|reply to Master Wolfe |
Re: [Rant] Netflix Speeds are Terrible
The thing you seem to be missing is the internet isn't broken.
The bandwidth and the servers are both there, residing in huge datacenters with generators and air conditioners larger than most people will ever see. There are multiple paths to each of the servers in each of the datacenters. I can literally connect with my phone via 4G and pull better speeds from Netflix than I can on my wired connection with Comcast.
Not once in this thread have I said Comcast should be hosting servers for Netflix via the "Open Connect". All they've got to do is allow their peering providers to send more traffic--the traffic their customers subscribe to be able to access.
This guy in the fios forum explains it pretty good.
The internet is undergoing some massive changes right now due to media streaming. There really are no good guys and bad guys in this situation, just companies trying to come to grips with how things are changing and how it is affecting their business.
Tier 1 internet providers traditionally enter into peering agreements. All the peering agreement says is "I'll exchange traffic with you for no cost." Because of the distributed nature of the internet back in the day, that worked out great. Each side would add more ports for interconnects as needed and things would scale nicely.
Enter Netflix. Netflix uses Cogent for their internet provider. Well, now things are becoming lopsided. Verizon (also Comcast) have been getting into spats with Cogent because the exchange is no longer equal. The idea of no cost peering was due to the idea that both sides would exchange traffic equally, but since streaming HD video takes a lot more bandwidth (netflix accounts for 33% of all downstream traffic on the internet), Cogent is asking ISPs to pay money to upgrade their peering interconnects for traffic that's almost entirely one sided. So, Verizon (and many other ISPs) are taking issue with that and asking Cogent to pay for the unequal portion of the traffic. Verizon and other ISPs have been allowing their peering interconnects to cogent reach up to 100% capacity and not increasing them since they feel they shouldn't bear the burden of the cost and Cogent is refusing to pay for it because of the peering agreement.
Now, netflix has a 'solution' for this and it's their CDN (content delivery network). They put servers in the ISPs datacenter that holds copies of most requested content. So, when an ISP customer access that content form netflix, it's actually staying local on the ISPs network and not crossing any peered connections. Netflix has made this CDN a requirement for Super HD and 3D for two reasons. First, both those services are higher bandwidth and would put additional strain on the already overstuffed peer connections between Cogent and Verizon. Second, it's being used as a carrot (for the netflix customer) and a stick (to the ISPs) to get them to participate in the CDN.
CDN is not a stick. CDN is free to the ISP. The 'stick' is supposed to be these 'fastest streamer' reviews each month.
The reason content is slow can only be blamed on the ISP as Netflix has offered a solution at no cost that they are refusing. I presume Comcast feels some sense of superiority at being able to offer HD to their customers while Netflix cannot. I don't think that attitude is going to save their phone business, why should it save their video business?
"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom [is] despised, and his words are not heard. " Ecclesiastes 9:16