Wireless Carriers Begin Using Differentiation to Throttle Youtube and Netflix

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by cageymaru, Sep 4, 2018.

  1. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard|News

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    In the spirit of the overturning of the net neutrality rules, U.S. telecom companies have begun using differentiation to throttle certain traffic on their networks according to a study by Northeastern University and University of Massachusetts. Differentiation is the practice of giving different Internet service to different applications.

    Researchers had consumers install the WeHe app to monitor differentiation throttling. Youtube, Netflix, and the NBC Sports App have been targeted the most for differentiation. An example of this is Verizon Communications which shaped their traffic by using differentiation to slow data from certain websites 11,100 times between January and May of 2018.

    This is done to manage internet traffic. "If you want high-definition video, you can pay more, the carriers say." "For example, in one recent test of the app, Netflix speeds were 1.77 megabits per second on T-Mobile, compared with the 6.62 megabits-per-second speed available to other traffic on the network at the same time."

    John Donovan, head of AT&T's satellite, phone and internet operations, said "unequivocally we are not selectively throttling by what property it is. We don't look at any traffic differently than any other traffic." He compared AT&T throttling to an electricity grid where some customers sign up for rolling blackouts in return for cheaper service. That's what Choffnes's research is detecting, the AT&T executive said. "We talked to him about some of his methodologies," he added.
     
  2. Twisted Kidney

    Twisted Kidney 2[H]4U

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  3. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    This is terrible, but not really related to the overturning of Net Neutrality rules.

    The Obama era net neutrality rules - from what I remember - never applied to wireless carriers, only to ground based ISP's. And even then, they had one big gaping omission which made them ineffective. They didn't apply to the borders between networks or peering sites. This is how both Verizon and Comcast extorted Netflix back in 2016, by making their streams slow to a crawl. They just sabotaged the route between their network and the network Netflix was on.

    Granted, I understand why Wheelers FCC crafted the rules in this way. The peering site dilemma is a very difficult one to regulate.
     
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  4. lostin3d

    lostin3d [H]ard|Gawd

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    "AT&T Inc. did this 8,398 times and it was spotted almost 3,900 times on the network of T-Mobile US Inc. and 339 times on Sprint Corp.’s network, the study found. The numbers are partly influenced by the size of the networks and user bases. C Spire, a smaller privately held wireless operator, had the fewest instances of differentiation among U.S. providers, while Verizon had the most." -From the story link.

    Not a huge fan of Verizon by any means, just thought I add to your quote for those curious about other carriers but didn't read the story.
     
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  5. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard|News

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    I think it is awesome! I think giving poor unfortunate folks a choice to receive "rolling blackouts" is great! Sign me up!
     
  6. pcgeekesq

    pcgeekesq [H]ard|Gawd

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    Personally, I'd like to know how a client-side app can tell the difference between:
    1. Version throttling the traffic from NetFlix, and
    2. NetFlix throttling the traffic to Verizon.
    Seems to me it can't.
    So maybe the people running the study just decided that the downstream carrier was doing it, because that makes the point they want, even if it isn't actually the truth.
    You can't trust non-[H] studies anymore, they're all politically motivated these days: the result is determined before the data is collected. (Kind of like a pre-launch NVidia benchmark article. ;) )
     
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  7. bugleyman

    bugleyman [H]ard|Gawd

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    Personally, I think it likely that they have been discouraged by the change. And it's only going to get worse from here in out, folks.
     
  8. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard|News

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    That's easy! They have an app for that called Meddle. It is loosely a "VPN" so they can test speeds via a VPN and using the YouTube app on your phone. If there is a difference in speeds then the ISP is using differentiation to shape traffic. Pretty cool stuff!

    You should read the researcher's website. :)
     
  9. pcgeekesq

    pcgeekesq [H]ard|Gawd

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    That doesn't necessarily answer the issue of who is throttling:
    • If Verizon is throttling traffic to YouTube, they won't recognize the VPN traffic as YouTube traffic, and won't throttle it.
    • If YouTube is throttling traffic to Verizon, they won't recognize the VPN traffic as Verizon traffic, and won't throttle it.
    I
     
  10. STEvil

    STEvil 2[H]4U

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  11. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard|News

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    Read the researcher's website and see. The ISPs say that they are NOT throttling traffic; only shaping it. So in theory traffic isn't being throttled; only shaped or differentiated. AT&T even goes so far as to say that they are only giving some customers rolling blackouts. Again that doesn't mean that they are throttling a connection; just shaping service.

    I think it is the best thing ever personally. I hope none of them can connect to YouTube or Netflix on their phones. I see those services as a waste of time.
     
  12. opfreak

    opfreak Gawd

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    Don't all these carriers make this obvious in all their unlimited plans?

    verizons gounlimited says it streams at 480p, beyond and 720p, and above at 1080p. I'm pretty sure they had similar language months ago
    ATT - unlimited & more = 480p unlimited & more premium = 1080p
    t-mobile - one plan =480p, one plus =1080p
    sprint - unlimited basic -480p, unlimited plus - 1080p, unlimited premium =fullhd.
     
