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Posted Jul 3, 2013
11:31:29 PM
AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

Not sure if it has been posted about on this board before but in the last couple of months there has been a huge stutter and lag problem across the board for all major ISP's and this site, to include Uverse. From what I can tell it occurs at the Level 3 CDN that uverse routes through. I know Comcast and Time Warner have talked to Twitch.tv to get this issue fixed but is AT&T going to be doing anything about it?

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Jul 31, 2013 4:38:03 AM
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ACE - Master
Edited by JefferMC on Jul 31, 2013 at 4:40:06 AM

kmharris09 wrote:

I am having the exact same problem. I ran a traceroute to twitch.tv and almost every hop times out.

 

As explained numerous times on these forums, AT&T's decision to not respond to the ICMP messages used by traceroute does not imply anything with regards to how these same routers handle TCP or UDP traffic.

 

What my options for fixing the stuttering issue?

 

I don't quite follow some of the analogies. Is the issue that twitch won't pay for sufficient upload speed? That seems very unlikely because it makes their service unusable. My understanding is that during high traffic periods ATT simply throttles certain high volume web services to save themselves money on developing bandwidth. Am I not correctly understanding the problem?

 

You are not understanding the problem.  There is no deliberate or active throttling or active traffic shaping going on.  Actually it's more complicated than my analogy.  Twitch.TV has their ISP.  AT&T is your ISP.  The ISP's have connections between them where they agree to a certain connection size (like you did when you subscribed to your ISP).  These are called peering arrangements.  The original idea was "you scratch my back so my customers can get to yours, and I'll scratch your back to your customers can get to mine."  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peering.  After a while, because of the difference of size in ISPs, paid peering became the norm.  ISPs with a lot of customers want companies with a few customers to pay for their data connection to all their customers.  Here's likely where our conflicts begin.  Twitch.TV's ISP and AT&T have agreed to some peering connections of a bandwidth for a rate.  Twitch.TV's growth has caused the load on some of these connections to reach the agreed upon bandwidth.  Unless AT&T and Twitch.TV's ISP agree to a new peering arrangement for more bandwidth before the expiration of their current arrangement, this situation will continue.

 

Twitch.TV's ISP is likely going to Twitch.TV and saying: "Y'all need to pay us more money because we need to expand our peering connections."  Twitch.TV is probably pointing at their contract and saying "nope." 

...

 


 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
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AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

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Jul 4, 2013 11:58:27 AM
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Tutor

Bump because this needs to be addressed and is an issue that is plagueing many Uverse users and causing them to switch ISPs. Twitch.tv has said before that the option of Peering is available and they've done it with some ISPs but not all because for some it doesn't improve "their bottom line". Would really like input on this from someone within AT&T.

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Jul 5, 2013 12:53:26 PM
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ACE - Master

If you would like an official response from AT&T, then you will likely need to contact AT&T directly, instead of posting it on the user community forum.

 

You could call AT&T Technical Support at 800-288-2020, or search around for the corporate e-mail adddress.

 

My guess is that it is likely that AT&T would allow Twitch.tv to obtain additional peering connections at the going rate, but I doubt AT&T is going to subsidize Twitch's business model for them.

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Jul 6, 2013 10:39:11 AM
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Tutor

Wasn't aware this was just a user forum. Figured ATT would at least have some of their workers here.

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Jul 6, 2013 11:41:33 AM
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FYI, called that number. Got hung up on twice by techs because they have no clue what to do and finally noone can help me. Great service.

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Jul 6, 2013 12:05:38 PM
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I currently have to use a VPN to remove most of the stuttering issues, but I've had these issues starting 3-4 weeks ago. I am definitely looking in to switching ISPs, this is absurd. I love paying for 24MB/mo. and I can't even watch one 1080p stream. :catmad:

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Jul 6, 2013 7:00:06 PM
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ACE - Master

If the telephone people could not help you you can contact the social media support team by clicking this AT&T logoCustomer Service link to send a Private Message (PM) to the AT&T customer service team to help you resolve your request. You can expect a reply via return PM (the blue envelope envelopein the upper right hand corner of this site) in a business day or three.

 

However, if the issue is with Twitch.TV's CDN's connection to AT&T's network, then there is little they can actually do for you.  They can report it up the chain, though.

 

24 Mbps into your home means nothing if they can't get 24 Mbps to AT&T's network to carry to your home.  And to get 24 Mbps you either need async traffic, extreemly low latency or both.  Fortunately, streaming compressed 1080 takes a lot less than 24 Mbps.

 

Let me ask anyone who wants AT&T to "fix" the issue to Twitch.TV's CDN: You pay AT&T for your connection to the Internet to be "big enough," right?  It sure sounds like Twitch.TV's is asking AT&T to provide a connection to their CDN for less than the normal rate.  Why should AT&T do that?

