Sunday, September 12, 2010

Does AT&T Throttle Video Traffic

I am beginning to wonder if AT&T is throttling video traffic to manage congestion on its broadband network.

Last night we started a Vudu video about 6:30 PM. It kept interrupting the stream with the Buffering message. We finally gave up and tried a half hour TV video from Netflix. Netflix ran into the same problem. We gave up and went back to broadcast TV. Since this problem hit both Vudu and Netflix it was not likely to be a Vudu problem.

I went to my PC and checked what was happening on the network. There was nothing wrong with my WiFi network that I could find and there was no significant traffic on my broadband link. I could see nothing with the limited tools at my disposal that showed any problems on either.

About an hour later we went back and watched the streamed Netflix TV program. It worked OK with only one interruption for Buffering. After we finished the video, we went back to the Vudu film and were able to complete it. There were a lot of Buffering interruptions during the first half hour or so, but they stopped as time went by.

I am beginning to wonder if AT&T is throttling video traffic to maintain the quality of service for its broadband data and VoIP services. This makes sense from their point of view, but does not bode well for those of us who are depending on their Internet connection for TV programming.

I am going to watch this and would be interested in hearing if anybody else is having similar problems. If there enough of us, we should complain to the California Public Utilities Commission and the FCC.

4 comments:

GrayB said...

I've been noticing the same thing with my ATT dsl... only getting bandwidth capped on video at around 2mbs

Anonymous said...

I live in Illinois and I am starting to think the same thing. I recently subscribed to uverse and it was great for the first couple weeks. I am a heavy user though watching all of my tv on the internet. Last couple of days, but service has gotten progressively worse. I can't watch hulu or netflix at all right now. It seems like it is selective with these two sites and both of my pc's have the same problem so I don't think it is a hardware issue.

David said...

I am complaining about a notice of “Important Updates to your AT&T Internet Terms of Service.” AT&T is trying to Vastly Increase my internet service rates due to the fact that I watch my Movies from Netflix (Netflix - in my case) rather then subscribe to their in-home movie or video services. This is same sort of thing that Comcast tries to do to it’s customers that want to purchase Internet service as a stand alone service, with out also buying their movie viewing services. Both of these companies are in direct competition with Netfix and should Not be Allowed to Restrict access to their competitors services through New and unreasonable bandwidth limiting pricing Plans!!!

David said...

I am complaining about a notice of “Important Updates to your AT&T Internet Terms of Service.” AT&T is trying to Vastly Increase my internet service rates due to the fact that I watch my Movies from Netflix (Netflix - in my case) rather then subscribe to their in-home movie or video services. This is same sort of thing that Comcast tries to do to it’s customers that want to purchase Internet service as a stand alone service, with out also buying their movie viewing services. Both of these companies are in direct competition with Netfix and should Not be Allowed to Restrict access to their competitors services through New and unreasonable bandwidth limiting pricing Plans!!!