Researchers show that wireless carriers are slowing traffic to and from YouTube and Netflix
New research from Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst has revealed some startling proof that the largest U.S. telecom companies are slowing internet traffic to and from apps such as YouTube and Netflix.
Using a smartphone app called Wehe, the researchers monitored which mobile services were being throttled when and by whom.
The research showed that YouTube is the number one target of throttling and data speeds were slowed. David Choffness, one of the study’s authors also stated that Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and the NBC Sports app were degraded in similar ways.
That study took place from January through early May and in that time the app detected “differentiation” by Verizon more than 11,100 times. Differentiation is when a type of traffic on a network is treated differently from other types of traffic. Most of this activity is throttling.
AT&T rang up 8,398 times of throttling, 3,900 on the T-Mobile network, and 339 times on Sprint’s network.
The carriers defend themselves by saying that they’re throttling to manage internet traffic, and in order to deliver the videos that people want to watch on their phones, it is necessary to sacrifice speed.
Terms-of-service agreements tell customers when speeds will be slowed, such as when they exceed data allotments.
Throttling, of course, was happening before the repeal of net-neutrality. With no federal net-neutrality rules in the U.S., however, this type of throttling may increase.
If you’re concerned that your service provider may be slowing down some of your data, you can download the Wehe app from the Northeastern University Wehe Project on Google Play.
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