dave562 writes: "There was an interesting article posted on Zero Hedge lately on the throttling of Netflix.
'For years, the Netflix streaming business has been growing like a parasite, happy to piggyback on established broadband infrastructures, where the broadband companies themselves have becomes competitors to Netflix for both distribution and content. Until now. Emboldened by the recent Net Neutrality ruling, which has put bandwidth hogs like Netflix which at last check was responsible for over 30% of all downstream US internet traffic, broadband providers are finally making their move, and in a preliminary salvo whose ultimate compromise will be NFLX paying lots of money, have started to throttle Netflix traffic. The WSJ reports (Paywall) that the war between the broadband-ers and the video streaming company has finally emerged from the "cold" phase and is fully hot.'"
Sounds like they want to get paid twice for the same service.
Customer pays for service including bandwidth. They want to charge a company for that same bandwidth the customers are paying for. Sounds totally bogus.
Still, I guess it must be hard, keeping shareholders.... erm... customers happy with their service.
Customer pays for service including bandwidth. They want to charge a company for that same bandwidth the customers are paying for. Sounds totally bogus.
One thing that we sometimes forget and that is missing from the above statement is that the internet is not one big happy entity. It's a big collection of somewhat cooperative networks that, sometimes only grudgingly, pass traffic to each other. That cooperation occurs through peering arrangements that assume a certain balance in the traffic between the peers. When someone like Netflix comes along and disrupts that balance, the relationship becomes lopsided and one network or the other begins to feel more of the financial burden of that traffic. At that point they start looking for ways to seek compensation for the imbalance. They can try to get customers to pay or they can try to get the source of the imbalance to foot the bill. It looks like they are hoping to have success with the latter approach.
PS - I don't work in networking at the backbone level so please enlighten me if I am wrong.
From what I hear, NetFlix is quite happy to provide CDN equipment to ISPs to reduce load, but some of them (Verizon) have decided they'd rather just throttle their traffic instead. Unless the FCC is given some power, the end of the internet as we know it is becoming a reality.
Since Verizon and most other broadband ISPs are also cable TV services, they have an incentive to keep people from cutting the TV cord. One way they are doing that is by offering their own on-demand service bundled with the TV service (Comcast does on-demand for NBC, for example) while degrading outsider services. So even if NetFlix is offering to help reduce the load, it's still not to Verizon's benefit to accept the help.
It's amazing we in the US went from ownership limits and combo limits (newspapers could not own a TV station) only a few decades ago to allowing these mega-corps to dominate every media platform nationwide.
Same thing has happened in Canada and for the consumers it sure hasn't been an improvement, our prices make Americas broadband and cell service look inexpensive and fast.It has been good for government as with most all media being in agreement about who we should elect, it is easier for the government to get re-elected and if not in agreement well the government just threatens to allow an American mega-corp such as Verizon into the country, all in the name of consumer choice.
As far as I'm concerned if my 100Mb broadband service can't stream Netflix in 1080p then it is broken. Broken service means compensation in the form of a reduced bill, and that is what I had for about six months when Virgin broke YouTube.
Released on the 19th, here is a statement by the chairman of the FCC: [url=http://www.fcc.gov/document/statement-fcc-cha irman-tom-wheeler-fccs-open-internet-rules]Tom Wheeler statment[/url]
It amounts to "we are going to wait for the train wreck, then form committee's to study the problem until the hate mail stops. we might do something if you fly a plane into our building."
Unless the FCC is given some power,
Never thought I'd hear that one on /.^H^HSN.
My big complaint about broadband in this country (even being in an area with good broadband competition...CV and Verizon FIOS) is how it's virtually always tied to someone trying to sell you pay TV. I've never had pay TV in 25 years in this house (antenna with a three tuner MythTV system here). With more and more Internet based entertainment options coming along, that becomes a bigger issue for me all the time.
I work for a small ISP. They'll provide peering if you have more than 2Gb/s of traffic. This becomes a problem for small ISPs without a lot of traffic. We're working to install our own caching solution though, which will help with the load and has the nice side effect of improving service for our customers.
