Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner Throttle Netflix. Yes, But…
Do broadband ISPs throttle Netflix? As far as subscribers are concerned, the answer is an emphatic and exasperated, yes! You will also hear the same answer from Netflix’s netflix provider, Cogent, which has gone public with its complaints about the ISPs.
“Every internet user is suffering today in their ability to access all the applications, content and other users across the internet,” Cogent CEO Dave Schaeffer said in an interview.
As far as Cogent is concerned, ISPs are to blame for streamed video performance issues. The root of the problem is that ISPs, like Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner refuse to upgrade their peering infrastructure with Cogent and other providers that feed streamed video content to the internet.
Clear cut? Yes and no.
Peering, or the sharing of the internet’s bandwidth burden, involves reciprocal relationships — I carry your data and you carry mine. As peers, we are equal and expected to share the burden equally or a reasonable approximation thereof.
However, broadband ISPs complain that Cogent et al push huge amounts of data, but there is very little data going back the other way. Fundamentally, for the broadband ISPs, there is neither balance nor benefit for them when peering with Cogent.
And, they want Cogent and/or Netflix to make up for the difference, to bring the situation back into balance by paying.
Fair is fair, right?
Throttle Netflix, Consumers Suffer
Cogent, Netflix et al continue to demand straight up peering, even though the relationships aren’t equal. The ISPs continue to demand reciprocity (aka money) and, through inaction, throttle Netflix.
It is a tug of war with consumers in the middle.
But there is at least a hint of good news. Netflix has placed servers at Comcast, which could boost performance for subscribers on that network.
That’s that, a solution? Neither Comcast nor Netflix have admitted to the relationship let alone commented on its viability.
Fed up with Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner and/or Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc? Fundamentally, these problems probably would go away if there was real broadband competition — write your congressman…
What’s your take