Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Verizon DSL Throttling Video Data

It appears Verizon DSL is throttling video data. My roommate and I noticed a few days ago that videos were playing terribly. It didn't matter what site it was streaming from, youtube, hulu, etc, all videos were buffering extremely slowly. There was no abnormal bandwidth usage at the time. Today I decided to do some testing...

Originally I used Chrome for the test, but repeated it in Firefox so that I could get accurate timing data.

Here is my test:

I connected to my encrypted VPN service. I started Firefox and used private mode to avoid caching. I loaded a video from youtube. Below is a screen shot of the load time for the video while using Verizon DSL with an encrypted VPN. Notice it took 30 seconds to load 2.9 MB of video.

Next, I closed the browser and disconnected from the VPN. I started firefox in private mode again (to avoid caching) and loaded the same video. This time it took 1 minute and 57 seconds to load 2.9MB of video! This is 4 times slower! Verizon is clearly throttling the video. Image below.

I urge people using Verizon (or any ISP) to perform their own tests. Make these incidents known!

EDIT: At this point I have only tested with youtube. I may test with other sites in the future. Subjectively, Hulu seems ok today.