For years, people have wondered if one of the best tools to prevent ISPs from behaving too badly in breaking net neutrality would just be public shaming
. Netflix has long released data on ISP performance, and then got into some hot water last month when it started directly blaming
ISPs for network congestion, leading Verizon to send a cease-and-desist letter. Quartz is reporting that YouTube has been doing something similar
, though it's not quite as in-your-face as the Netflix example. If the connection is weak, YouTube displays a blue bar beneath the video, with the words "Experiencing Interruptions?" in white:
Click on the "Find out why" link and you get taken to Google's "Video Quality Report"
which tells you some information about your ISP and how congested the network is (or, at least sometimes -- in my case, it tells me it doesn't have enough information about my provider, which happens to be Sonic.net, to determine any results).
Of course, all the public shaming in the world isn't going to matter much if ISPs are free to clog up interconnection points and you have no real competition to go to.