Report: Verizon Rep. Admits That Company is Throttling Netflix

February 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A fascinating account of one man's encounter with a Verizon customer support representative details how the company admitted that it was selectively limiting bandwidth to AWS services and adversely affecting the quality of Netflix. The account comes from Dave Raphael of Dave's Blog (as reported by Boing Boing), who - along with the president of the company he works for, iScan Online - noticed that its service was suffering from what he called "major slowdowns." After some investigation, Raphael couldn't put his finger on what the problem was. He ran at test to Amazon’s AWS - the service the company uses - and found that he was getting a deplorable 40kB/s.

At home he noticed similar problems with Netflix. After doing a number of tests at home and remotely into his workplace (a mile away from his home) Raphael contacted Verizon's support center. After conducting every conceivable test and check, Raphael became impatient and pressed the Verizon representative.

He finally asked them: "Is Verizon now limiting bandwidth to cloud providers like Amazon's AWS service?"

Surprisingly the rep. finally admitted that the company was in fact throttling these services:

"Yes, it is limited bandwidth to cloud providers," the rep. said.

Raphael said on his blog that he was a bit shocked that the rep. admitted this to a customer and that he see this as a war against streaming services such as Netflix:

"In my personal opinion, this is Verizon waging war against Netflix. Unfortunately, a lot of infrastructure is hosted on AWS. That means a lot of services are going to be impacted by this."

He also addressed concerns amongst readers that the rep my not have known what he or she was talking about, from a technical perspective. To that he offers some traceroute logs.

Source: Boing Boing


Comments

Re: Report: Verizon Rep. Admits That Company is Throttling ...

Granted that I trust any ISP to maintain neutrality about as much as anyone should trust Gaius Baltar, I'd take a little bit of salt with this one granted it came from a Tier 1 Representative in a Call Center who was (more likely than not) rushing to get the customer off the phone as fast as possible to meet the set SLA and mark the case as resolved.

Edit: I see that this has attracted at least one downvote so far. I invite anyone who believes otherwise from my statement to offer their own.

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Papa Midnight

Re: Report: Verizon Rep. Admits That Company is Throttling ...

While it wouldn't surprise me at all if Verizon is doing exactly this, the average CS rep knowing about it would.

 

Re: Report: Verizon Rep. Admits That Company is Throttling ...

This is one of those rare moments in which I'm glad that I live in area where my best choice is Comcast. As a condition of their NBC merger, they agreed to abide by the net neutrality rules until 2018 whether or not the courts struck down those rules. Which means they are now the only ISP in the country that is legally required to uphold net neutrality.

Comcast: Somehow, Everyone Else Is Even Worse

Re: Report: Verizon Rep. Admits That Company is Throttling ...

If you can get RCN I'd recommend it. Yeah they have the same old referbished modems as everyone else but they are a better alternative to Comcast. I am hoping Google Fiber catches on but Big Cable is starting to finally try to limit them from growing any further.

Re: Report: Verizon Rep. Admits That Company is Throttling ...

Limit it? They want it gone, completely.

Re: Report: Verizon Rep. Admits That Company is Throttling ...

As someone who had RCN while residing in D.C., in my personal experience, they have some of the worst QoS I have ever seen, and terrible technical support. I won't even start on deliverability, signal strength, SNR or speeds.

Again, this was my own personal experience.

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Papa Midnight

Re: Report: Verizon Rep. Admits That Company is Throttling ...

Wow I didn't know that.  i was very aware of Verizon doing shameless IP trafficing and outright blocking services (mobile users can't get IRC ports etc).

I always wondered why my comcast service seemed to work better than other providers, I guess this is one of those reasons!

 

 

Re: Report: Verizon Rep. Admits That Company is Throttling ...

Who could ever have foreseen something like this happening?!

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Report: Verizon Rep. Admits That Company is Throttling ...

Pretty much anyone ever since that happened? At least I think it was obvious that it would come to this. And those ISPs are only getting started now.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/01/net-neutrality-is-half-dead-c...

Re: Report: Verizon Rep. Admits That Company is Throttling ...

I was being sarcastic.

Everyone knew this would happen.  It's the specific hypothetical example most people used when talking about net neutrality.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Report: Verizon Rep. Admits That Company is Throttling ...

You may now thank the corrupt Appeals court for letting your corporate overlords get away with it in broad daylight.

Re: Report: Verizon Rep. Admits That Company is Throttling ...

I disagree. If the FCC wants net neutrality, they should have made the right decision originally and defined it as a common carrier like phone service, and therefore protected in the same way. The FCC is the one that dropped the ball here. As the regulations are written, the FCC was really reaching to make the decisions they made.

The appeals court did not say that the FCC could not classify it as a common carrier, only that they could not support the original ruling by the FCC's own definition of the service. It sucks, but I feel it is totally valid.

If you want it changed, then petition the FCC to change the classification or petition your congress people to create laws which protect it regardless of classification.

 
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