YouTube Quietly, But Publicly, Shaming ISPs That Make Your Video Streams Stutter

from the good-for-them dept

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.

Filed Under: congested networks, isps, net neutrality, public shaming, youtube
Companies: google, youtube


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  1. identicon
    Rekrul, 7 Jul 2014 @ 3:53pm

    I'd like an explanation for why it re-buffers data when you use the seek bar/position slider.

    Try it; Let the video fully buffer, meaning the entire bar is gray, then click slightly ahead in the video. The slider will jump to that position, the gray bar from that point to the end will disappear and then it will re-download from there to the end of the video.

    It's an incredibly inefficient system.

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