Netflix's CDN guidelines: https://signup.netflix.com/openconnect/guidelines [netflix.com]
Seems like it was all a pre-amble to an agreement:http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-23/netflix-s aid-to-agree-to-pay-comcast-for-faster-broadband-a ccess.html [bloomberg.com]
[T]he internet is not one big happy entity. It's a big collection of somewhat cooperative networks that, sometimes only grudgingly, pass traffic to each other.
"The internet" is defined by cooperative networks passing traffic to each other. Whether the people running the networks do so "grudgingly" doesn't really matter, so long as the networks themselves are set up to pass the traffic with a minimum of fuss. When people start screwing with that, it's perilously close to not being the internet any more.
The internet has always been Bring your own Bandwidth.You pay for your own connection to your ISP, and your ISP pays the upstream and the upstream pays the backbone.
But Fnord666's post above, seems to suggest NetFlix sneaks its traffic onto the net without paying a cent. This is clearly false. They pay their ISP (they likely bypass everybody and connect direct to the backbone carrier) and they pay an enormous price.
So the OP is correct, all this grousing is double dipping by the local ISPs and low level upstream providers.
Still, as pointed out by others, Netflix works with ISPs to put their servers as close to the head-ends of ISPs so as not to inflate their traffic to the backbone. Every megabyte they save the ISP from having to pay the upstream is that much money left in the ISP's bank.
I wonder how long until they take the next logical step.. charging customers to have access to netflix, on top of charging netflix to carry their traffic (which is going to be paid by customers eventually), after both sides have already paid for bandwidth.
I'd mod you to +6 (if I had mod points and going above 5 was possible).
I pay for my bandwidth, which includes a 300gb cap. I should get to use that to the maximum speed under my plan. That's what what was advertised, what I paid for, and to not give it to me is a kind of fraud.
That ol' parasitic netflix. Who probably has an SLA from their up/downstreams. Probably paying Mbux for those. But let's go ahead and blame this on the content providers rather than on the carriers with their publicly funded infrastructure and record profits.
What's really kind of ironic about calling Netflix "parasitic" is that the broadband providers probably have gained a lot of customers because dial up or a crappy DSL just won't cut it for Netflix. In other words, if they kill Netflix, a lot of their current customers won't need broadband.
A case in point is this article. We all know that the various digital media distributors are at odds with the larger carriers. There have been numerous articles posted recently about the topic. Without being able to read the article itself, I have no idea what makes this story any different than the dozen others in the last week about the same thing. Why is this article front page worthy and how can I, as a SN reader, find that out?
Hi there, editor here. I goofed in editing. There was a very interesting article [zerohedge.com] originally linked in the summary that I accidentally deleted while I was formatting for publication. Oops! I just stuck it back in, you should see it soon. I agree that the primary source of a story here should never exclusively be a paywalled article.
As a side note: If you are submitting an article, hyperlink your source to keywords, don't just stick it as a raw URL in the beginning or end of your submission. Please make our jobs as editors easier and hot link it within your submission, so that we can continue to provide quality stories to the community. Thanks for reading! ~mattie_p
As a side note: If you are submitting an article, hyperlink your source to keywords, don't just stick it as a raw URL in the beginning or end of your submission. Please make our jobs as editors easier and hot link it within your submission, so that we can continue to provide quality stories to the community.
You should spell it out that way on the story submission page. I see that you have something to that effect, but it is a lot more vague than what you just wrote. It is OK to have longer instructions, just break them up into readable chunks, like a checklist rather than a "wall of text."
Another thing I's like to see discouraged is link baiting by posting some thin blog post, or commercial site (like space.com) for a story when the free and more authoritative source (such as NASA.gov) is just as easily linked.
Of course, in some cases you might find someplace that provides more analysis than the direct source, but just as often people link these sites just to send traffic to them.