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  13. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard|News

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    Well the thought process is that if you pay for X speed then you get that speed across all websites and apps. In the article it says that when you connect to Netflix you're stuck at 1.77 mbps and when your doing things not throttled then you're 6+mbps. In a net neutrality world you would get what you pay for as far as speed goes and it wouldn't matter what you are doing.

    Of course the real world is different so get ready to pay more or experience rolling blackouts like AT&T is doing which is perfectly fine to me.
     
  14. pcgeekesq

    pcgeekesq [H]ard|Gawd

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    I see your point. Why should my network get bogged down because a bunch of morons are streaming 4K video to their 6" diagonal cellphones, where they can't possibly see the difference between that and 720p?
     
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  15. opfreak

    opfreak Gawd

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    What I posted isn't hidden, its called out on the many features page as a bullet. Mainly so they can sell you the higher tier of service.

    Point I'm trying to make is that when it comes to streaming video the carriers have made it clear they throttle.
     
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  16. NWRMidnight

    NWRMidnight Limp Gawd

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    False from 2015:


    https://www.fiercewireless.com/wire...eless-putting-future-zero-rating-plans-notice
     
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  17. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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  18. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

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    So shaping traffic is different than throttling.

    Got it.

    /s
     
  19. Eickst

    Eickst [H]ard|Gawd

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    Shaping is different than throttling. Throttling a particular type of service to say, 1mb/s when you have 1gbps of RF spectrum available is throttling. Dropping traffic from a specific service so that it's effective rate is 1mb/s when you are fully saturating your 1gbps RF spectrum is shaping. You can shape traffic over wireless all kinds of different ways too depending on the tech involved.

    Look at it as the difference between running QoS on your 100mb internet service and just capping your room mate to 10mb ethernet to his PC. One is shaping, one is throttling.

    If they are shaping traffic because the towers are at max capacity and they have to do so to maintain service to all other customers it's one thing. Doing it willy nilly because they can is kind of crap.
     
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  20. bsbllclown

    bsbllclown [H]Lite

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    Saying Shaping vs Throttling are not the same in the spirit of what we are talking about is kinda a BS argument. They both in this case are used to F the customer. We use both practices at my work depending on what we are doing, thing is...in my case its honest to goodness network stability and health we are looking for. With these ISPs its not, and its pretty transparent.
     
  21. Calavaro

    Calavaro Whiskey & Honey

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    It's baffling to me that customers accept this behavior at all from carriers.

    Here the costs and speeds are clear.

    You can get unlimited data for ~10 dollars a month, but your speed is locked to 1 Mbps.
    Or pay ~15 dollars and get 2 Mbps
    or ~$20 for 4 Mbps
    etc.
    Unlimited unlocked speed (practical max of 300 Mbps) only costs ~$38
    Or you can combine 4G with WiFi (through an app) and get 1 Gbps to your phone (only newer high end devices though). I think that costs $45 a month.

    I even have FREE unlimited data given to me by one carrier. Locked at 64 Kbps though. Good enough for emails and messaging/voip calls.Can't beat free either.
    Another carrier gives me 1 GB of data free per month (plus free phone calls). Great if I need to download or upload some media or whatever.
    Stick both in a dual SIM phone...

    The argument in the US is on the wrong plane so to speak. You should be talking about reducing costs, not arguing about data speeds. Slow? Low cost. Fast? Reasonable cost. Data limitations... what? Shoudn't exist.
     
  22. tangoseal

    tangoseal [H]ardness Supreme

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    It was wrongfully enacted by a non-elected commission to begin with.

    We need congress to make a law. That is why it couldnt stand the way it was implemented.

    Congress must make it law.
     
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  23. viper1152012

    viper1152012 [H]ard|Gawd

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    The idea behind the FCC is the same as the FDA or any other federal administration , they don't need congress to vote on everything.

    That would take God knows how long to make decisions.
     
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  24. Verado

    Verado Limp Gawd

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    Wow, you guys must have an antiquated phone network, and dinosaurs running them.
    Speedtest shows me 76mbit right now, and it costs me 10 bucks a month.
    Any fumbling around with traffic is prohibited by law here.
     
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  25. gamerk2

    gamerk2 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Congress already did, when they passed a law creating the FCC to manage the US's communication networks/carriers. No farther action necessary.
     
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  26. MacLeod

    MacLeod [H]ardness Supreme

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    Did they try other websites? Sometimes Verizon will be slower than T-Mobile. Sometimes T-Mobile will be slower than Verizon. All this based on an app? Study seems pretty flawed to me especially being based on the premise that a carrier would purposely slow down their service to be 5 times slower than their competition.

    I have a Verizon phone and a Verizon wireless internet card and watch lots of YouTube and Netflix and have noticed zero slowdowns.
     
  27. opfreak

    opfreak Gawd

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  28. Fabel

    Fabel n00b

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    If I am paying for a given bandwidth Is up to me and just me to decide how to use it.

    Isn't up to them what I am doing over the connection, be it Netflix, YouTube or Wikipedia, I am already paying for the bandwidth and they have no right to extort whatever company I am dealing with just because.

    Furthermore encryption should be strong enough that the ISP have no clue what is going on.
     
