ISPs are not utilities they cannot be controlled like utilities. Utilities can be regulated because they are usually monopolies. The problem is that in most places one ISP is either a monopoly or a de facto monopoly...and the providers know this, so they have no fear of losing customers.

I'm not a big fan of government regulation...but since most of these monopolies exist (at least partially) because of government regulation, the FCC really needs to step up and declare ISPs to be utilities (from what I understand it wouldn't take much more than a press release). If they did that, they could bring back net neutrality.



36.2.2014 22:50

Originally posted by KillerBug:
The court ruled that since ISPs are not utilities they cannot be controlled like utilities. Utilities can be regulated because they are usually monopolies. The problem is that in most places one ISP is either a monopoly or a de facto monopoly...and the providers know this, so they have no fear of losing customers.

I'm not a big fan of government regulation...but since most of these monopolies exist (at least partially) because of government regulation, the FCC really needs to step up and declare ISPs to be utilities (from what I understand it wouldn't take much more than a press release). If they did that, they could bring back net neutrality.
That is their argument but with the minimal choices we have in the US for ISPs you are right they need to be regulated and the FCC needs to step up and say the customer pays for the internet pipe AKA bandwidth and not what is sent down that pipe. I pay for 50mbs it should not matter how I use that 50mbs. The content coming down the "pipe" is not created or owned by the ISP in most cases.

No ISP owns Netflix or Youtube so they should not be able to throttle or regulate the content of someone else. If I were these other companies I would sue the ISP that throttled my content because it harmful to the content creator's image. Meaning that if they throttle netflix for example it would make Netflix look bad if the service did not perform as it should because the ISP is intentionally harming it.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Feb 2014 @ 22:53

AMD Phenom II 965 @ 3.67Ghz, 8GB DDR3, ATI Radeon 5770HD, 256GB OCZ Vertex 4, 2TB Additional HDD, Windows 7 Ultimate.

http://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices

46.2.2014 23:40

This is the problem with America. There seems to be the notion of a free market. Unfortunately, it is just that. A notion. I am sorry, but this can apply to certain things, but not others.

For instance, sure, let there be free market and competition with things like coffee shops, and restaurants, and wedding photographers, and other small businesses. It is relatively easy for anyone who is willing to put in the effort to try to carve out a niche for themselves in these arenas. But can the average person start and effectively compete in things like electrical utilities, ISP, or telephone service? No. Why not? Because these require multi-billion dollars worth of infrastructure to "get you started."

So, these services will naturally tend toward monopolies. And you know what? There will be price gouging. Even if there are 2 or 3 major players, there will be price fixing and collusion. I'm sorry, but some things just need to be nationalized. TelCOs, ISPs, Banks, and Utilities come to mind. Oh wait. This would standardize shit across the board and seek to eliminate profiteering an corruption. Whoops... Wrong country. This will never happen here, and you can bet that these companies have Washington in their pockets, and are filling their pockets. Get used to it. You're the small guy, the pleb, the silly skinsuit of a useless consumer. You lose, and always will. Talk of regulation and the like is bullshit.

Just my 2 cents.

As long as all your infrastructure are belong to 1 or 2 players, nothing will change. Like the example of certain geographic regions being Verizon country, or AT&T country. =) What can you do? Go with a crappy 3rd party who probably leases their backbone or lines from 1 of those two anyways, and get crappier speed/service, for not much less money.


SuckRaven

57.2.2014 0:19

Well said, Raven. Bravo, sir.

67.2.2014 7:10

Originally posted by SuckRaven:
This is the problem with America. There seems to be the notion of a free market. Unfortunately, it is just that. A notion. I am sorry, but this can apply to certain things, but not others.

For instance, sure, let there be free market and competition with things like coffee shops, and restaurants, and wedding photographers, and other small businesses. It is relatively easy for anyone who is willing to put in the effort to try to carve out a niche for themselves in these arenas. But can the average person start and effectively compete in things like electrical utilities, ISP, or telephone service? No. Why not? Because these require multi-billion dollars worth of infrastructure to "get you started."

So, these services will naturally tend toward monopolies. And you know what? There will be price gouging. Even if there are 2 or 3 major players, there will be price fixing and collusion. I'm sorry, but some things just need to be nationalized. TelCOs, ISPs, Banks, and Utilities come to mind. Oh wait. This would standardize shit across the board and seek to eliminate profiteering an corruption. Whoops... Wrong country. This will never happen here, and you can bet that these companies have Washington in their pockets, and are filling their pockets. Get used to it. You're the small guy, the pleb, the silly skinsuit of a useless consumer. You lose, and always will. Talk of regulation and the like is bullshit.

