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back to article Verizon: Us throttling AWS and Netflix? Not likely

Verizon has strenuously denied claims that it is throttling IP addresses associated with Amazon Web Services. The telco was forced to issue a statement on Wednesday after a blog post gained attention which claimed that Verizon was throttling bandwidth to sites associated with AWS IPs. The blog post in question was published on …

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WTF?

Questioning Verizon's net neutrality?

I have been a Verizon FiOS user for over 5 years, and have been using Phone Power for 4 of those. Up to now, call quality was mostly very good, but over the past 10 days my voice call quality has become practically unusable.

Is this attributable to recent rulings re: net neutrality, and actions that Verizon may have been taking as a consequence? I don't know. On the one hand it would strike me as unnaturally counterproductive to immediately show the entire country what loss of net neutrality means and sparking regulatory and/or legislative action, on the other hand nothing surprises me any more...

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Re: Questioning Verizon's net neutrality?

Yes, I've been noticing issues the last few days too. Problem is I'm not sure if it is Netflix, Verizon, or the Blueray manufacturer who are at fault. Start the Netflix app, leave it on pause or the selection scren for a few minutes and come back to a non-working stream. Reboot the blueray, same thing. Reboot the ISP router and the blueray and everything works again.

I'll stand by my previous posts that we don't need Congress regulating the issue. I fully expect that as the truth emerges from customers, Verizon will change its ways or lose customers. Because there are other choices, even in remote areas.

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Anonymous Coward

I thought Netflix had its own fat pipes

Directly plugged into many of the major ISPs? That certainly seemed to be the case when I was a miserly 4k TalkTalk/AOL connection. Back then, Netflix was fine while iPlayer and the other UK catchup services all struggled. Same with Sony network; if NetFlix is working none too well on your smart TV, try it on Playstation instead.

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Re: I thought Netflix had its own fat pipes

That's the interesting twist in the whole Net Neutrality thing. January last year Netflix was doing to ISP's what Neutrality was supposed to prevent. Unless your ISP enters into Netflix's OpenConnect, they intentionally give you a lower quality picture (after loud screaming by ISP's over Net Neutrality in September they gave in and allowed all ISP's high quality streams).

This is where I think the world is really going, rather than ISP's being the boogie man, I think the few really big websites, etc are going to start throwing around their weight and try to push ISP's to directly peer with them etc. or give them crappier service. Which under the current Net Neutrality law is legal since they aren't an ISP.

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Re: I thought Netflix had its own fat pipes

Bollocks.

If the ISP refuses to peer and instead wants to double dip by charging the content provider for transit as well as the subscriber for receiving said packets then what is the content provider supposed to do? Eat the cost of paying that ISP? Make the subscribers from non-douchetastic ISPs subsidize those who subscribe to the greedy one?

Indeed, can that ISP who isn't directly peering even handle high-quality streams, if everything is going through a smaller pipe? Seems to me that lowering the quality is the only way the content provider has in that situation to ensure that their customers get a stream at all.

Perhaps the better route would have been to charge an extra fee to the content consumers to deal with the transit charges imposed by their ISP?

Let's be clear here: infrastructure owners should not be content providers. Infrastructure owners should be "dumb pipes" providing the best possible quality of internet access with zero discrimination for the best possible price. Under no circumstances should an ISP be allowed to play any sort of shenanigans with content providers, but doubly so if they are content providers providing a service that competes with one provided by the infrastructure owner.

Most people have a very limited choice of ISP - if any choice at all - and as such corporations which are providing access to a utility which is vital to participation in today's society should not under any circumstances be in a position to be accused of "conflict of interest." It should never even come up. If they are going to own infrastructure and content then it needs to be regulated such that conflict of interest is not possible. Otherwise, ban infrastructure providers from providing content services of their own.

Utilities must be nothing more than "dumb pipes". By they providing you electricity, natural gas or telecommunications.

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Re: I thought Netflix had its own fat pipes

Let's be clear here: infrastructure owners should not be content providers. Infrastructure owners should be "dumb pipes" providing the best possible quality of internet access with zero discrimination for the best possible price. Under no circumstances should an ISP be allowed to play any sort of shenanigans with content providers, but doubly so if they are content providers providing a service that competes with one provided by the infrastructure owner.

I completely agree, but that's not how the real world operates, now is it?

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Re: I thought Netflix had its own fat pipes

"I completely agree, but that's not how the real world operates, now is it?"

Sure it is. It just isn't how the US or the UK operate. There are plenty of countries that do not suckle at the teat of trickle-down economics and free-market extremism. Then again, most of htose countries now have things like "fiber to the home". The damned socialists.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I thought Netflix had its own fat pipes

> Then again, most of htose countries now have things like "fiber to the home". The damned socialists.

The US has fiber to the home as well, the damn imperialist dogs!

Saying countries that are not like the US or UK have fiber to the home doesn't mean much now-a-days. Every country is constantly upgrading their infrastructure - fiber and network gear is costing less and less, and there are now 10G copper cables. You might as well say that those damn socialist countries have indoor plumbing, so take that US and UK!

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Re: I thought Netflix had its own fat pipes

"This is where I think the world is really going"

This may be where the US is going after the usual behind-the-scenes political puppet mastery by big business interests. Hopefully the rest of the world isn't going there.

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Re: I thought Netflix had its own fat pipes

"The US has fiber to the home as well, the damn imperialist dogs!"

"You might as well say that those damn socialist countries have indoor plumbing, so take that US and UK!"

You are exactly correct, sir. The comparison is apt. In those damned socialist countries fibre-to-the-home is viewed to be just as essential as indoor plumbing and so it's provisioning is treated as such. The percentage of the population it reaches is damned near total.

Amusingly enough, I do agree that fibre-to-the-home reflects the view of the USA regarding indoor plumbing. If indoor plumbing weren't already built in to extant homes, I have zero doubt whatsoever that those currently holding the reigns of power would do sweet fuck all to help bring it to those without, instead they would say that those who weren't paying for it to be added out of thier own pockets were "lazy", "lacked ambition" and "needed to pull themselves up by their bootstraps."

So you are exactly right. I might as well just say "those damned socialist countries have indoor plumbing", because the difference in how both types of nations treat their citizens can best be viewed through exactly that lens.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I thought Netflix had its own fat pipes

I have FTTH and my Internet speed is 300 Mbps down and 300 Mbps up. The last speed test I did I got 315 Mbps down and 270 Mbps up. Later this year it will be 1 Gbps up and down for the same price of $99.00.

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Gold badge

Re: I thought Netflix had its own fat pipes

Congratulations! You are among the privileged few...and proving my point. The attitude of "I have what I want, so fuck everyone else" is exactly what I decry. Mainly because those who have what they want are generally few, but they hold the reigns of power, thus allowing for the creation of vastly imbalanced societies.

...but then, that's just tickety boo with you, it seems. Sad.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I thought Netflix had its own fat pipes

"Congratulations! You are among the privileged few...and proving my point."

And therein lies the problem. Until companies like Netflix introduce 4K streaming services, most consumers don't even need Fibre to Cabinet; 8-12mbps is usually enough. Trouble is, in Britain at least, too many consumers have no Fibre to Cabinet option, and less than 5mbps maximum download.

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Silver badge

Re: I thought Netflix had its own fat pipes

The more socialist the country, the more imbalanced the society.

And yes, the socialists here in the US do want to do away with indoor plumbing and replace it with some green scam that leaves a good portion of your house smelling like an old fashioned outhouse.

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Gold badge

Re: I thought Netflix had its own fat pipes

"They don't really need $utility". The hits keep coming. Keep posting. You just keep reinforcing my point whit every post.

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Shit ISP throttling has been going on for a long time. Every time they make new changes or introduce a new system it's always chaos.

The worst thing is often the 1st line monkeys don't have a clue about the politics. And if they are 'trained' about it they only absorb the bits they kind of understand.

I ranted to plusnet some 6 years ago about it: http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php?topic=65809.0

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Holmes

"perhaps a peering dispute"

A peering dispute is how telcos were sneaking around net neutrality. They'd claim that competing service X was using too much bandwidth and must pay money for upgraded peering. Never mind that the traffic was requested by the telco's paying customers. Telcos, cable companies, and studios have merged into monsters that are very experienced in the game charging fees to everyone in sight. If only the infrastructure could get as much money as the lawyers and negotiators.

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Verizon technical support...

... once tried to tell me that my computer could get a virus while it was powered off and disconnected. I wouldn't take anything they say at face value.

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Anonymous Coward

Jumped too quickly?

Wait, so now we believe Verizon just because they say it isn't happening? I assume this admission was under oath, and you aren't simply taking them at their word?

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Re: Jumped too quickly?

well that's a sticky point. to you and me they may seem to be throttling, however if they define what they are doing under another name then they can say in all honesty that they are not "throttling" but rather "screwing the pooch*". it is businesspeak, kind of like newspeak but more corporate.

*well they can call it whatever they want but that fits.

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Silver badge

Re: Jumped too quickly?

I think it did jump too quickly or perhaps more accurately too far.

There are legitimate technical reasons why there might be an issue beyond throttling. But throttling also has the potential to cause the same result. So saying they were throttling is just as problematic as saying they aren't throttling. We need more information before we can decide.

There is certainly an issue, and it certainly involves Netflix, Amazon, and Verizon. Since all of them make money from delivering services to us, it seems in their best interest to resolve it amicably amongst themselves. Lest we all go elsewhere for those services.

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Bronze badge

How is this up for debate?

There was a post on tumblr or slashdot or whatever a while back about what IP ranges to block on your router to remove throttling of Netflix, YouTube, etc. They worked. It is an indisputable fact that Verizon and others are throttling streaming media services.

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Bronze badge

Where there is smoke and foul smell, there probably is destructive fire

Because Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and other Internet/Communications carriers have long had a very uncomplimentary reputation for sleazy practices and treatment of customers, as told by hundreds of reputable and respected technologists, like David Raphael of iScan in this case,

It therefore behooves the general public and smaller technology firms, particularly those whose business is Internet based and who must therefore ace ed to what-ever business terms - even if draconian - are set by these 'Internet spigot vendors like Verizon, to scrutinize the activities of their Internet Services providers, and become or remain diligent in reporting any suspicious malfeasance to the FCC, FTC or whomever is the proper authority, regardless of any perceived possible or actual retaliation.

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