US academics find global ISPs throttling video services | Media Analysis | Business
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As the net neutrality debate rages on, and in what will further inflame anger felt by users, research from a number of leading universities in the US has found that global internet service providers have been slowing down throughput on video services.
netflix mirada 17July2019
The study, A Large-Scale Analysis of Deployed Traffic Differentiation Practices, was compiled by academics from the Northeastern University and University of Massachusetts Amherst, was founded on conducting year-long research of content-based traffic differentiation policies deployed in operational networks, both fixed and wireless, using results from 1.045 million crowdsourced measurements conducted by 126,249 users across 2,735 ISPs in 183 countries and regions. Leading video applications such as YouTube and Netflix were among the services whose performance was used as a benchmark test.

Fundamentally, the research identified 30 ISPs in seven countries that throttle all applications running on their networks and services. Nearly all cases of detected throttling affected video streaming services, with YouTube being throttled the most often, found in 25 cases, and Vimeo being throttled the least (3 cases).The most common (12 cases) detected throttling rate was 1.5 Mbps, typically corresponding to ISPs that disclose data plans offering low-resolution video streaming.

The study also showed that not all throttled video streaming services were treated equally under this policy. The research detected 7 Mbps of delayed throttling for Netflix and NBC Sports, and 6 Mbps for Amazon Prime. YouTube did not get any delayed throttling in the dataset – the service is typically throttled from the start of sessions.

A further key aspect revealed in A Large-Scale Analysis of Deployed Traffic Differentiation PracticesA Large-Scale Analysis of Deployed Traffic Differentiation Practices was investigating the role time-of-day plays in throttling, something the researchers said was necessary in light of claims that throttling is necessary to prevent overloading the network during times of heavy usage. The test showed that out of the 77 ISP-app pairs in which the researchers detected throttling, 71 of them include tests both during the day and night.