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ISP Throttling

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I seem to be going into a second time this year of what really has me thinking that somebody is throttling YouTube playback between about 9pm to about midnight.

Last time this happened I got a very serious sounding denial from my ISP that they were throttling. Of the many interactions and communications I've had with them over the years that one statement came through to me as very serious sounding. I mean, kind of like a 'don't you dare say that again' type of sound. That kind of sound from an ISP that sort of has you thinking they will stop your service.

But it seems to me they really wouldn't have much choice but to say that, even if they are the ones doing the throttling.

But even if it isn't them, something is wrong, for sure.

Yes, I know that traffic gets routed all over the place and all that stuff we can learn when we study this issue, but there is a pattern in this second event that very much matches what happened the first time and I am now going to ask here on this site if any of the members here might have any reason to believe that during the hours of about 9pm to about midnight that playback of their favorite video site seems rather slow? Maybe even really, really slow?

I am not really interested in pointing fingers at anyone at this time. I just want to know if I am alone in this in Japan? And, if not, the degree any one of you might be experiencing the throttling.

For example, I just found a nice 1-minute news clip on a news site and it is very obvious that something was so wrong with the buffering. So I'll work with that one over the next 48 hours or so and even video the screen as it does its thing and then I can absolutely prove what's going on. I've already done two Net connection speed tests this evening and they are fine.
 

Mike Cash

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When I have that kind of problem it is usually fixed by asking my computer whiz son in the next room to pause his massive downloading activity for a bit while his poor papa uses the internet.

Just because you're throughput drops doesn't always mean it is being throttled; it could be a major bandwidth hog somewhere in your very near proximity.
 
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Well, my kids aren't around to be causing me that sort of trouble. Nobody else in the place to cause that. I'm fully aware of the various possibilities other than throttling, but it's that pattern that was so consistent the last time I had this trouble. Would start at just about 9:30pm last time and end just about midnight. It was just way too consistent and then -- poof -- it stopped. I haven't pulled the records yet on that, but it was at least a couple of months ago. Time gets all bunched up for me with all I try to get done and I'll have to pull the records.

But this latest round started only in the past couple of days and tonight it was so odd that it seemed to start again at just about 9 to 9:30.

Yep, could be something other than throttling -- you're right. But this time I am going to go just a tad further in my record keeping and also ask out to this community, just in case there's something needs looking into besides some Net Hog between my work station and that exchange building over there by the river over the ridgeline. And if it is a Net Hog, hats off to the gal/fella for the very neat timestamp I was always seeing the last time this happened. And maybe this time.
 

Mike Cash

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Well, if you suspect your ISP is lying to you, wouldn't it help if you said who your ISP is? No sense in a bunch of us saying "nope, no problem" if we're not on the same ISP.

You keep records of stuff like this?
 
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I'd want to get permission from Thomas before I start throwing company names out like that. This is just a preliminary. If the pattern I have outlined here matches the experience of others, then there may be need to get a tad more serious about the matter. Dig deeper. Look at possible negotiations that may be going on between certain entities. Big money changes hands for bandwidth between the big players in the business. Sometimes that causes problems for us peons.

Yes, I keep records of stuff like this.
 

Mike Cash

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Maybe you just wrapped your modem with a different brand of tinfoil during the period it was slow....
 
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In its broader sense the technical expression for this is traffic shaping and it has been a concern of consumers in North America and Europe for a few years, at least. There's no doubt about it being done in those regions of the world. Whether ISPs engage in traffic shaping in Japan in a manner that during peak hours they might throttle a site like YouTube, I don't have the evidence to support one way or the other. But there are numerous references to it happening in other parts of the world and a search engine will turn up results on the subject.

There's even a video on YouTube detailing a technique for settings rules within a unit's firewall to stop it from happening.
 
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Yes, I'm familiar with traceroute diagnostic tools, but I've always used them to trace to a domain, not while downloading data, which means I'd need to include the query string, right? Yep, I hadn't thought of that. Thank you. I'll look into that idea.
 
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