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edactic

join:2005-08-21
Indianapolis, IN

[Speed] Comcast intentionally throttling (squashing) Netflix?

We have noticed that Netflix "watch now" has become extraordinarily slow. Takes 10-15 minutes for a movie to start. Netflix complains internet connection too slow. Meanwhile, speedtests and other web sites perform at full speed. Either Netflix is clogged, or Comcast is maliciously throttling them down big time. Which is it? Thanks very much.



koitsu
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-16
Mountain View, CA
kudos:23

Re: [Speed] Comcast intentionally throttling (squashing) Netflix

I've been watching many Netflix films over the past 3-4 days, and I haven't had any issues (blips/stalls or long durations before the film begins).

Remember, your connection to Netflix relies on the Internet, and the Internet is in fact broken 24x7x365. (I'm not being sarcastic.) Backbones break regularly (nightly).
--
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.



sortofageek
Runs from Clowns
Premium,Mod
join:2001-08-19
kudos:21

1 recommendation

reply to edactic

Netflix is not being throttled here.

If you are having an issue with your connection, please give the information requested in this FAQ and let's see if someone can help you figure it out.

»Comcast High Speed Internet FAQ »How To Get Help!
--
Join Team Helix * I am praying for these friends .


kaila

join:2000-10-11
Lincolnshire, IL
reply to edactic

On my end, at least, it's clear when the temporary throttling/shaping takes place. We regularly use AppleTV and Netflix through the XBox 360. Movies through either interface and will often start downloading fast and buffer enough to start the movie, allowing you to watch the first few minutes, only to have it stall. When this happens, the only thing you can do is wait for the entire movie to download or you'll be driven mad. This can range from an hour to hours. Once I've caught the connection suddenly pop back to full speed, literally taking the download estimate from hours to minutes.

Running speedtests from a PC also shows dramatic slowdowns during these times as well. This doesn't happen every time we decide to watch a movie, but is more likely to occur during peak hours. It's obvious when this throttling takes place, and isn't the experience of other Comcast users on this forum, or a good friend of mine in another suburb.

I'd like to point out that I do live in a heavily subscribed area. Lincolnshire is an upper-middle class suburb of Chicago with no DSL availability, and an estimated 90% of households using Comcast HSI. So I'm sure we're a difficult area where traffic management often occurs.



Throttling

@comcast.net

Throlling is really heavy in my area...i dont even think it is worth paying for this service.



jlivingood
Premium,VIP
join:2007-10-28
Philadelphia, PA
kudos:2

3 edits
reply to edactic

Comcast does not "throttle" Netflix

We are not throttling NetFlix.

You should do a traceroute to determine which Content Delivery Network they use to serve you and then contact NetFlix and the CDN provider with the information.

Jason
--
JL
Comcast



jlivingood
Premium,VIP
join:2007-10-28
Philadelphia, PA
kudos:2
reply to kaila

Re: [Speed] Comcast intentionally throttling (squashing) Netflix

said by kaila:

On my end, at least, it's clear when the temporary throttling/shaping takes place. We regularly use AppleTV and Netflix through the XBox 360.
All of those services use a Content Delivery Network (CDN). You should traceroute to those and see where they go and contact those CDN providers and your content distributor (Apple or NetFlix).

Jason
--
JL
Comcast

kaila

join:2000-10-11
Lincolnshire, IL

1 edit

said by jlivingood:

All of those services use a Content Delivery Network (CDN). You should traceroute to those and see where they go and contact those CDN providers and your content distributor (Apple or NetFlix).

Jason
Thanks for replying Jason, I'll traceroute like you suggested and see what I can find, but are you also saying Comcast isn't deploying the 15min throttling? During certain times it seems (and I'll continue to verify) our entire pipe will go south, not just the ATV or Netflix connections. The movie downloads really seem to be the trigger, but everything feels like it's being effected. And again, I live in what is probably one of the most heavily subscribed areas you have with likely an older infrastucture base (former @home -> ATTBI area).


jlivingood
Premium,VIP
join:2007-10-28
Philadelphia, PA
kudos:2

1 edit

Comcast QOS system is not a "throttling" system

said by kaila:

Thanks for replying Jason, I'll traceroute like you suggested and see what I can find, but are you also saying Comcast isn't deploying the 15min throttling? During certain times it seems (and I'll continue to verify) our entire pipe will go south, not just the ATV or Netflix connections. The movie downloads really seem to be the trigger, but everything feels like it's being effected.
Our system, though often described as such, is not a "throttling" system. Having studied all of the effects of what happens when a user has their traffic marked with a lower QoS, it is not like the stuff you describe where it is noticeable. I will be sending you a PM to go a bit deeper.

