I don’t think Netflix has any quality guarantees. So you’re SOL if you think there is some kind of legal recourse. I’d argue that 50% pay for 50% quality is illogical anyway. HD is 25% the quality of 4K. Yet you get virtually all of the value of the content, with only a sight reduction in detail.
Personally, I don’t think now is the time to quibble about ethereal costs. We all need to roll up our sleeves, put our big boy pants on, and get the planet through this crisis.
As I said on another list yesterday:
Overall, we've spent 3 decades building this global Internet. Time to
see if the child can stand on its own two webbed feet :-).
Across several eyeball networks I'm not seeing any noticeable increase in peak (95%) demand between now and January. Since Netflix automatically scales down data rates in the event of congestion, the only thing I foresee forcing Netflix to reduce data rates [ahead of any congestion] would accomplish is causing excess link capacity to go unused (wasted). This sounds like a policy decision made without a technical argument... e.g. not a data driven decision, but a decision made out of fear or panic.
Why in the world would they do that?
Maybe waive the fees for the higher services, but you’re not entitled to anything more than that.
Some of the pipes Netflix goes through is also used by other services that aren’t as adaptable.
Yes, but does that matter? If there’s extra capacity on the link, Netflix runs at full rate. If there is not extra capacity Netflix rates down to prevent congestion. While streaming video (including Netflix) uses a lot of bandwidth, I don’t see Netflix causing congestion. It gets a bad wrap, and I think that’s unfair because Netflix is actually really efficient and really conscientious compared to others.
It’s one of those most important things that matters.
The end user likely won’t notice the difference between 4k and 720p. They also aren’t likely to notice the transition from one to the other.
The person on the VPN, VoIP call, video conference, video game, etc. will very much notice the congested link, even if it’s only a few seconds.
Yes, Netflix video is very efficient, if not the most efficient. They’re also one of if not the largest slingers of bits on the Internet. Small changes in usage of such a huge player totally eclipse most other usages on the Internet.
Netflix recommends 25 megs for Ultra HD, while only 5 megs for HD. That’s a 5x difference in something people likely won’t notice and would make a big difference on the additional VPN, VoIP, video conferencing, etc.
In Canada the CRTC really needs to get on Canadian ISPs about peering very liberally at IXs in each province. I know of one major institution right now that would have a major work from home issue resolved if one big ISP would peer with one big tier 1 in the IX they are both located at in the same province. Instead traffic needs to flow across the country or to the USA to get back to the same city.
**cough** Bell Canada **cough**.
It is something that matters, because it has the potential to set a dangerous precedent.
If you say “$Service should reduce their bit rates because this is an emergency!” , I guarantee that exact same argument will be made well after this crisis has passed with a different definition of “emergency”, and adding on “well it’s an emergency to me!”.
Some of the pipes Netflix goes through is also used by other services that aren’t as adaptable.
And how is that Netflix’s responsibility? They have already taken action to ramp down bitrates when they detect congestion. Why should other applications be able to say piss off, I don’t want to? Didn’t we just have a 10 year net neutrality argument that we’re not supposed to want to treat the bits differently?
If you say “$Service should reduce their bit rates because this is an emergency!” , I guarantee that exact same argument will be made well after this crisis has passed with a different definition of “emergency”, and adding on “well it’s an emergency to me!”
Well, that’s a silly argument. Do you think people can’t tell the difference between a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic and somebody who’s having a “personal emergency”?
Citing 25M may be a bit of a stretch since A) 4k is reserved for ISPs with a local cache (last time I checked), B) many (most?) Netflix customers are not on 4k equipment, C) 4k requires a premium subscription to Netflix at additional cost that not all customers have, D) the customer must have ~25M or above service and not be experiencing congestion on the path between the local Netflix cache and the customer’s equipment, and E) if even one of the above is not true the Netflix user will typically receive a 3-5Mbps stream, depending on the device and connection performance.
