Items tagged with throttling

Earlier this week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler penned an open letter to Verizon telling the wireless carrier that he's "deeply troubled" by its decision to throttle data for the top 5 percent of users subscribed to the company's unlimited data plans. The way Wheeler sees it, Verizon isn't trying to relieve network congestion, but is instead targeting a group of users to squeeze more money out of them. Not so, says Verizon. The Verge got its hands on a copy of Verizon's response to Wheeler's angry letter. Verizon's response highlights the fact that customers will only see slowdowns in data service "under very limited circumstances" and only at "particular cell sites experiencing unusually high demand."... Read more...
Sprint prides itself on offering "data without limits" and "truly unlimited data," which are a pair of taglines you may have seen the company use when advertising its $79.99/month unlimited plan. Go ahead and put on your umpire cap because you may want to call foul once you learn that Sprint intends to throttle data speeds for subscribers who take advantage of the service the most. In an FAQ on Sprint's website, the carrier explains that if you fall within the top 5 percent of data users, you'll be subject to throttling, or "network prioritization," as the company calls it. "The heaviest data users consume a disproportionate share of network resources and cause a negative user experience for... Read more...
All good things must come to an end. With Sprint being the last major oasis for unlimited data plans, the news that subsidiary Virgin Mobile is going to begin throttling users is indeed negative. With competitors Verizon, and AT&T killing off their unlimited data plans and T-Mobile throttling users, customers desperate for data have been moving to Sprint or one of several small, contract-free carriers, like Virgin Mobile. However, Sprint announced last week that they would start throttling Virgin Mobile data users that went over a limit of 2.5GB. Many users are now questioning if this is a sign of things to come; while Sprint ads admonish T-Mobile for its "unlimited... Read more...
Well, this isn't going to sit well with consumers. And it's something that AT&T executives just have to be smiling about. Currently, AT&T doesn't throttle user data; they have implemented caps, but not a throttle plan. And now, it's one more reason to keep that iPhone 4 on AT&T instead of switching to Verizon. It's difficult to tell how long this particular data has been available from Verizon Wireless, but the timing of the discovery couldn't be worse. New policy changes at Verizon Wireless could very well impact data users, particularly those who rely on heavily on a mobile broadband card or a tethering plan. Verizon is now saying that they hold the key to your data usage, and if... Read more...
Oh, Canada. What are you teaching those American regulators? While most consumer-oriented Americans (as in, the consumers themselves) are doing everything they can to resist the evil known as "data throttling," Canada's main telecommunication agency has just okayed the process. We're hoping this doesn't set some sort of precedence, but honestly, who knows how this will affect other nations (including America). The CRTC, which has also been a recent pain for companies look to light up new high-def channels, has just passed regulations that will enable Internet providers to "throttle" traffic of its users. Of course, this rule only allows throttling--which involves the general slowing of throughput... Read more...
The launch of the Google's first Android phone, the T-Mobile G1, was both widely anticipated and highly covered.  Of course, one big negative, one frequently pointed out as a real problem for the iPhone as well, is the associated carrier with the device.  T-Mobile has the smallest 3G footprint of any major carrier, and additionally --- well, the devil is in the details.T-Mobile's advertised data plan for the $179 phone are $25 for unlimited data and voice and 400 text messages, or $35 for unlimited everything.  Well, that's when you really, really need to take out your magnifying glass, and take a look at their 3G details page (as linked to this story).  Look at the very bottom... Read more...
The potential throttling by ISPs of certain types of Internet traffic has been in the news quite a bit lately. In fact, this last Friday, the FCC issued a ruling (PDF) against Comcast, stating that "Comcast's network management practices discriminate among applications rather than treating all equally and are inconsistent with the concept of an open and accessible Internet." Whether the FCC actually has the authority to take action against Comcast in this matter is still under debate, but the core of the FCC's argument is that Comcast engaged in "discriminatory network management practices" by monitoring and selectively blocking users' access to peer-to-peer (P2P) connections. The FCC's position... Read more...