 

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Jul 8, 2013 9:56:42 PM
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While you point out the CDN issue, Level3 is the CDN used by twitch and used by many others. I expect ATT to do their best to provide my posted speed to wherever I try to arrive within the interwebs. 

 

To say taht ATT would be at a disadvantage I'm not sure. But I will say this I pay ATT for my internet not Level3 and as a result I expect to have fast secure connections of at least 25% my posted bandwidth (or a much as the connection I am trying to reach will allow. ATT isn't hosting the Twitch traffic someone else is.

 

Much like a highway, while I dont' expect it to be empty, I do expect that just because I'm from out of state I don't have to travel on a single lane road with every out of stater just because I'm not a resident. This is much the same. So no, ATT should do this as it is what I pay for much like I pay taxes. ATT needs to fix this and they need to get their a** in gear because it is horrible that not only are they beginning to fall behind in speeds, but also in competitiveness to other companies. 

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Jul 9, 2013 12:51:05 AM
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With your logic and exampe: So if traveling across many states I need to go thru Atlanta at rush hour, use Chicago i-94 toll by pass and deal with road construction in Wisconsin where traffic is rerouted or reduced to one lane my state dept of transportation is supposed to pay my toll fees and provide in every state I may Need to travel to while ensuring I can always go at least 45 MPH on a 65 MPH interstate.....I do not think so.
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

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Jul 11, 2013 3:21:07 PM
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Oh, I didn't realize that I'm paying AT&T for access to a limited selection of internet roads based on some arbitrary deal between 3rd parties.  They really should put a disclaimer on the service you buy that says "hey, we reserve the right to give you awful, slow access to things you want to do on the web sometimes because we would have to pay a fee.  And we can't be bothered to pay to improve our service, that's your job."   Honestly. 

 

Or better yet, let me opt-in to paying part of that fee if it really is such a huge issue.  OH WAIT.  I thought I did that already by opting to pay extra for higher speed internet?  I guess not.  I really should just opt for a slower speed since I can't get high speed access to some parts anyway, what is the point of having 25M down if you can't even get 300k down from some silly streaming video site?  I might as well just downgrade to the 5M down plan.

 

I can't wait till I move so I can drop this terrible internet service, for one that can actually handle simple streaming properly.  Sad, too, because the TV part is pretty nice, but this idiocy with streaming video is unacceptable.

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Jul 12, 2013 6:20:53 AM
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ACE - Master

Let's try another analogy:

 

Your neighbor (on his AT&T U-verse connection) decides to start a video streaming service out of his basement and sells subscriptions.  He decides that 6 Mbps down, 1.0 Mbps up is all he wants to pay for.

 

You buy one of these subscriptions.  You try to view a video that needs 0.9 Mbps to stream.  That works, you point it out to your friend and he starts watching it on his laptop and you pick another video.  Both of your videos buffer, stutter, etc., etc.  Why?  You've got more than 1.8 Mbps down, that's plenty of room. But wait, your neighbor's 1.0 Mbps up can't handle it.

 

You complain to your neighbor.  He calls AT&T up and demands that he increase his upload speed to 2.0 Mbps (at no extra charge) because his customers aren't getting the service they pay for.  Or, if they won't do that, they should install a computer in their datacenter and hook it to their network (again at little or no charge) and he'll put his content on that.

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Jul 12, 2013 10:26:07 PM
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This is really interesting.   I've been throwing away all the Charter flyers in the mail for the past 2 years thinking...wow, i'd never use them.   but for the past 1 month now, i can't watch the only video i watch online, twitch.tv.   I have the 24M plan as well and was wondering why all of a sudden, i can't watch a 480p vid without it being unbearable.

 

Maybe i'm just going to switch to charter after all.   I'm sure ATT doesn't care about the $185/month i pay them...i'm just one customer and am also "the" customer that got them to realize they had cables in my neighborhood already and got 25 of my neighbors to sign up the day it was available.....

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Jul 13, 2013 5:14:27 AM
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For urhypotix, if thinking about changing providers cause of switch TV issues , DO NOT CHOOSE Google, Verizon Fios, TWC, Charter, Bright house as all they customers are also reporting issues with twitch TV! http://help.twitch.tv/customer/portal/questions/796322-lagging-horrible-when-watching-streams

*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

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Jul 13, 2013 5:24:55 AM
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TWITCH STAFF FEB 21, 2013 12:48PM PST

If you're coming from outside of the US, VODs may not perform as well due to the length of route (to San Francisco) and our limited VOD service. Our focus is primarily live streams over VODs. Thus, depending on the current load on our VOD service, we may not have enough bandwidth to serve your request.
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

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Jul 13, 2013 1:35:21 PM
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i don't even watch VOD's...i only watch live streams which are like 150kps at 1080p...i can't understand what the issues are with Uverse and this only started about 1 month ago...before that i could watch 5 streams with zero lag all at 1080p.  i have time warner at my office with only a 10M/1M connection and all streams run perfectly....so it's really ONLY Uverse right now....

