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Verizon Communications The Internet

Is Verizon Already Slowing Netflix Down? 298

hondo77 points out a blog post by Dave Raphael, who noticed some odd discrepancies between two different Verizon broadband connections he has access to. His personal residential plan and his company's business plan both went through the same Verizon routers, but his residential plan is getting unusably slow speeds to places like AWS. He suggests that Verizon is already waging a war on high-bandwidth services like Netflix after the recent court decision against net neutrality. His discussion with a Verizon service representative seems to confirm this, though it's uncertain whether such an employee would have access to that information.
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Is Verizon Already Slowing Netflix Down?

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  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @03:53PM (#46165183)

    Most people support Net Neutrality because they think things like this will not happen.

    So then, under the net neutrality rules you need to explain why what Verizion is doing would not happen.

    What will stop Verizon from doing this? My canceling my phone service and telling them I'm switching to T-Mobile because of cloud throttling.

  • by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @03:57PM (#46165227)

    Because it would be illegal, and they would be subject to legal repercussions, unlike now. What part of this do you find confusing?

  • by khasim ( 1285 ) <> on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @03:59PM (#46165257)

    And from TFA:

    During the day â" the bandwidth is normal to AWS. However, after 4pm or so â" things get slow.

    That is when the home usage increases.

    And he's using wireless.

    He really needs to contact someone who knows more about networking in order to collect more useful data. Right now it is impossible to say what is really happening.

  • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @04:01PM (#46165277) Homepage Journal

    They're confused by the part that conflicts with their ideology.

  • by langelgjm ( 860756 ) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @04:01PM (#46165279) Journal

    Why would anyone believe what a low-level CSR tells them in a chat session? This is like when an eBay CSR [] claimed that eBay did not allow the sale of Bitcoin mining rigs a few weeks ago. The person didn't know what they were talking about.

    Not to mention this is Verizon, who can't tell $0.002 from 0.002 cents. Engaging them on a topic of any complexity is sure to lead to hilarity and/or frustration.

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @04:11PM (#46165395) Homepage

    ISPs say that they don't have enough bandwidth for everything, and that they must throttle traffic.

    Because, ISPs have long worked on a model of oversubscription in order to rake in huge amounts of money, while not giving a damn if you get anything resembling the claimed performance.

    They just want more and more subscribers paying a monthly bill, but they've mostly all failed to invest in any new capacity in a long time.

    In the real world, this would be analagous to going to a hotel and discovering they've got more people than rooms and have therefore installed rows of bunk beds like a military barracks.

    Services like Netflix are just highlighting that they're selling more than they have, and leaving the customers short-changed.

    They were the ones telling us about all the multimedia experiences we could get on the interwebs, and then the first to start bitching about how much bandwidth the stuff they used in their advertising actually costs.

    And, since many ISPs are also cable companies these days, they also want to ensure you use their premium services to watch anything -- this way they can get more money out of you, starve out a competitor, and if they're really lucky charge both you and Netflix for the bandwidth.

    Telecoms are largely a pyramid scheme these days in terms of actual capacity, and they know it.

  • Laws (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @04:27PM (#46165559) Journal

    Sure you can stop them. You can revoke their Incorporation Charter.

    One thing we seem to have forgotten is that Corporations are creations of the state, and thus subservient to the state (ostensibly).

    The problem is, that when HARM is done, we have never simply revoked Corporate Charters. If we start doing that, then CxOs and boards will take their fiduciary responsibility a little more seriously.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @04:34PM (#46165629)

    Because it would be illegal, and they would be subject to legal repercussions, unlike now. What part of this do you find confusing?

    The part where Verizon is demonstrably doing something to cause this. "slow speeds to netflix" can be explained a lot of ways that don't involve content based throttling. Short of a subpoena for exactly the right router configuration (good luck, they have about 20,000) you can't.

    Yes, you can obtain this evidence.

    You don't go searching through 20,000 routers to figure this out.

    Instead, you ask and obtain the network speed results from 2,000,000 Verizon customers through a public crowdsourcing campaign.

    Either the hard evidence will clearly show that speeds are being throttled, or the public backlash alone with a campaign like this will force Verizon to "fix" it, else they lose customers. A lot of customers.

    Either way, we can get the evidence. You just have to think outside the box.

  • by Gordo_1 ( 256312 ) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @04:44PM (#46165749)

    "The Premium package gives you access to all your streaming favorites like YouTube, Hulu Plus, Netflix along with dozens of foreign movie sites you've never heard of.
    The Friends & Family package gives you access to the people you want to keep in touch with, when you want to keep in touch with them, over your favorite NSA-sponsored proprietary social networking site: FacePalmSpace.
    Our Adults-Only package allows you to stream all your favorite German Scheiße porn tube sites!"

    Don't think so? Bookmark me, wait a couple years, then come back and mod me "Insightful".

  • Re:UNDER WHAT LAW (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @04:46PM (#46165769)

    Net Neutrality is not designed to stop actions like this.

    If it's directed towards Netflix, yes it was.

    The government does not care about this. They will not act against this.

    Only because the FCC is hindered by Congress and can't put ISPs in the common carrier category they belong in. So Verizon looks at traffic and says "oh, sorry about Netflix being slow, have you seen our TV deals?!"

    But please, be more enraged on behalf of abusive corporations. I'm sure they appreciate it.

  • by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @05:10PM (#46166099)

    I very much disagree that simply because we don't now, and have never had true net neutrality, that means we can't ever have it. We can have it, but we have to fight for it.

  • Re: Because it is. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @05:19PM (#46166227)

    Why should your voice chat take priority over my torrents or FTP? Here's a better idea, ISPs deliver the speeds they promised even when everyone wants to watch netflix at the same time. Bandwidth is cheap, and ISPs are mostly overpriced monopolies. They can easily afford good service, and we should make them deliver.

  • by Petron ( 1771156 ) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @05:20PM (#46166235)

    No, they are confused by an unclear description of "net neutrality".

    I've seen some places (non-fox news) describe "net neutrality" as "Enforcing traffic to be at equal speeds"... which is not the case. People using that description would be against it because they believe it would mean all web traffic would be slower, to match the speed of the slowest server... That reeks of "All must be fair, so we must race to the bottom" and "Everybody gets a trophy" that many people disapprove of.

    If you inform them that Net Neutrality is against throttling speeds, and having customers get what they paid for... then most of those against, turn sides.

    I see it as we either need to enforce Net Neutrality, or enable a free market, where we have more than one or two choices for broadband (or any other utility).... If we had 10+ ISP's to choose from, this wouldn't be an issue, one would not throttle, and that would force the others to compete. But we don't have a free market... and too many of those in power (both in government, and the big TelComs) would lose money to allow a free market.

  • I see it as we either need to enforce Net Neutrality, or enable a free market, where we have more than one or two choices for broadband (or any other utility).... If we had 10+ ISP's to choose from, this wouldn't be an issue, one would not throttle, and that would force the others to compete.

    Why is this not yet ranked +5 insightful.

    I recently moved to a place where I can't get Comcast (thankfully). Even though I'm out in the country instead of in town -- everything is so much better. Youtube and Netflix don't buffer like they did with Comcast, they just play. My internet bill went from $75/mo to $50. So better and cheaper. Of course it could have been different as there is only one provider here too, but I got lucky this time and my provider isn't such an ass as Comcast. But that's just the luck of the draw.

    You simply can't treat a monopoly like a free market -- these terms are antonyms and reality demands different treatment. Believe me, if there had been competition, I would dropped Comcast faster than a fetid turd, but there wasn't and so I bitterly paid my bill and sucked it up.

  • How many banksters went to jail for tilting the entire fucking world economy over a cliff?

    Oh yeah, zero.

    You can even launder money for terrorists and drug cartels and be punished with nothing but a partial deferral of your annual bonus.

    As Matt Taibi put it:

    Wow. So the executives who spent a decade laundering billions of dollars will have to partially defer their bonuses during the five-year deferred prosecution agreement? Are you fucking kidding me? That's the punishment? The government's negotiators couldn't hold firm on forcing HSBC officials to completely wait to receive their ill-gotten bonuses? They had to settle on making them "partially" wait? Every honest prosecutor in America has to be puking his guts out at such bargaining tactics. What was the Justice Department's opening offer -- asking executives to restrict their Caribbean vacation time to nine weeks a year? []

  • by unrtst ( 777550 ) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @06:13PM (#46166963)

    I can't if you're being sarcastic. I hope so.

    If your version of net neutrality says they can prioritize traffic that they feel their customers need more than others (ie. SMTP over torrent), you are giving them free reign to say, "we feel the most important traffic is this proprietary protocol XYZ that we just came up with and which we use exclusively, which delivers streaming video from our servers and select partners. And the least important traffic is Netflix."

    The point of net neutrality *should* be, IMO, something akin to a common carrier status - they're all zero's and one's, and they are not allowed to differentiate or prioritize any of those on any given link. They can simply route them through china and around the world and back, or shove everything to/from though a single T1 to MAE-EAST (though that does hit on a slipery-slope grey area).

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson