In Europe Netflix might throttle during peak hours

Marees

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Netflix Europe has responded to the request of EU Commissioner Thierry Breton to only stream video in standard definition by cutting its streaming rate by 25%.

“Following the discussions between Commissioner Thierry Breton and [Netflix CEO] Reed Hastings, and given the extraordinary challenges raised by the coronavirus, Netflix has decided to begin reducing bitrates across all our streams in Europe for 30 days.”
https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnar...ity-during-coronavirus-pandemic/#327966043711

on paper an overall 25% dial down in Netflix streaming data levels to each subscriber (if that’s how Netflix plays it) would still allow many households to continue getting 4K and HD streams as they do now. They just won’t look quite as good (presumably they’ll appear a little softer, and/or suffer with more visible banding and compression artefacts).

The fact that a 25% drop should in most cases allow users to still enjoy 4K or HD pictures is, of course, pretty important for Netflix, given that it charges subscribers to its 4K service a premium for the extra picture quality. The streamer surely doesn’t want to have to go about issuing refunds to everyone who currently pays for the UHD subscription if they can suddenly only get HD streams.
 

DukenukemX

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You know what doesn't get worse during peak hours? Bit Torrent! And there are people who think Cloud Gaming is going to happen when everyone can't even stream TV Shows or Movies.
 

OFaceSIG

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a) Pirating is for crappy people.
b) Netflix pays for it's connections to an ISP like EVERYONE else. If the EU is so damned concerned with bandwitdh, then they need to look at ISPs and backbone providers to ensure they have adequate capacity. If they oversubscribed their networks and now it's biting them in the anus, it's on them.
 

sirmonkey1985

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a) Pirating is for crappy people.
b) Netflix pays for it's connections to an ISP like EVERYONE else. If the EU is so damned concerned with bandwitdh, then they need to look at ISPs and backbone providers to ensure they have adequate capacity. If they oversubscribed their networks and now it's biting them in the anus, it's on them.
the sad reality is when have you ever seen a government blame ISP's? not even in the US does that happen because when it does you get some moron put in place to make sure ISP's get what they want.
 

DukenukemX

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a) Pirating is for crappy people.
Piracy is for Pirates!
DGRrT1t.gif
b) Netflix pays for it's connections to an ISP like EVERYONE else.
That statement is hilarious and evil. Mostly evil.
fJUZLeu.gif
If the EU is so damned concerned with bandwitdh, then they need to look at ISPs and backbone providers to ensure they have adequate capacity. If they oversubscribed their networks and now it's biting them in the anus, it's on them.
You mean like every ISP that exists on the planet?
 

NeoNemesis

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Are they going to cut the cost of their service to the customers by 25%?
From the article:

Apparently not. :meh:

Also from the article:

Kind of reminds me of a certain Socialist in the USA who wants to get rid of those pesky "AR-14" rifles. :ROFLMAO:
The thing that really amazes me, are the vast legions of useful idiots who elect these geniuses to make such delicate high-level decisions for all of us peasants little people.

I'm starting to think the Corporatism of the dark cyberpunk future really is the lesser of two evils... at least with the megacorps, you know where you stand.
Under almost any other circumstance I'd agree with you, but they're basically being ordered to do it by the government so it isn't like it's their fault.

Why not make the ISPs pay for having inadequate infrastructure to support the internet plans they are selling.
 
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Under almost any other circumstance I'd agree with you, but they're basically being ordered to do it by the government so it isn't like it's their fault.

Why not make the ISPs pay for having inadequate infrastructure to support the internet plans they are selling.
Because there are yachts to be bought, mansions to stockpile, and hookers to pay.
 

ChadD

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a) Pirating is for crappy people.
b) Netflix pays for it's connections to an ISP like EVERYONE else. If the EU is so damned concerned with bandwitdh, then they need to look at ISPs and backbone providers to ensure they have adequate capacity. If they oversubscribed their networks and now it's biting them in the anus, it's on them.
Can you call it oversubscribing ? The issue is 90% of people not working or working from home... and spending a lot more time burning bandwidth with purely leisure activities, Netflix being the largest target. Why would anyone when planning a service expect 100% usage 100% of the time ? No one is over building a network to handle 100% traffic load 24/7. But do to what is going on ISPs are likely going to get close to that in many areas where millions of people are all sitting at home doing nothing.

We can laugh at the EU... but its easy to call what is going to happen in North American now. At some point in the next month or so ISPs are going to have some major outages, unless Netflix does the same here as they are in the EU. Most people aren't going to sit at home and play board games, there going to try and catch up on a year or two of streaming content. lol
 

M76

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Streaming services have a contractual obligation to provide the service. If they restrict the service that's a breach of contract. I don't support this in any way shape or form. People are already on edge, and you want to restrict their entertainment? Hell no.
 

kirbyrj

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Streaming services have a contractual obligation to provide the service. If they restrict the service that's a breach of contract. I don't support this in any way shape or form. People are already on edge, and you want to restrict their entertainment? Hell no.
Technically you are not restricting their entertainment, you are just asking them to be entertained at a lower bandwidth.

The time for ISPs to plan for increased capacity is over. It's not like additional bandwidth is going to magically be available due to a crisis.

If Netflix can't provide the service, they should offer refunds or charge at the lower bandwidth rate.
 

ChadD

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What about Stadia, Geforce Now, xCloud etc ?
The 5 people using Stadia won't crash the internet. ;)

In all seriousness though. If 5 million people in a larger city stay home... I have zero doubt 4.5 million of them will be on Netflix. Where as a few thousand people will be game streaming.

Netflix is the low hanging fruit. You tube has also agreed to reduce bandwidth... and I believe Disney+ is launching there soon. I would expect they will either delay that or launch without HD streams.
 
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Let’s start with decreasing the size of compressed streams by removing bullshit DRM. A significant portion of streaming bandwidth is dedicated to DRM - ie. 100% useless and bloat.
 

M76

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I fully expect entertainment streaming services to be limited to non-business hours soon (core business hours of 9-5) so schools and business vpn's can get priority.
It's the same with airlines, who are already standing in line for handouts from governments. WTF would I, the taxpayer have to pay because they have streched themselves so thin that they have no operational reserves?
Now I'm to give up my internet access too, because ISPs also stretched their infrastructure too thin? My answer is: NO. If someone should pay the price it is the corporations, who were reaping the benefits when things were good. It's only fair that they weather the storm as well, without using the taxpayers as a shield.
 

ChadD

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Streaming services have a contractual obligation to provide the service. If they restrict the service that's a breach of contract. I don't support this in any way shape or form. People are already on edge, and you want to restrict their entertainment? Hell no.
Having millions of people freak the fuck out cause their internet has been down for days or even a few hours.... while a stay where you are order is in place, could get a lot uglier then forcing some people to watch standard definition for a few weeks. lol ;)
 

M76

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Technically you are not restricting their entertainment, you are just asking them to be entertained at a lower bandwidth.

The time for ISPs to plan for increased capacity is over. It's not like additional bandwidth is going to magically be available due to a crisis.

If Netflix can't provide the service, they should offer refunds or charge at the lower bandwidth rate.
The service comes with a certain bandwidth, even if they don't charge you anything for the period (fat chance for that) they'd still be in breach of the contract.
it's not that I can't be bothered to sacrifice something this trivial during a crisis. What grinds my gears is that individuals are asked to make sacrifices while the corporations are treated as sacred cows.
 

M76

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Having millions of people freak the fuck out cause their internet has been down for days or even a few hours.... while a stay where you are order is in place, could get a lot uglier then forcing some people to watch standard definition for a few weeks. lol ;)
Good job on deliberately missing the point.
 

bman212121

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Having millions of people freak the fuck out cause their internet has been down for days or even a few hours.... while a stay where you are order is in place, could get a lot uglier then forcing some people to watch standard definition for a few weeks. lol ;)
I'd bet more than half of the people couldn't actually tell the difference. As long as it says 10 eighty pee they'll think they are getting the quality they want.


The service comes with a certain bandwidth, even if they don't charge you anything for the period (fat chance for that) they'd still be in breach of the contract.
it's not that I can't be bothered to sacrifice something this trivial during a crisis. What grinds my gears is that individuals are asked to make sacrifices while the corporations are treated as sacred cows.
Except it really doesn't. There are absolutely no bandwidth guarantees stated by Netflix, and they can and HAVE changed this throughout it's lifetime. You're thinking about resolution, which yes there is exactly one package that states a resolution to it. But resolution isn't bitrate. 4K is basically meaningless jargon without knowing what codec it's using and at what bitrate it's running at. The amount of bandwidth used for the same exact show can depend upon the device you're playing it back on. If you can only do H.264 it might use 2x the bandwidth if they wanted to keep a similar quality level to settings on H.265.
 

odditory

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Having millions of people freak the fuck out cause their internet has been down for days or even a few hours.... while a stay where you are order is in place, could get a lot uglier then forcing some people to watch standard definition for a few weeks. lol ;)
You're wasting your time trying to logic with these animals.