JL
--
JL
Comcast


FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
reply to koitsu

Re: [Speed] Comcast intentionally throttling (squashing) Netflix

said by koitsu:

I've been watching many Netflix films over the past 3-4 days, and I haven't had any issues (blips/stalls or long durations before the film begins).

Remember, your connection to Netflix relies on the Internet, and the Internet is in fact broken 24x7x365. (I'm not being sarcastic.) Backbones break regularly (nightly).
People keep denying(see BBR front page stories) that the internet, as a whole, is getting overloaded with all the video streaming now taking place. But it is becoming apparent that this phenomenon you see is being seen more and more. The backbones are starting to be impacted with this load and I believe many are seeing slowdowns because of it.
--
My BLOG .. .. Internet News .. .. My Web Page
Ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya punk?


sortofageek
Runs from Clowns
Premium,Mod
join:2001-08-19
kudos:21

1 recommendation

said by FFH:

... it is becoming apparent that this phenomenon you see is being seen more and more. The backbones are starting to be impacted with this load and I believe many are seeing slowdowns because of it.
Why is it not apparent to me and the others who have said repeatedly we are having no issues with Netflix Instant Watch or other streaming content?
--
Join Team Helix * I am praying for these friends .


FrostyMelon

join:2006-02-06
Colorado Springs, CO

^No issues with Netflix via 360 here. I get full bars on SD and HD streams. And, I watch something streamed from netflix nightly.


edactic

join:2005-08-21
Indianapolis, IN
reply to edactic

said by edactic:

We have noticed that Netflix "watch now" has become extraordinarily slow. ...
I have some follow up. Tried rebooting cable modem and router. No change. Tried exiting all programs and instances of IE (including invisible instances). No change. Finally tried rebooting the computer, a relatively new laptop, and then restarting IE/Netflix, and suddenly speed was back to normal. I do not know why this "fixed" things. Machine had been hibernated a few times and used on other networks, including use of Windows Media Player. Anybody know if the state of streaming could have been rendered problematic from doing this? Keep in mind, just before rebooting, maching was still accessing other web sites fine, just a very slow NFLX. Thank you.


sortofageek
Runs from Clowns
Premium,Mod
join:2001-08-19
kudos:21

One time I had trouble with streaming a Netflix video. I called the Netflix help desk. They asked me to reboot my computer. I was so sure that wasn't going to help.

Guess what? The reboot did resolve the issue. It had nothing to do with the Comcast network. Like you, everything else was just fine.
--
Join Team Helix * I am praying for these friends .



espaeth
Digital Plumber
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-21
Minneapolis, MN
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Vitelity VOIP

1 edit
reply to sortofageek

said by sortofageek:

Why is it not apparent to me and the others who have said repeatedly we are having no issues with Netflix Instant Watch or other streaming content?
For the same reason that your commute to work isn't affected by heavy traffic on the Las Vegas strip.

Your geography determines where your attachments are into the network, and capacity/congestion varies by region.

This content also doesn't live in one place -- the Netflix content servers I connect to from Minneapolis are different from those you connect to on the west coast. That's the magic of CDN -- everything appears to be a single source but really the content is distributed all over the place. The downside to this configuration is that it makes troubleshooting via a national forum nearly impossible because of the issue being tied to specific locations.


funchords
Hello
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-11
Yarmouth Port, MA
kudos:6
reply to kaila

said by kaila:

I'd like to point out that I do live in a heavily subscribed area. Lincolnshire is an upper-middle class suburb of Chicago with no DSL availability, and an estimated 90% of households using Comcast HSI. So I'm sure we're a difficult area where traffic management often occurs.
This topic has a lot of Chicago-area folks in it, and stall is a very good word to describe it.
--
Robb Topolski -= funchords.com =- Hillsboro, Oregon -- KJ7RL
...just some more roadkill on the Information Superhighway...


jlivingood
Premium,VIP
join:2007-10-28
Philadelphia, PA
kudos:2

1 edit

2 recommendations

reply to edactic

As a follow-up (and largely as a one-off, so please don't send 200 PMs asking for the same info), I examined traffic for the user complaining of this issue, in an attempt to correlate it (or not) to our new congestion management system or to the concern about over utilization.

The user in question has RF levels within spec. The CMTS upstream and downstream interfaces are both clean and have not exceeded 20% utilization in the recent past. As such, this would mean we'd not expect to see any users managed by the new system, and indeed found no instances of this user having had their traffic marked with the lower QoS priority.

As a result, investigation into the concern around speeds for specific applications should proceed into other areas. Along those lines, I have suggested further up in the thread that an examination of the CDNs in use for distribution and the underlying IP networks that the content travels over likely merits examination. sortofageek has also suggested an issue with one's local PC that can be solved via a reboot. I'm sure there may be other causes as well (home LAN issues, etc.) that could be looked at.