Update: The news story below was originally posted on Friday, June 13. It is a brief summary of a longer news article written by Cade Metz of The Register. After our article posted we were contacted by Technology Consultant George Ou, who was briefly referenced in our news story. Ou felt that Metz's coverage--and therefore our coverage as well--did not accurately represent his statements or some of the arguments for network prioritization. For the sake of balanced news coverage, we are adding a link to Ou's blog here, where he provides another perspective on this story.Google has been very vocal on its stance for net neutrality. Now, Richard Whitt--Senior Policy Director for Google--announces... Read more...
Comcast customers are still waiting for the nation’s largest broadband provider to make good on their promise to stop throttling BitTorrent traffic according to a recent survey:The Max Planck Institute tested the connections of 788 Comcast customers, 494 (62%) experienced a slowdown of BitTorrent traffic. Comcast is not alone though, well over 50% of the Cox subscribers that participated in the study were also throttled. The good news is, other ISPs don’t seem to restrict BitTorrent traffic on a wide scale.Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press, said in a response: “Consumers have no reason left to trust their cable company. This independent study confirms that Comcast is still blocking its... Read more...
How exactly do major ISPs determine which types of traffic to let through unhampered and which types to throttle or block? With deep-packet inspection devices, such as the $800,000 Procera Networks PacketLogic PL10000. Ars Technica reports on the latest ammunition in ISPs' arsenal:"The PL10000 can handle up to 5 million subscribers and can track 48 million real-time data flows. That's certainly a potent piece of hardware, but larger ISPs will need more. That's why Procera designed the new machines with full support for synchronizing traffic flows where return traffic might be routed to a different PacketLogic machine."In other words, large ISPs will need several of these $800K appliances to adequately... Read more...
Potential throttling of BitTorrent traffic by major ISPs, such as Comcast and AT&T, means that your Internet access could be affected. It's not just the downloading of illegal movies and applications that utilizes BitTorrent traffic; there is plenty of legitimate BitTorrent traffic out there as well, such as Valve's Steam game distribution platform. Some legitimate Steam users have reported interference from ISPs.While the government investigates and contemplates enacting net neutrally legislation, what is a broadband user to do? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems have created a couple of tools for detecting if an ISP is manipulating BitTorrent traffic. They call... Read more...
Coming soon to a country near you! If you thought ISPs throttling Peer To Peer (P2P) file-sharing was intrusive, I don't think you'll want to hear what Japan's doing to police illegal file-sharing. Organizations that represent copyright holders simply identify IP addresses of users sharing their content to the ISPs. That's easy to do. You just join the service and look around. If they find some content they hold rights to being shared, first the users would get a warning by e-mail. Then they'd get a temporary disconnection if they didn't desist. Try it again, and you'd have your account with the ISP canceled entirely. It is a bold move that ISPs have been cautious about making thus far. Two years... Read more...
When Comcast began throttling BitTorrent traffic last year, they initially claimed it was an anti-piracy measure, but it's starting to look as if there might have been an ulterior motive for the throttling; keeping legitimate online video services away from their customer base.“While the BitTorrent protocol has long been used for piratical purposes, the company formed to commercialize it has signed up a slew of business partners from the entertainment industry that use it to reduce their bandwidth costs while distributing video. Those partners include Warner Bros., Viacom, PBS, and Paramount Pictures.What that means is that Comcast is slamming the brakes on perfectly legal television watching... Read more...
We recently reported that Comcast has been accused of throttling BitTorrent traffic.  Initially Comcast denied that it was doing anything to throttle BitTorrent traffic, but later revised its stance to indicate that their TOS gives them the right and obligation to make sure that the Comcast network isn't being used to traffic in illicit copyrighted media.Now an alleged internal e-mail has surfaced, telling customer service reps how to respond to customer concerns about BitTorrent trouble:"If a customer asks:I read that Comcast is limiting customer access to BitTorrent. Is this true?Respond:No. We do not block access to any applications, including BitTorrent. We also respect our customers'... Read more...
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