The idea that ISPs "should've had" infrastructure to accommodate the whole world on the internet at the same time is sun-sparkled peaks of silliness.

It would be like building - and then maintaining - a freeway 500 lanes wide because one time in 50 years everyone had to evacuate a hurricane within a few hours. Or buying a moving truck and driving it daily for 5 years because one time you had to move.

The world got caught off guard, including ISPs, and anyone squeaking about downthrottles doesn't have shit bad enough yet. And if you're a 4K whore (raises hand) you shouldn't be streaming anyway.
 
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You're wasting your time trying to logic with these animals.

The idea that ISPs "should've had" infrastructure to accommodate the whole world on the internet at the same time is sun-sparkled peaks of stupidity.

It would be like building - and then maintaining - a freeway 500 lanes wide because this one time in 50 years everyone had to evacuate a hurricane within a few hours.
Please tell that to my 1Gb fiber line which is now sub 1Mb every night from 17.00 to 22.30ish.
We live in a somewhat isolated neighborhood built in 2016 with 80ish houses and this has never been a problem until recently.
ISPs didn't upgrade shit for 20+ years and instead spent tax money on bloated executive packages and lobbying.

Granted, part of the problem is how fat the web has become. Streams encumbered with DRM, 100MiB+ cloud websites to check fucking email, ads and trackers, etc.
 

ChadD

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Please tell that to my 1Gb fiber line which is now sub 1Mb every night from 17.00 to 22.30ish.
We live in a somewhat isolated neighborhood built in 2016 with 80ish houses and this has never been a problem until recently.
ISPs didn't upgrade shit for 20+ years and instead spent tax money on bloated executive packages and lobbying.

Granted, part of the problem is how fat the web has become. Streams encumbered with DRM, 100MiB+ cloud websites to check fucking email, ads and trackers, etc.
You get that all of a sudden overnight... every class room in the country just went distance learning. Almost every office worker is at home accessing company networks from their home connections. All those nice fat corporate internet pipes are sitting unused... and large volumes of that traffic has been switched to consumer grade residential lines. Those lines where not designed to handle everyone one on at the same time, and millions of people downloading work databases ect to their homes. Add to that everyone having nothing better to do then netflix and chill.... and you got a problem.

DRM is not the problem worse case it adds a couple % points to a stream... the problem is everyone on at the same time... and the nets best pipes being abandoned. It would be like designing a city with roads and freeways... then all of a sudden one day saying ALL the freeways are closed, oh and everyone jump in your car and drive. The non freeways would be clogged. That is what is happening... all the infrastructure setup to handle companies, schools, universities ect is idle, and 80% of that traffic has moved to residential infrastructure.

Most of the world doesn't have a free for all corp infrastructure. In most countries ISPs get massive tax breaks or straight up cash to build infrastructure, and they are regulated as essential services. Most countries can tell ISPs to do whatever they want... that overrides any "contract" they have with you for your home line as per law. EU ISP contracts and ours here in Canada all state very clearly in times of crisis the government has ultimate control over what happens >.< No contract you have with your ISP here in Canada overrides an order from the CRTC. The same is true in Europe. I don't know all the ins an outs of US regulation... but as I understand it ya the US gov has handed most of its control over. Still I suspect in most states declaring a state of emergency gives the state a lot more control over essential infrastructure like internet/cellular ect. I hope things go smoothly and large cities aren't having major outages, but without throttling or voluntary bandwidth limits from companies like Netflix and can't see how that will happen.
 

bman212121

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And if you're a 4K whore (raises hand) you shouldn't be streaming anyway.
If you cared about quality you would probably want to know that you get a whopping 15mbits from places like Netflix for 4K, but you can get up to 100mbit from UHD Blu-ray. (I'm sure you know the difference odditory)
https://hometheaterreview.com/ultra-hd-blu-ray/

There should be miles of difference between the two, but if you're watching it on your $300 TCL 4K TV, then you probably can't tell the difference between 720p Netflix and 4K Blu-ray anyway.
 