Just my 2 cents.

As long as all your infrastructure are belong to 1 or 2 players, nothing will change. Like the example of certain geographic regions being Verizon country, or AT&T country. =) What can you do? Go with a crappy 3rd party who probably leases their backbone or lines from 1 of those two anyways, and get crappier speed/service, for not much less money.

Your post has some things that I'd agree with but I think you go a little too far.

Firstly, where I agree. Yes, service providers do provide an essential public service that a LOT of commerce nowadays depends on, and therefore there is a genuine national interest in any country about the cost of access to these networks, the way in which they manage traffic on their networks and so on. Their networks are also composed of cables and infrastructure that has to be laid on or under public spaces and so there needs to be permission sought to extend networks and so on.

Another area where this really is important is with wireless carriers because they need to use spectrum, public airwaves, for which they want exclusive access. Therefore, many countries put a LOT of strings on the continued exclusive use of spectrum that essentially implores the provider to keep their networks up to date and affordable for consumer and business use.

However, where I disagree with you is nationalization. I live in Europe and so I see the problems myself. What ends up happening, from my perspective, is nationally-owned companies (quite often public transport networks) fall into unprofitability (is that a word? you know what i mean anyway) and require adjustments. A private company in this case would have essentially two options; first is to raise prices (which can put off consumers and lose custom, meaning raised costs are offset by lower custom and lower revenue) or to either cut staff costs or cut employment. At a private company there might be a union reaction but at the end of the day there is typically some middle ground found because the last thing the workers want is for the company to go out of business.

But when the company is PUBLIC, there comes a third option that unions will push for.. subsidizing. That essentially means that the state must step in and fill the gap between revenue and spending.. in other words, everyone ends up paying for it, and this can get worse and worse and worse. There is less chance of middle ground to be found in negotiations because essentially states have access to massive resources and can borrow mind-boggling sums of money. What will end up happening is the argument will shift to something like this... "This government wants to hurt all families, businesses and people who commute by making savage cuts to essential public services." etc. I KNOW you've heard those terms before, particularly if you follow European affairs.

So nationalization is not always the way to go. There are some exceptions of course.. I do believe in a health system that has strong national components to it because I think such a system is GOOD for the overall economy.. when people don't go bankrupt because they get sick etc. But I wouldn't agree with nationalizing telecommunications companies, for example.

77.2.2014 10:53

>> I do believe in a health system that has strong national components to it because I think such a system is GOOD for the overall economy.<<

BS.. Obamacare is really helping, isn't it?

87.2.2014 11:13

Originally posted by BLUESGUY:
>> I do believe in a health system that has strong national components to it because I think such a system is GOOD for the overall economy.<<

BS.. Obamacare is really helping, isn't it?

If you think Obamacare is a public healthcare system, then you don't know what a public healthcare system is. Obamacare is largely an expansion of medicare (which is about the only public part of it, but I wouldn't equate medicare to a public health system or option, its simply certain care that the government will pay for in a private system - or more specifically it is public in that it is run by the CMS, but the CMS has it managed by private insurers) and an individual mandate to sign up for private health insurance. There is more to it than that but that's about it. In some ways it is the same as Romney's programme as governor and Bob Dole's republican healthcare plan in the 90s. It is absolutely nowhere near a national health service.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Feb 2014 @ 11:22

97.2.2014 12:28

Originally posted by Dela:
Originally posted by BLUESGUY:
>> I do believe in a health system that has strong national components to it because I think such a system is GOOD for the overall economy.<<

BS.. Obamacare is really helping, isn't it?

If you think Obamacare is a public healthcare system, then you don't know what a public healthcare system is. Obamacare is largely an expansion of medicare (which is about the only public part of it, but I wouldn't equate medicare to a public health system or option, its simply certain care that the government will pay for in a private system - or more specifically it is public in that it is run by the CMS, but the CMS has it managed by private insurers) and an individual mandate to sign up for private health insurance. There is more to it than that but that's about it. In some ways it is the same as Romney's programme as governor and Bob Dole's republican healthcare plan in the 90s. It is absolutely nowhere near a national health service.
Spot ON, I live in México, here there's public health system, which means, there's hospitals where you go to, they check you, they treat you, all you need, you don't pay a cent. It doesn't matter if it's cancer of it is just a swollen throat. Of course it's far from perfect, many things lack, but I'm just trying to provide an example of public health care system. It's not an insurance, it's free access to any medical treatment without paying for it (of course you pay it in every single paycheck where they take out a bi percentage as tax)

