Author Topic: CenturyLink and Net Neutrality  (Read 328 times)

TheDeamon

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CenturyLink and Net Neutrality
« on: December 27, 2018, 10:35:10 PM »
Taking odds on Net Neutrality moving to a front burner in the next few days/weeks in the aftermath of CenturyLink having a massive infrastructure snafu that has left Millions of Americans without Home DSL Internet since about 4AM Eastern Time this morning. Even better, it wasn't just home DSL impacted, it took out (outbound) long distance services for Plain Old Telephone System users who belonged to CenturyLink, and Business users were also knocked offline, bank offices had to close because they couldn't connect to the main servers, 911 systems in several communities went FUBAR, and the list goes on and on.

And I fully expect that one of the major contributing factors that will be attributed to this event is "degradation of CenturyLink's internal infrastructure/technical support staff" in response to declining revenues @CenturyLink as the population continues to do away with their POTS phones in favor of VOIP and CellPhones, and their inability to "monetize" traffic moving across their fiber-optic network.

Seriati

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Re: CenturyLink and Net Neutrality
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2018, 09:58:25 AM »
Where do you see a hook into net neutrality?

TheDeamon

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Re: CenturyLink and Net Neutrality
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2018, 11:01:03 AM »
Where do you see a hook into net neutrality?

Mostly anti-net Neutrality. The entire point of net Neutrality basically boils down to ensuring internet service providers can't attempt to monetize data traffic moving across their networks.

Edit: which is why Google, Amazon, Netflix, and so on are such big fans of it, they don't want to pay more for their data.

Seriati

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Re: CenturyLink and Net Neutrality
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2018, 11:18:32 AM »
I know what net neutrality is, I don't get why you think a story about infrastructure failing is connected?

TheDeamon

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Re: CenturyLink and Net Neutrality
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2018, 12:48:59 PM »
I know what net neutrality is, I don't get why you think a story about infrastructure failing is connected?

Failure is likely to be due to one of a handful of things given the massive nature of the failure and how "modern design" principles work(distributed everything), it means either systematic attack(hack), or systematic incompetence, or both.

Looking at the Reddit feeds yesterday morning, CenturyLink has gone through numerous "reorganizations" over the past few years as they keep slimming down their workforce as they adjust to reducing revenues and margins due to competition from entities which have no significant infrastructure to maintain(Voice over IP services specifically). Those reorganizations, naturally, resulted in the release of many of their more experienced engineers and technicians. (Because they cost more)

Crunch

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Re: CenturyLink and Net Neutrality
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2018, 09:09:01 AM »
A year after net-neutrality’s repeal, the Internet is alive and well — and faster than ever

Quote
The technology news website Recode reported this month that “US internet speeds rose nearly 40 percent this year,” with broadband download velocity now averaging as much as 159 megabits per second in some cities. The United States currently ranks seventh worldwide in broadband internet speed. That’s up from 12th a year ago.

How many millions died though?

LetterRip

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Re: CenturyLink and Net Neutrality
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2018, 02:43:59 PM »
The internet speed hasn't improved.  What has happened is that 'burst' speed has been rolled out more - which if you are doing a speed test, will give you great numbers - since burst usually lasts about the same duration as the speed tests run (such a strange coincidence).  But if you are doing things that you actually want speed for - downloading large game files; streaming films; etc. - you get the slow speed.

You can do 'disconnect/reconnect' whenever the file download slows down to manipulate bursts if the file you are downloading has resume.  (Though most 'boost' assigns a limited number of tokens per customer per time period - so that only works a few times).

This is an FCC report that mentions bursting from 2012.

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Some cable-based services offer burst speed techniques, marketed under names such as “PowerBoost,” which temporarily allocate more bandwidth to a consumer’s service. The effect of burst speed techniques is temporary—it usually lasts less than 15 to 20 seconds—and may be reduced by other broadband activities occurring within the consumer household.21 Burst speed is not equivalent to sustained speed. Sustained speed is a measure of long-term performance. Activities such as large file transfers, video streaming, and video chat require the transfer of large amounts of information over long periods of time. Sustained speed is a better measure of how well such activities may be supported.

https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/reports/measuring-broadband-america/measuring-broadband-america-july-2012

So no the internet is not "Faster than ever" - speed tests are simply more deceptive than ever.

Seriati

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Re: CenturyLink and Net Neutrality
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2018, 04:12:50 PM »
You say that, but it's not uncommon for there to be four video streams and several game devices on line at the same time in my house.  Something that wouldn't have worked even 5 years back.  I suspect, that while there is some truth to the idea that they game the tests, it's far from the whole story and that speed overall is up dramatically - while demand is up dramatically as well.

TheDrake

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Re: CenturyLink and Net Neutrality
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2018, 06:26:09 PM »
Eero tests my speed and it always reads 60/60 but I'm on at & t fiber. Practically, I've never had a pause streaming 4k x 1. I haven't had to reset my router in months. Comcast was a whole other story.