Dead Parrot

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You get that all of a sudden overnight... every class room in the country just went distance learning. Almost every office worker is at home accessing company networks from their home connections. All those nice fat corporate internet pipes are sitting unused... and large volumes of that traffic has been switched to consumer grade residential lines. Those lines where not designed to handle everyone one on at the same time, and millions of people downloading work databases ect to their homes. Add to that everyone having nothing better to do then netflix and chill.... and you got a problem.
Except that all those fat corporate pipes are now on the receiving end of hundreds or thousands of VPN tunnels from work at home employees. Doubt there is a lot of unused corporate bandwidth. Same for all of those fat University pipes now dealing with tens of thousands of unplanned remote study students.

Find this move by Europe to be funny after hearing for years about how backwards the US Internet infrastructure was compared to the European version.
 
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...

DRM is not the problem worse case it adds a couple % points to a stream... the problem is everyone on at the same time... and the nets best pipes being abandoned. It would be like designing a city with roads and freeways... then all of a sudden one day saying ALL the freeways are closed, oh and everyone jump in your car and drive. The non freeways would be clogged. That is what is happening... all the infrastructure setup to handle companies, schools, universities ect is idle, and 80% of that traffic has moved to residential infrastructure.

....
This isn't true. I worked for a popular phone manufacturer on DRM/encryption (hardware + software) for video codec streams and it is absolutely *not* just a "couple % points".
 
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Sycraft

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Except that all those fat corporate pipes are now on the receiving end of hundreds or thousands of VPN tunnels from work at home employees. Doubt there is a lot of unused corporate bandwidth. Same for all of those fat University pipes now dealing with tens of thousands of unplanned remote study students.

Find this move by Europe to be funny after hearing for years about how backwards the US Internet infrastructure was compared to the European version.
That is in line with my non-scientific observations of EU vs US Internet: The EU is much better about offering big pipes to the end user, and doing so for not a lot of money, often subsidized. However the backhaul isn't near as good. ISPs often work kinda like big LANs/WANs where you have a lot of fast connections to each person but the links between those and between ISPs isn't so great, and can get overloaded fairly easy. So you'll get great speeds to some things, moderate speeds to other, and pretty poor speeds to some places (particularly overseas). In the US, connections to end users tend to be less, often WAAAAY less, and they cost a lot more. However the backhaul to support things is often much better, and you'll find that the speed to other people in your area is the same as to things across the country, or even the globe.
 

defaultluser

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Except that all those fat corporate pipes are now on the receiving end of hundreds or thousands of VPN tunnels from work at home employees. Doubt there is a lot of unused corporate bandwidth. Same for all of those fat University pipes now dealing with tens of thousands of unplanned remote study students.

Find this move by Europe to be funny after hearing for years about how backwards the US Internet infrastructure was compared to the European version.
Yeah, the bandwidth surge for work-at-home has only affected residential internet (workplaces need to reconfigure their networks for more VPN, but the backbone equipment is already installed). And unfortunately, the entire EU is stuck in only 3 time zones. So Telework use is going to peak simultaneously for the entire EU.

At least here in the US, we have four time zones separating the most populated regions. But it still means 4 hours overlap in working days.

If this is going to become the norm, we need to encourage alternate work hours. Hell I can't work from home, so my team members ha been compromising on alternate work hours (so I see a lot less people).

Long-term, we can work around this Telework surge using the same method.
 

Aurelius

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What baffles me is the warped sense of entitlement you see from some in this thread. "I have a sacred right to 4K Netflix, and the government should force ISPs to upgrade their networks to make that possible during a once-in-a-century global catastrophe!"

Do you folks even listen to yourselves? There's a case to be made for upping capacity for general internet tasks, but when your argument is just that you can't see every hair follicle when you're watching Narcos... you probably need to adjust your priorities. Lowering stream quality is an immediate and flexible solution that can improve the internet for everyone, especially those that need a good connection to work.
 

dgz

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Oh wow. I guess a microscopic bit of rationed entertainment, in the name of infrastructure, is offensive to some people.
 

kalston

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I'd bet more than half of the people couldn't actually tell the difference. As long as it says 10 eighty pee they'll think they are getting the quality they want.