If its worth submitting, its worth researching, and following links a little deeper.
"hyperlink your source to keywords, don't just stick it as a raw URL in the beginning or end of your submission. Please make our jobs as editors easier... "
Well, that's only fair if most submissions are accepted. To spend extra effort in embedding links is not worth the trouble if 4 out of 5 submissions are rejected. Probably not yet the case here, but it will be.
"hyperlink your source to keywords, don't just stick it as a raw URL in the beginning or end of your submission. Please make our jobs as editors easier... "Well, that's only fair if most submissions are accepted. To spend extra effort in embedding links is not worth the trouble if 4 out of 5 submissions are rejected. Probably not yet the case here, but it will be.
I put the effort in to hyperlink an article while submitting the story on my phone and it was still rejected ;-)
I think having some sort of feedback for why something was rejected would be nice, even if it was one of a couple of predefined reasons like "not interesting" or "out of date" or something.
Agree re paywalled articles. Perhaps editors should research to find other sources?
I think the difference in this story is that net neutrality has been dressed up as some evil hippy concept, and the connectivity providers think that they will get away with it. Which they will, but that's veering in the direction of politics, so I'll stop here.
It is pretty easy to get past these "leaky" paywalls. I read the article without any hassle at all.
Here's what I do:
(1) Install "self-destructing cookies" -- It is an add-on that deletes all of a site's cookies 10 seconds after you leave the site (close the tab or just follow a link to somewhere else). The default settings are pretty good, if anything you might want to turn off notifications because it works so well that you can just install it and forget about it for any site that you don't want to remember you. (It has a white-list for the sites you do want to remember you.)
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/sel f-destructing-cookies/ [mozilla.org]
(2) Install RefControl -- Lets you change the http-referer header on a per site basis. Then set it to use "http://google.com/" as the referer for 3rd party requests (first link to a website but not any internal links).https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/ref control/ [mozilla.org]
That's enough to get past most of these semi-paywalls like NYTimes, WSJ, etc.
FWIW, discovering this was a side-effect of trying to protect my privacy. It's just serendipitous that their desire to track the crap out of you makes them vulnerable to people who don't want to be tracked.
We're moving from NY to Florida next month. I was looking forward to trying Netflix once we got there, but Comcast is the only highspeed internet choice where we're going. No Netflix for me! (ATT U-Verse is available, but it's a lot slower than Comcast's offering since it's not an FTTP area)
There have been reports that Comcast - and others - have been throttling Netflix since before the recent net neutrality court decision, so whether or not we ultimately took the plunge to give Netflix a try was iffy to begin with. The threat of not getting consistent and reliable, either now or in the future, is costing Netflix real money, right now. At least in my personal quantum of sample size.
Looking at the lobbyists arrayed on the issue, I don't see any way net neutrality survives much longer. The current FCC chairman himself is a former lobbyist from what I hear. When his tenure is up he'll go right back through that revolving door into the arms of grateful telecoms who will reward him handsomely for his service.
I have Netflix in NJ (Over the river) and while they may throttle, I sure as hell never noticed this. Comcast Internet is totally overpriced garbage, but I am able to view Netflix just fine. Your mileage may vary. Few years ago they also put some sort of datacaps into the unlimited service... once again I never hit said cap so it had 0 impact on me.
I thought I'd jump in and say.... Just try it.
I'm on a 8 year old 3Mbps DSL link and I use netflix every single night. Most of the time, after a couple minutes of watching, the stream flips to high-def. They have some amazing compression.
Two months ago I got boosted to a theoretical 7mbps, and yes now I can watch two netflix shows simultaneously... But usually all this means is that when my wife decided she needs her netflix fix, I don't get lagged out of xbox live :)
This should not be front page Soylent News.
After 9 hours with no new stories... I'll take any article!
Thank you for your wonderful response. I will submit a story titled "Identifying Sarcasm in a Forum Post" ASAP /sarcasm
Agree. Not because of the subject matter, I think Netflix throttling is worthy of discussion, but most of us can't read a pay-walled article!