107.2.2014 13:07

For what it's worth, I worked for BellSouth before senior management sold us out to AT&T. In late 2006 we in Network Transport were aware then that, because of lack of capacity on the local transport side and reluctance to buy additional bandwidth on the backbones, way-serious congestion was occurring. Throttling was the solution chosen because of cost (none), customer ignorance (at the time), and no FCC or local PSC regulations preventing it. The lack of regulations then has come back to bite us in the behind now.

Telcom deregulation has got us to where we are now. Corporations are focused on quarterly earnings rather than long term strategies and customer service. The FCC, rife with patronage appointments, has become a rubber stamp committee for whatever the industry wants with gross disregard for the consumer. FCC chairmen, who serve about 2 1/2 years before moving on, are just as myopic concentrating on padding their resumes and pockets using their appointments as spring boards to advancement.

IMHO we need the Congress (roll eyes now) to actually represent us, reviewing and revising the role of the FCC. The concepts of "universal service," equal network access for CLECs, and opening of the long distance marketplace were wireline telephone issues that were not extrapolated or refined to consider tech innovations. Wireless, internet, and local access issues demand the FCC and the Final Consent Decree be readdressed.

The third man, the public, must demand more and better from what few companies are left providing service and from the governmental entities that are supposed to serve us. We are rapidly moving to 3rd world status with regards to communications service. Take a look at South Korea and Japan's networks-gigabit internet speeds available to the consumer.

Regulation is necessary in industries that have proven to be irresponsible stewards of the public's interest. We don't need nationalization, we need to make the companies accountable. After all, deregulation was supposed to provide a free and fair marketplace where competition and innovation would flourish. All we got out of it was a week to get your phone fixed, no 'a la carte selection of cable or satellite tv channels, virtually no competition in the ISP arena and telcos that are selling entire local exchanges because they are not profitable. God help you if live a few miles outside a major metro-then all you've got to choose from is a few wireless providers and that's it.

Yes, I am long winded, but net neutrality but MUST be the law of the land so to speak. If not, well you see what is happening already. We are down to two players; A and V, both doing just as they please making investors happy and screwing anyone who doesn't play by their rules.

117.2.2014 17:33

Originally posted by BLUESGUY:
>> I do believe in a health system that has strong national components to it because I think such a system is GOOD for the overall economy.<<

BS.. Obamacare is really helping, isn't it?
Actually it is. Where do you get YOUR news from, Fox Snooze or the RNC (same thing)? 6 million people with coverage that didn't have it before.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Feb 2014 @ 17:33

127.2.2014 23:35

Originally posted by rbi149:
Originally posted by BLUESGUY:
>> I do believe in a health system that has strong national components to it because I think such a system is GOOD for the overall economy.<<

BS.. Obamacare is really helping, isn't it?
Actually it is. Where do you get YOUR news from, Fox Snooze or the RNC (same thing)? 6 million people with coverage that didn't have it before.
Whatever dude.... millions more than that have gotten cancellation notices because the new mandated coverage minimums are too costly, and many millions more have seen their premiums double.


138.2.2014 10:13

Originally posted by SuckRaven:

I'm sorry, but some things just need to be nationalized. TelCOs, ISPs, Banks, and Utilities come to mind. Oh wait. This would standardize shit across the board and seek to eliminate profiteering an corruption. Whoops... Wrong country.

right because the Post Office is a Shinning Example of Efficient Run Gov. Enterprise .....

148.2.2014 10:21

Originally posted by gaboAcosta:
Originally posted by Dela:
Originally posted by BLUESGUY:
>> I do believe in a health system that has strong national components to it because I think such a system is GOOD for the overall economy.<<

BS.. Obamacare is really helping, isn't it?

If you think Obamacare is a public healthcare system, then you don't know what a public healthcare system is. Obamacare is largely an expansion of medicare (which is about the only public part of it, but I wouldn't equate medicare to a public health system or option, its simply certain care that the government will pay for in a private system - or more specifically it is public in that it is run by the CMS, but the CMS has it managed by private insurers) and an individual mandate to sign up for private health insurance. There is more to it than that but that's about it. In some ways it is the same as Romney's programme as governor and Bob Dole's republican healthcare plan in the 90s. It is absolutely nowhere near a national health service.
Spot ON, I live in México, here there's public health system, which means, there's hospitals where you go to, they check you, they treat you, all you need, you don't pay a cent. It doesn't matter if it's cancer of it is just a swollen throat.
it's not an insurance, it's free access to any medical treatment without paying for it (of course you pay it in every single paycheck where they take out a bi percentage as tax)


yeah what does that 'FREE' healthcare cost you ?