LetterRip

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Re: CenturyLink and Net Neutrality
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2018, 08:30:34 PM »
You say that, but it's not uncommon for there to be four video streams and several game devices on line at the same time in my house.  Something that wouldn't have worked even 5 years back.  I suspect, that while there is some truth to the idea that they game the tests, it's far from the whole story and that speed overall is up dramatically - while demand is up dramatically as well.

Game devices are essentially trivial bandwidth.   For video improvements you have stuff you purchase from Cox or other providers - which they aren't part of your bandwidth (it is accounted for separately).  Then you have Hulu, Netflix etc.  Their historical slowness was because of lack of peerage agreements (your ISP wants to make money twice; once for you paying to get bandwidth and a second time to charge the content providers - both to make more money, but also to make competitors like netflix less competitive vs their own content).  Netflix finally gave in which is the other part of the speed improvement.

https://www.geeky-gadgets.com/netflix-pays-att-with-new-peerage-deal-to-improve-streaming-performance-2014-07-30/

Another factor is people are now using 5 GHz 802.11n, instead of 2.5 GHz 802.11b or g. 

A streaming video is 1.3 Mbps for 480p, 2.1 Mbps for 720p and 3.5 Mbps for 1080p.

So a starter 10 Mbps plan should be enough for 4 HD streams at 720p + video games.  If you actually use Cox, you will see that you usually require a 100 or 300 Mbps plan to do 4 simultaneous streams (plans which should be capable of 50-150 simultaneous streams, and generally can only do a single (frequent buffering) stream at 480p on a 10 Mbps plan.

TheDrake

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Re: CenturyLink and Net Neutrality
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2018, 10:28:47 PM »
There is a lot you are missing in that calculation. Some easy ones - overhead is 20%, upstream has a large impact on streaming because of rights packets, and streaming is vbr not cbr.

LetterRip

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Re: CenturyLink and Net Neutrality
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2019, 03:08:06 AM »
There is a lot you are missing in that calculation. Some easy ones - overhead is 20%, upstream has a large impact on streaming because of rights packets, and streaming is vbr not cbr.

The numbers provided by netflix include those considerations except 'upstream'.  I haven't been able to find numbers on upstream for netflix - by 'rights packets' do you mean something regarding DRM?  I'm only requiring around 150 Kbps up with a 10 Mbps down, so not a big issue.

There could potentially be some issue with ACK prioritization if your games require a lot of upstream (say they use audio streaming for communication is hogging all the upstream, delaying ACKs).

« Last Edit: January 01, 2019, 03:11:29 AM by LetterRip »

Seriati

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Re: CenturyLink and Net Neutrality
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2019, 09:41:12 AM »
Maybe I'm missing your finer point LR.  You said internet speed hasn't improved, but industry sources seem to completely disagree, and home speeds seem to be up dramatically for the price.

TheDrake

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Re: CenturyLink and Net Neutrality
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2019, 10:58:23 AM »
Netflix, btw, is full of crap. So is net neutrality. If ISPs really treated every packet as equal, the whole system would collapse. They give priority to streaming services. Then they do threaten to take away that priority. This is one of the reasons why streaming video from your home PC is sometimes not going to be smooth at the destination.

You can read this in your own article. They use DPI and other techniques to prioritize that traffic in the core network. That's where bandwidth can get tight, not really at the endpoint. ISP guarantees you traffic at 50Mb to the edge, not end to end to some random server in the Czech Republic, nor even to major portals like YouTube. It is by treating Netflix with neutrality that makes their service stink.

On the question of rights, yes it has to do with validating your credentials endlessly and constantly so that providers can instantly hammer you if you try to stream on two devices at once when your account allows only one. It is a latency issue and not bandwidth, but it can really horse up the works.


LetterRip

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Re: CenturyLink and Net Neutrality
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2019, 04:10:46 PM »
Maybe I'm missing your finer point LR.  You said internet speed hasn't improved, but industry sources seem to completely disagree, and home speeds seem to be up dramatically for the price.

Seriati,

I'm saying that network providers haven't increased speeds (significantly) and that net neutrality had zero to do with improved performance that people have experienced.  As a user you may have perceived increase in speed on the same connection - but that has been mostly due to technology advances outside of your providers control (the switch to 802.11n reducing contention) and Netflix's doing (giving in on paid peering - which occurred prior to net neutrality being eliminated).

The improvement on 'speed tests' has been further rolling out technology to game the tests (it does have some real world benefit as well - but not for where it matters most - streaming content and downloading large files.) that existed years before net neutrality.  There have been improvements also because more people are willing to pay for the most expensive tiers - even though their needs would be met by the lowest tier if they were getting what was being advertised.