On the networks I monitor, forcing a ~3Mbps or lower Netflix stream would have the effect of lowing the peak rate in the high demand hour, wasting available equipment and capacity. It would not have the effect of improving VPN, VoIP, or video conferencing performance during the hours that those applications are typically used and I would wager that it would not have an appreciable effect on those applications even during peak usage periods. If there were a WiFi or similar issue within a specific household, the best way to address that is within the household (either turning off unneeded devices, moving high demand devices closer to the AP or wiring them, or upgrading to current WiFi technology).
I think people can tell the difference just fine.
But get lawyers involved on what the word ‘emergency’ means, then watch the fun.
Because they’re trying to be a responsible Internet citizen instead of just telling everyone else to bugger off.
Perhaps if more entities tried to be responsible instead of entitled, the Internet wouldn’t be as bad as it is?
“It is something that matters, because it has the potential to set a dangerous precedent.”
Can we stop with this talk… around everything? We’re literally living through an unprecedented event right now. My 86 year old grandmother said she’s never seen anything like this in the US. My friends 94 year old grandmother in Italy said she hasn’t seen this since WWII. Nobody is going to say “Well we did this during a global pandemic so we can now do it because we feel like it”. People will laugh them out of the room. I live in Phoenix, the mayor shut down bars and restaurants (carryout only) in order to help stop us from becoming Italy. One of our city councilmen was saying the same thing: “This is martial law and sets bad precedent! We must open everything up!” Of course, they then held a closed to the public meeting because city council can’t be exposed. The point is, the mayor isn’t going to do the same thing in six months on a whim because traffic on the freeway is bad. Thankfully calmer heads prevailed and the rest of the council told him to pound sand, at least for now.
Something that keeps happening on this mailing list over the last few weeks is this tendency to try to take the “Moral high ground”. And from way up there people are looking at the whole topic from an idealistic point of view like we live in some Network Operators Utopia with perfect conditions where money doesn’t exist and we can do whatever we want because there is no upper management. We should be having a practical conversation that sits within the confines of reality. We don’t have perfect networks built. We don’t have unlimited resources. We are facing a global pandemic. Money is tight. In principle, I agree with what you guys are saying. But in reality, we’re going to have to bend our convictions in order to protect populations from COVID-19. You will be changing your tune when your mother is sick and can’t get the care she needs because the system is overwhelmed because we (communities, not just network operators) didn’t do what was necessary because of some idealistic hard line people drew in the sand.
Have you heard of the Patriot Act? Tom is correct that this does set a precedent of suppressing freedom of speech (I realize this is not a right in the EU like it is in US). “They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
You will be changing your tune when your mother is sick and can’t get the care she needs because the system is overwhelmed because we (communities, not just network operators) didn’t do what was necessary because of some idealistic hard line people drew in the sand.
The medical system is going to be run over by lack of trained professionals / beds / equipment long before it is unable to provide care because of transient internet congestion.
I know you’re under a lot of stress Mike, and I wish you all the best getting through these current events.
Can you explain why you think that is Netflix problem?
I should think that it is a problem being experienced by persons who deliberately chose to accept the risk that Internet congestion may be a problem for the path upon which they have deliberately chosen to embark. That Risk might now come to fruition and those persons should be activating their pre-planned mitigation. If their pre-planned mitigation was "well, Netflix can shut down", then they had (hopefully) defective mitigation planning. Perhaps in the future they will do a better job of assessing Risk and mitigating that Risk.
Every large ISP does this (or rather, doesn't) at every IX in Canada. Bell isn't unique by any stretch.
It's not in their economic interest to peer at a local IX, because from their perspective, the IX takes away business (Managed L2 point-to-point circuits, at the very least) from them.
Don't expect the dominant wireline ISP(s) in any region to join local IXes anytime soon, sadly, no matter how much it would benefit their customers. After all, the customer is always free to purchase service to the IX and join the IX, right??? *grumble*
In my local case, if BellMTS joined MBIX, un-cached DNS resolution times could potentially drop by 15msec. That's HUGE. But the end-user experience is not their primary goal. Their primary goal is profit, as always.
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Consultant, Infrastructure Services
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I have neither the time, nor the inclination to do so for people that are not likely to be persuaded to change their position.