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European ISPs Investigated For Slowing YouTube
The Same ISPs That Wanted to Impose Content Company Tolls
by Karl Bode 08:58AM Thursday Jan 03 2013
Several European ISPs, some of which operate YouTube competitors, are under investigation by European regulators for intentially slowing down YouTube traffic. AT&T's ham-fisted plan to try and impose troll tolls on content operators (which truly started the net neutrality debate here) has over time seeped into the consciousness of European telcos, who went so far recently as to try and have a new tax imposed on content companies at the UN. Now some of those same ISPs are being investigated for degrading YouTube performance:
Early this year, communications regulator ARCEP will rule on an investigation it opened on November 22 following complaints that video streaming services including YouTube are often too slow to watch. Now three French senators are also calling on the country’s digital economy minister to take action. ARCEP stepped up when a survey of over 16,000 ISP customers by French consumer group UFC Que Chosir found 83 percent of Free customers, 47 percent of Orange customers and 46 percent of SFR customers were unable to use YouTube properly.
It currently remains unclear if this is an issue of anti-competitive behavior or good, old-fashioned network investment and management incompetence. Still, this will be an interesting investigation to watch, particularly if it's proven that the ISPs whining about taxing content companies are shown to be intentionally crippling them.

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Cambridge, MA

How are the ISPs slowing traffic?

YouTube is connected to every transit ISP out there and can send through different routes at will. Are the ISPs using some sort of shaper that only impacts YouTube?


Baltimore, MD

Re: How are the ISPs slowing traffic?

said by devnuller:

YouTube is connected to every transit ISP out there and can send through different routes at will. Are the ISPs using some sort of shaper that only impacts YouTube?

Pretty much. Shaping the CDN is good enough to get the job done.
Least they're only shaping... not that such is good. We've had instances at work where our entire CDN is blocked by certain ISPs in certain countries who will go unnamed (this makes it HELL to support our international users).

El Paso, TX

I'll second that.

I don't know if it's my ISP or if it's YouTube (i think it's my ISP, Telmex) but YouTube is pretty much unusable on weekdays during the day.
I know it's not any sort of network congestion because as soon as i turn on my VPN the problem magically goes away and i can load 1080p videos with no issues. With the VPN off i'll be lucky if i can load 360p videos during the day.

Ever since i started using fiber i noticed that Telmex uses traffic shaping in a lot of ways. Like for instance if i try to send files to pretty much ANY ISP that isn't Telmex the speed will be heavily throttled (and i mean HEAVILY). But if try sending a file to any popular ISP with the VPN turned on the speed is back to normal.

I don't think they get the point of what "upgrading" means.
I should point out, that when i was on DSL Telmex didn't use traffic shaping at all.