Regards
Jason

PS - Knowing when and whether your traffic has been managed or not is on a feature request list, but does not have a commit date attached as of this time.
--
JL
Comcast



DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
reply to FFH

said by FFH:

said by koitsu:

I've been watching many Netflix films over the past 3-4 days, and I haven't had any issues (blips/stalls or long durations before the film begins).

Remember, your connection to Netflix relies on the Internet, and the Internet is in fact broken 24x7x365. (I'm not being sarcastic.) Backbones break regularly (nightly).
People keep denying(see BBR front page stories) that the internet, as a whole, is getting overloaded with all the video streaming now taking place. But it is becoming apparent that this phenomenon you see is being seen more and more. The backbones are starting to be impacted with this load and I believe many are seeing slowdowns because of it.
»arstechnica.com/articles/culture···ning.ars
please show proof of the internet being brokem
All signs I've seen show less that peak load is has not ever reached 100%
its the last mile not the backbone that needs work


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
reply to sortofageek

The fact that a reboot fixed it might indicate that its the fault of silverlight
(last I checked its required for streaming netflix to a PC)
and I wouldn't trust it to be totaly stable (just stable enough)


edactic

join:2005-08-21
Indianapolis, IN

Just one more follow-up: For those "Watch Instantly" Netflix users who encounter ridiculously long wait times for a movie to start or (so it seem even more often for us) for it it to resume where you left off... i.e., if you have hibernated or suspended your computer and are returning the next evening to start watching where you left off... and it gives you this progress bar with "20 minutes until movie start", etc... etc... We have found more than once that rebooting the computer fixes the problem. Lately we've been watching a lot of the multiple-episode BBC / Masterpiece Theatre series, and the slow-to-start problem seems to pop of a lot there, for example when you start episode 2, watch 10 minutes, call it a night, and try to pick up from that point the next night. Try rebooting.

Expand your moderator at work


Mom54 yearsyoung

@comcast.net
reply to edactic

Re: [Speed] Comcast intentionally throttling (squashing) Netflix

Lawrenceville, GA. Last Sunday morning, I could not use our Vonage phone since every word seemed to break up. I questioned my son (my admin) about this and he said our ping rate was .2 seconds (not milliseconds) and it was all Comcast's fault.

We called Comcast on the cell phone and spoke to a technician and he said that the only thing they were throttling was Internet TV, not Vonage. When my son questioned the government ruling on targeting, the tech muttered that my son would have to contact upper management on this issue and clammed up.

Vonage comes and goes, that is a different issue? But, I am now convinced that Comcast does indeed throttle internet TV, if not Vonage as well. I have experienced slowdowns with Netflix.


devnuller

join:2006-06-10
Cambridge, MA

2 edits

said by Mom54 yearsyoung :

Vonage comes and goes, that is a different issue? But, I am now convinced that Comcast does indeed throttle internet TV, if not Vonage as well. I have experienced slowdowns with Netflix.
Mom, this is nothing more than hogwash. If you are having performance problems I recommend opening a new thread with the information from How To Get Help. If you do this, people will help you address the issues you are having.

As far as "throttling". What you are hearing is not accurate at all. The information on this is available from:

Unofficial: »Comcast High Speed Internet FAQ
or
Official: »www.comcast.com/customers/faq/Fa···nagement

MADx

join:2005-05-25
Richmond, IN
reply to edactic

If anyone is using the Roku box, and is having trouble with streaming try this. Press the home button 5 times, then press the rewind button 3 times, then the fast forward button 3 times. This will take you to the "bit rate override screen", choose "play main profile streams"; it should fix the streaming problem. I use this technique all the time when I get bad streaming mostly on HD quality streams, and it works every time giving me the maximum dots allow.



mike12806
Premium
join:2007-08-28
Newton, MA
reply to edactic

I have no problems streaming netflix to my xbox 360....

I had a few issues when running DD-WRT (getting low stream rates) but switched to Tomato and am having no issues.

I'm on a D3 22/5 tier using an SB6120 and a WRT54GL with Tomato.



jlivingood
Premium,VIP
join:2007-10-28
Philadelphia, PA
kudos:2
reply to MADx

said by MADx:

If anyone is using the Roku box, and is having trouble with streaming try this. Press the home button 5 times, then press the rewind button 3 times, then the fast forward button 3 times. This will take you to the "bit rate override screen", choose "play main profile streams"; it should fix the streaming problem. I use this technique all the time when I get bad streaming mostly on HD quality streams, and it works every time giving me the maximum dots allow.
Interesting suggestion. Can you post some screen shots?

Jason
--
JL
Comcast

MADx

join:2005-05-25
Richmond, IN

1 edit

Sorry, have no way of doing that.