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  29. BSmith

    BSmith [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yes, that is what we need. A bunch of people makling laws about something they have zero understanding of. What could possibly go wrong?

    Dinosaurs are not running it. Just greedy coporations who are more vested in the next yacht they can buy rather than invest in the service they are offering. Of course, they own the people who make the laws about it, so they can pretty much do whatever they want, with impunity.

    It will get worse,...I wish I could say it will eventually get better, but that is not going to happen.

    Check your contract with your provider and your local and state laws. You will find they can do whatever they want with your connection and control whoever you can connect to and how. You have no "rights" as it pertains to a service you are paying for outside what is provided in your terms of service.

    ISP's are being held accountable for what their users do, so they have a fundamental right to be able to monitor what you are doing, by virtue of said accountability.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
  30. SvenBent

    SvenBent 2[H]4U

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    Rolling blackouts, the concept so foreign to me I had to have my now wife explain it to me twice just to make sure the states was so much a 3rd world country as it is.
    But hey lets find some of the things that show the worst working part of the states and use that as a goal on how to progress in the name of profit.

    But hey having a working government to protect the average consumer/citienzen sounds like to complex a project when it easier just to be paid advocated for big corps...
     
  31. Maxx

    Maxx [H]ard|Gawd

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    I live in Florida and remember evacuating from the hurricane last year. I was desperately trying to look up traffic data to get to my hotel, weather updates, and to keep in contact with people, none of which I could reliably do because the kids in the car next to me were watching Spongebob Squarepants on YouTube. Then I get to the hotel and there's tons of people just expecting to get in - largely because it was impossible to check hotels during evacuation because 90% of the traffic was going to bored people watching Netflix. Yeah, f'm.
     
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  32. Armenius

    Armenius I Drive Myself to the [H]ospital

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    Doesn't matter. Wireless carriers were already doing this before the repeal went into effect in late February this year.
    The technical language matters because it's how companies will justify their actions. They'll say your law or regulation only limited the throttling we could do, but it said nothing about shaping.
     
  33. Nobu

    Nobu 2[H]4U

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    It's pretty simple. Stream video from a few websites, check the rate of data transfer. If it's a constant and the same on different carriers, then it's (most likely) the site that's throttling. If it's variable or different between carriers, but the same from one site to the next, then it's (probably) the carrier.
     
  34. Armenius

    Armenius I Drive Myself to the [H]ospital

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    That only works under the assumption that the content provider isn't differentiating between carriers, either.
     
  35. Nobu

    Nobu 2[H]4U

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    True, but in that case it would only be that site which streams at that particular rate on that carrier, whereas other sites might be slightly faster or slower (but still the same between carriers), in which case you could assume the site is doing something. If all the other sites are the same speed (but different from that site) then it's apparent that both that site and the carrier are somehow controlling the traffic.
     
  36. GlowingGhoul

    GlowingGhoul Whines about Whiners

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    So-called "net-neutrality" did not apply to wireless carriers. So, I've asked this a millions times now. We don't have 'net netrality' regulations, can someone point out just a couple of examples of the negative effects of this? Wasn't this supposed to be the end of the 'free internet'? Was someone exaggerating with their hysterics over this?
     
  37. Jagger100

    Jagger100 [H]ardness Supreme

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    But google can promote and demote sites on a whim, no problem.
     
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  38. jamesgalb

    jamesgalb Gawd

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    "In the spirit of overturning Net Neutrality"

    Dude. Educate yourself and quit spouting off nonsense talking point.

    Net Nuetrality was NEVER NEEDED. It was nothing more than a power grab allowing the Government to control the 'licensing' of ISPs, and allowing Google/NetFlix/Etc to dominate the internet.

    We had laws covering the 'evil hypotheticals' before, hence why they werent a plaguing issue in the past, and when they did take place they ended up on court. This is why the sky never fell prior to 2015... "What laws?" you ask. Well my initial response before answering that would be "Why the fuck do you demand NN if you dont know the fking laws?!"... But here, ill help:

    Clayton Act. Sherman Act. FTC Act. SPECIFICALLY:

    15 U.S. Code Chapter 1, Sections 1-3
    15 U.S. Code Chapter 1, Sections 12-14
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/chapter-1

    15 U.S. Code Chapter 2, Subchapter I, Sections 45-45c:
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/.../15/chapter-2/subchapter-I
     
  39. TAP

    TAP Limp Gawd

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    Good luck trying to get wireless carriers to abide by those laws you just posted. They are way too broad and not specific to this industry enough. Not even close really.
     
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  40. Megaslug

    Megaslug Limp Gawd

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    Yes, it is up to you to decide how to use the bandwidth you pay for, but most of us here are not so stupid as to stream the 4K version of a video to devices that can barely do 1080. The general public, who makes up FAR more of the user base than the entirety of this user base however, is typically not so intelligent and will always pick the highest quality option even if it makes absolutely NO sense. And that needlessly wastes bandwidth. If limitations are placed so that the capabilities of the end user device are not exceeded for no gain, I have no issue. If they actually throttle the traffic so the video can;t play because the data stream is being interrupted - then I have a problem.
     
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