I just fixed that, read above for my explanation about that. Thanks for reading!
I'm sorry you feel that way. I already feel badly for omitting the original article [zerohedge.com], which I have now rectified. May I ask why you don't think this story should be here, in its corrected form? Thanks for reading! ~mattie_p
It shows a clear bias. This is where editors are required.
Not saying you don't have a right to an opinion, but this is EXACTLY the sort of story that I want on the front page of the site. It is mixing technology and yro in a single story. As a nerd, Net Neutrality and ISPs doing "dodgey shit" is exactly the sort of thing I don't want swept under the carpet.
Holy non-neutral summaries, Batman!
I don't honestly mind seeing this in the news (net neutrality is definitely a worthy topic), but dropping phrases like "growing like a parasite" and "bandwidth hog" in the summary is going to be a turnoff to new visitors and people who like to make up their own minds about things. Even if said phrases are true.
Ontopic: Net neutrality for the win. I've seen my own network heavily optimized. If I'm watching youtube videos, etherape shows that they're actually coming from local caching servers in chunks rather than straight from google. I don't mind optimization, but I do mind giant corps taking out their feuds on their customers to make a point.
Oh, I get it. Not a problem then.
Man, it has got to suck to be an editor. One little slipup and we all pounce like hyenas. Keep up the good work!
True? Netflix pays for their bandwidth, and so does the customer. The only parasites are the ISP's wanting to double dip in that traffic.
I agree with you. The ISPs are totally out of line. I just meant as a general rule.
Ars has had a couple of articles on the subject recently: here [arstechnica.com] and here [arstechnica.com]
I'm not sure about the parasite label (editor sarcasm?), but I feel like letting huge cable / big media conglomerates call the shots for most of the Internet will only harm it in the long run. We should know by now that they really aren't to be trusted.
I mean, that's the point of regulation, to prevent abuses. It isn't a competitive enough environment for free market forces to curb the worst excesses, so something like Net Neutrality seems vitally important.
But then, I'm sure those former lobbyists in the government know better than I..
Here are a couple of links to non-paywalled articles covering the same topic:
http://business.time.com/2014/02/19/netflix-verizo n-peering/ [time.com]http://consumerist.com/2014/02/19/why-even-a-net-n eutrality-rewrite-wouldnt-alleviate-slow-netflix-s ervice/ [consumerist.com]
I don't understand the need to link to articles most of us aren't going to read because its hidden behind a paywall. While I don't mind paying for certain content (Netflix, for example) there is no way in hell I'm going to give money to the corporate propaganda machine that is Murdoch's Wall Street Journal. He came right out and admitted that he would be using it to sell his view on things when he bought it.
As to the whole Netflix vs the ISPs debate...In my opinion the ISPs are completely and totally in the wrong. Their customers are already paying for that bandwidth. They shouldn't have any right to tell their customers how to use that bandwidth. The only reason they are fighting back so hard against Netflix is because so many of them own their own content companies and don't want competition. They're using their control of the last mile (their ISP business) to lock out competitors in a different industry (Television). Even without net neutrality rules that type of behavior is exactly what anti-trust law was designed to prevent.
On a side note I'm going to plug the ISP I use, http://sonic.net/ [sonic.net] because they're great. You don't have to pay extra for static IPs, they fight for your privacy and they strongly support net neutrality. Also, if you do have a problem you can get someone on the phone who actually knows their shit without having to wade through a phone tree for an hour.
I'm responding to as many people as I can so you can see I goofed. Its fixed now, see my explanation above. [soylentnews.org] ~mattie_p
You know what else is awesome about SN? This kind of dialog and transparency about the site and the processes going on. It's almost like the other site prided itself on its operations being opaque to the users. Thanks again for keeping us so well informed, for keeping a good attitude (hard though that must be at times!), and for keeping the signal so high!
Hello, I believe that there must be something that I am missing.
I run several dedicated servers, they cost money every month and that includes a certain bandwidth allocation built into the price. More bandwidth per month costs more money per month.
I believe the data centers pay large amounts of money to the backbone providers to get multiple unmetered 10gbit links to the internet, which they then oversell to a certain extent to the people like me who hire the dedicated servers, so that bandwidth is fully paid for.
And then at home I pay my ISP for an internet connection, a cheap connection has say 50gb a month with speed limiting for the rest of the month if you go over. You can upgrade to a business connection where no speed limiting occurs but you get charged something like 20c a gigabyte over the monthly allocation. And for $90 a month I can get a 600gb a month bandwidth allocation, which is my current plan from my ISP.
So that is fully paid for.
Where exactly is netflix getting free access? Surely they have to pay someone to get access to the internet at all, unless they themselves are a tier-1 backbone provider?
Apologies if this is a stupid question but I am certain there must be other people like me who are confused about this.
"Where exactly is netflix getting free access? Surely they have to pay someone to get access to the internet at all, unless they themselves are a tier-1 backbone provider?"
Netflix isn't getting anything for free. They're paying their own way. So are their customers who have already paid for their bandwidth. The problem is that our major ISPs are greedy motherfuckers who almost always have a local monopoly or duopoly and the vast amounts of power that come with that. They're double dipping and trying to get Netflix to pay a second time for Bandwidth that the ISPs customers have already paid for. It should be fucking criminal but when you own as many lawmakers as the major ISPs you get to write the laws....
Hope that helps clear up any confusion.
You forgot to add that the ISPs have also expanded into content and are directly competing with netflix so naturally want to leverage their monopoly in the ISP business to push their media business.At one time there were rules about what a company could own, rules meant to foster competition and somehow we got sold on the idea that no regulations (actually just certain regulations) is better for competition.
But the rules are ebil socialism!! How dare you question deregulation. Corporations are model citizens and would never screw consumers over when allowed to self-regulate!
Occasionally they pick up on a good story but to me, most of their story submissions are thinly disguised political agendas. I hope Soylent doesn't become an echo chamber for that shithole.
With that being said, if I already pay for Comcast (which I will be shortly) and I already pay for Netflix (which I won't be doing, see earlier comment), then why in the world would I - or should I - be willing to pay for VPN service on top of all that?
From what I've heard about Comcast I wouldn't be surprised if they're buying up VPN services and using them to extract additional fees from their broadband internet customers just for the "privilege" of being allowed to view Netflix.
Cesspool, yes I would agree. Worthless? Absolutely not. At the very least it can be quite funny to drop by and have a look at the rants, but more importantly for SN it shows what can go so horribly wrong if the comment moderation system on a site is horribly broken or just plain absent...
I'd think that no-one would be complaining if movies played without stuttering and minimal buffering at first.
I get that even on short films: it seems to happen at the end of every Looney Tune I watch.
No you need much more of a buffer than 1 frame due to all sorts of issues such as to handle UDP packet reordering, allowances for dropped/corrupted frames, etc. That idiotic statements like your's gets rated insightful is quite sad.
No one is claiming that a 90 minute movie should be downloaded in 10 minutes. But plenty of people are seeing issues where they can't get a high quality stream, which only needs like 3-4mbit/sec, because of the throttling that kicks them to the shit quality version.
To add, you can also find reports of AT&T gigapower users with supposed 300mbit/s connections that can't even get the HD stream from Netflix. And that would only end up using less than 1.5% of the bandwidth they are being sold.
Fair enough. That puts it in perspective. I'm a Vudu user and haven't noticed any issues and I'm a Cox customer. It's probably only a matter of time, however. We can always go back to pirating movies.
I doubt I've ever read an article summary so poorly written (certainly not on slashdot!). Unsurprisingly it came from zerohedge, that renowned bastion of literacy. I suppose austerity as a tenant of libertarian philosophy may preclude the existence of actual editing.
No DRM in HTML!https://defectivebydesign.org/netflix [defectivebydesign.org]