I pay aprox. 35% in over all taxes, Fed. State and local .... yours is ?

50, 60, 70 ?

158.2.2014 10:37

Originally posted by g49hyg9:


Take a look at South Korea and Japan's networks-gigabit internet speeds available to the consumer.




Great Post .... the only real flaw with your analogy is, Korea is a tiny country compared to the US - that is not a dig @ Korea, just a matter of fact ;

so the Gov. investment in broadband -

Quote:
The country then experienced economic crisis in 1997 with the rest of the region. During the economic reforms being implemented after the financial crisis, the information technology (IT) sector was one of several that was targeted and considered to be an important factor in the recovery of the nation’s economy. In 1999, the government implemented the program known as Cyber Korea 21, which was intended to accelerate IT development.
In 1999, the government provided US$77 million in loans with preferential rates to facilities service providers (FSP). In 2000, another US$77 million was provided in loans for suburban areas, small cities and towns, and regional industrial areas. Another US$926 million was provided until 2005 in order to supply the rural areas with broadband.
Commensurate with its investment funding, the government implemented various policies designed to increase internet use among the general population. The government provided “internet literacy” lessons to homemakers, the elderly, military personnel, and farmers. In June 2000, the government implemented what was known as the “Ten Million People Internet Education” project, the purpose of which was to provide internet education to ten million people.
The number of broadband subscribers in Korea reached 10 million in October 2002, with about 70% out of 14.3 million homes connected at the speed of over 2 Mbit/s.


at 926 million is substantial, the US would require 10'a of billions to put high speed Fiber into a majority of the homes ... the problem is, when the Gov starts throwing money @ something it is;

A) Wildly inefficient
b) someone is pocketing kick backs - to award contracts

look at the Railroad or Rural Electrification

168.2.2014 10:40

Originally posted by rbi149:
Actually it is. Where do you get YOUR news from, Fox Snooze or the RNC (same thing)? 6 million people with coverage that didn't have it before.

[url=http://cnsnews.com/news/article/cbo-obamacare-will-leave-30-million-uninsured][color=Blue]CBO: Obamacare Will Leave 30 Million Uninsured[/color][/url]

30 million people STILL without coverage ... you wanna talk about all those people who's plans got canceled this yr ... so many your buddy Obama had t issues illegal orders, not to enforce the mandate this yr ....

178.2.2014 19:13

The way I look at it, if Verizon doesn't want people accusing them of slowing down traffic, they shouldn't have went to court to defend their right to slow down traffic.

1810.2.2014 18:44

Originally posted by Xian:
The way I look at it, if Verizon doesn't want people accusing them of slowing down traffic, they shouldn't have went to court to defend their right to slow down traffic.
Agreed, 100 per cent!

1910.2.2014 21:56

America's on a downward spiral. Forced surveillance is on the horizon. Communism in a costume of Freedom.

2010.2.2014 22:59

Originally posted by DDR4life:
Originally posted by Xian:
The way I look at it, if Verizon doesn't want people accusing them of slowing down traffic, they shouldn't have went to court to defend their right to slow down traffic.
Agreed, 100 per cent!
Right! It's not rocket science is it?

Originally posted by BLUESGUY:
>> I do believe in a health system that has strong national components to it because I think such a system is GOOD for the overall economy.<<

BS.. Obamacare is really helping, isn't it?
The problem is not with universal healthcare, it's with the system you chose. It should rightly be called Romneycare. But dittoheads don't do research.

In Oz we have a Public Option system which simply forces private insurers to up their act by default.

My dual-passport friends here from the US love it.

And he's right, no-one in Oz goes bankrupt from health costs... which, let's face it, we're only faintly covered, if at all, for the vast majority of privately insured Americans. Something you don't find out until you actually have to go to hospital.

Its a lot easier being righteous than right.


DSE VZ300-
Zilog Z80 CPU, 32KB RAM (16K+16K cartridge), video processor 6847, 2KB video RAM, 16 colours (text mode), 5.25" FDD

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive