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posted by mattie_p on Friday February 21 2014, @12:01AM   Printer-friendly
from the stop-clogging-the-pipes dept.

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.'"

 
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Fluffeh on Friday February 21 2014, @12:09AM

    by Fluffeh (954) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 21 2014, @12:09AM (#3892) Journal

    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.

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Fnord666 on Friday February 21 2014, @12:30AM

    by Fnord666 (652) on Friday February 21 2014, @12:30AM (#3906) Homepage

    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.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Nerdfest on Friday February 21 2014, @12:38AM

      by Nerdfest (80) on Friday February 21 2014, @12:38AM (#3911)

      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.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by GungnirSniper on Friday February 21 2014, @01:41AM

        by GungnirSniper (1671) on Friday February 21 2014, @01:41AM (#3962) Journal

        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.

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by dry on Friday February 21 2014, @02:29AM

          by dry (223) on Friday February 21 2014, @02:29AM (#4002) Journal

          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.

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by mojo chan on Friday February 21 2014, @08:26AM

          by mojo chan (266) on Friday February 21 2014, @08:26AM (#4164)

          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.

          --
          const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)
      • (Score: 2, Informative) by captain normal on Friday February 21 2014, @03:01AM

        by captain normal (2205) on Friday February 21 2014, @03:01AM (#4024)

        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]

        --
        When life isn't going right, go left.
        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @08:14AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21 2014, @08:14AM (#4162)

          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."

      • (Score: 1) by weilawei on Friday February 21 2014, @10:14AM

        by weilawei (109) on Friday February 21 2014, @10:14AM (#4200)

        Unless the FCC is given some power,

        Never thought I'd hear that one on /.^H^HSN.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by digitalaudiorock on Friday February 21 2014, @02:25PM

        by digitalaudiorock (688) on Friday February 21 2014, @02:25PM (#4310)

        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.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Swervin on Friday February 21 2014, @03:27PM

        by Swervin (2444) on Friday February 21 2014, @03:27PM (#4358)

        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]

      • (Score: 1) by linsane on Sunday February 23 2014, @06:43PM

        by linsane (633) on Sunday February 23 2014, @06:43PM (#5266)
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Daniel Dvorkin on Friday February 21 2014, @12:47AM

      by Daniel Dvorkin (1099) on Friday February 21 2014, @12:47AM (#3919) Journal

      [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.

      --
      Pipedot [pipedot.org]:Soylent [soylentnews.org]::BSD:Linux
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by frojack on Friday February 21 2014, @01:52AM

      by frojack (1554) on Friday February 21 2014, @01:52AM (#3971) Journal

      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.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by ztoth on Friday February 21 2014, @03:51AM

    by ztoth (821) on Friday February 21 2014, @03:51AM (#4059)

    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.

  • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Friday February 21 2014, @05:20AM

    by hemocyanin (186) on Friday February 21 2014, @05:20AM (#4097) Journal

    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.