Except it really doesn't. There are absolutely no bandwidth guarantees stated by Netflix, and they can and HAVE changed this throughout it's lifetime. You're thinking about resolution, which yes there is exactly one package that states a resolution to it. But resolution isn't bitrate. 4K is basically meaningless jargon without knowing what codec it's using and at what bitrate it's running at. The amount of bandwidth used for the same exact show can depend upon the device you're playing it back on. If you can only do H.264 it might use 2x the bandwidth if they wanted to keep a similar quality level to settings on H.265.
And in fact, Netflix has been doing this since forever already.

It's very easy to check with the Netflix app on Windows, press Control+alt+shift+D and then look at the bitrate. For 1080p, it can be up to 7,5mb but goes down to about 3 during peak hours. I haven't watched anything on Netflix post COVID so the numbers might even be different now.
 

Ebernanut

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The ISPs should have better infrastructure in place but even if they did it would likely be overtaxed right now too.

I think that it's perfectly reasonable to throttle non-essential traffic in order to keep things operating smoothly. I've downloaded a couple games to prepare for my extra time at home and have been getting about half my normal speed but also haven't had any sort of issue or hiccups which is a trade off I'm fine with.
 

Algrim

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I'm still getting my 100 Mbps from San Francisco to S3, despite the state lockdown (I live in Arizona but my transfer machine is in California). AT&T is doing a good job of maintaining the contracted business service there.
 

DukenukemX

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What about Stadia, Geforce Now, xCloud etc ?
The future of cloud was yesturday. That changed today when the world collapsed and everyone stayed home watching Netflix.

It would be like building - and then maintaining - a freeway 500 lanes wide because one time in 50 years everyone had to evacuate a hurricane within a few hours. Or buying a moving truck and driving it daily for 5 years because one time you had to move.
If it wasn't for the recent coronavirus outbreak then it would be from people adopting cloud gaming or 4K video streaming. Everyone knew ISP's weren't upgrading their infrustructure for some years now.
The world got caught off guard, including ISPs, and anyone squeaking about downthrottles doesn't have shit bad enough yet. And if you're a 4K whore (raises hand) you shouldn't be streaming anyway.
If ISPs can't supply what you paid for then they should offer refunds until they can. That's fair.
 

NeoNemesis

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Technically you are not restricting their entertainment, you are just asking them to be entertained at a lower bandwidth.

The time for ISPs to plan for increased capacity is over. It's not like additional bandwidth is going to magically be available due to a crisis.

If Netflix can't provide the service, they should offer refunds or charge at the lower bandwidth rate.
If you force them to do that there is nothing stopping them from just saying fuck it and letting people stream at whatever bandwidth they can until they internet goes down. Then it becomes the ISPs problem.

All this is academic though. You know that buried in the terms and conditions of every single streaming service and ISP there are contingencies for this That prevent any recourse.
 

Marees

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Across Europe, Netflix and YouTube are reducing streaming quality to keep the Internet from collapsing because of the increase in usage as more people self-isolate.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says he doesn’t think this will happen in the U.S.

https://t.co/8bw3Lg8xaR
 

idiomatic

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It s a massive and unplanned uptick in demand. This is rationing per customer. You prefer they ration by increasing prices dramatically?
 

Aurelius

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Across Europe, Netflix and YouTube are reducing streaming quality to keep the Internet from collapsing because of the increase in usage as more people self-isolate.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says he doesn’t think this will happen in the U.S.

https://t.co/8bw3Lg8xaR
I wish he'd explained why... knowing Pai, he'd probably try to take credit for things he had nothing to do with, or which aren't really factors.

Most likely, it's what defaultuser mentioned: most of the US is split across four time zones where Europe is just three (and its largest populations are located in one). There's relatively limited overlap. And my concern is that Pai will use this to paper over real problems with basic broadband quality and coverage.
 

Sycraft

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I wish he'd explained why... knowing Pai, he'd probably try to take credit for things he had nothing to do with, or which aren't really factors.

Most likely, it's what defaultuser mentioned: most of the US is split across four time zones where Europe is just three (and its largest populations are located in one). There's relatively limited overlap. And my concern is that Pai will use this to paper over real problems with basic broadband quality and coverage.
It's some of that, it is also backhaul, the US really does have big pipes at the high level, in part because there is so much hosting and infrastructure here. Some of it also is I think Netflix has servers in more ISPs in the US. They got their start here so their infrastructure is more developed here. For those not aware Netflix works to partner with ISPs and put cache servers in their datacenters to serve out content. Reduces the load all around so that they can offer better quality streaming.
 
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