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Jul 16, 2013 2:23:59 PM
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Thank you for the link, JefferMC.  

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Jul 17, 2013 3:52:58 PM
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Voyager

AT&T should get in touch with Twitch and enable peering so U-verse users can watch streams without lag. We pay for internet service and we should not have to put up with lag when we have sufficient bandwith to watch a stream.

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Jul 17, 2013 8:13:09 PM
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ACE - Master

SuppliedRelic wrote:

AT&T should get in touch with Twitch and enable peering so U-verse users can watch streams without lag. We pay for internet service and we should not have to put up with lag when we have sufficient bandwith to watch a stream.


Did you perhaps miss this post?

 

http://forums.att.com/t5/Features-and-How-To/AT-amp-T-Uverse-and-Twitch-tv/m-p/3521443#M38621

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Jul 17, 2013 8:20:38 PM
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We should already be able to view streams without any lag. AT&T should make an effort to illeviate this issue once and for all.

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Jul 18, 2013 4:06:31 AM
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ACE - Master

Sure, no matter the cause or the responsibility, AT&T should bear any expense to make it better.  Gotcha.  Hope you're ready for the HSI price increase to cover it.

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Jul 19, 2013 7:23:49 PM
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ACE - Master

Maybe it's just me, but I just tried watching a couple of live streams with no lag. I'm on a wireless 12Mb network.

” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Jul 29, 2013 8:35:18 PM
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I am having the exact same problem. I ran a traceroute to twitch.tv and almost every hop times out.

 

What my options for fixing the stuttering issue?

 

I don't quite follow some of the analogies. Is the issue that twitch won't pay for sufficient upload speed? That seems very unlikely because it makes their service unusable. My understanding is that during high traffic periods ATT simply throttles certain high volume web services to save themselves money on developing bandwidth. Am I not correctly understanding the problem?

 

Are there certain ISPs that do not have the stuttering issue? I find twitch.tv very entertaining, but it is only bearable at 1080p. If some other ISP does not have the stutter problem, I will switch ISPs.

 

Is it legal for ISPs to throttle certain websites? According to this, http://www.att.com/gen/public-affairs?pid=20879, ATT's official policy is that they do not throttle websites. But, my traceroute (although I may be misunderstanding it) seems to paint a different picture. Is there any way to verify that ATT does not throttle websites?

 

Additionally, they seem to hint that, contrary to their no-throttle policy, sometimes "congestion" occurs in certain areas where everyone gets on the internet at once, and they "manage" it. But, they do not explain what they do to "manage" congestion. Do they in fact have an algorithm that manages the congestion by throttling high bandwidth websites (like twitch and youtube)?? I suspect they do. Perhaps my 1 Mb plan is in fact not 1 Mb at all during congested periods (except for low traffic websites). Or, maybe what they do is put a cap on everyone's download speed during high congestion periods. The fact that ATT does not tell me what they do makes me suspicious and irritated.

 

ATT has a more detailed policy here:  http://www.att.com/Common/about_us/pdf/ATT_Net_Neutrality_Policy_Statement.pdf (NNPS). They cite to 47 CFR 8 in stating that they are legally required to not "unreasonably discriminate in transmitting traffic." That CFR explains that "[a] network management practice is reasonable if it is appropriate and tailored to achieving a legitimate network management purpose, taking into account the particular network architecture and technology of the broadband Internet access service." http://cfr.regstoday.com/47cfr8.aspx#47_CFR_8p1. Given the vague and general nature of that rule, I am sure ATT legal took the position that ATT is authorized to do anything it wants. LOL. ATT further explains (on page 4 of their NNPS) that they disclose details of how they manage congestion on their wireless network. Conspicuously absent is any explanation of how they manage congestion on their wired network.

 

My conclusion is that given their obviously intentional omission of any explanation regarding how they "reasonably" manage traffic on their wired network, they likely do engage in throttling. They are not concerned about legal issues because there are no laws barring throttling during congestion periods. So, they simply avoid a PR issue by using a different definition of throttling than you or I do and hope people are too dumb/busy to notice. To them, limiting downloads from certain sites is "reasonble network management during high congestion periods," not unreasonable throttling. They probably indescriminately throttle all websites that use a lot of bandwidth. LOL.

 

They make a big deal every other paragraph about how they are investing billions in developing their network. That emphasis works against them because it indicates that they do not have adequate bandwidth (otherwise, they wouldn't need to make such massive investments). Therefore, they must manage the congestion on their overburdened networks. Unfortunately, ATT is effectively a utility that is managed as a public company. No doubt, they do everything they can to cut costs and overcharge consumers in sneaky ways. If they didn't, they might be violating their duty to shareholders to maximize the stock price. 

 

Conclusion: ATT probably throttles specific high bandwidth websites during peak periods (by my definition, but not by their sneaky legal/PR department).

 

Does anyone else know anything relevant? Comments? Thoughts? I would be OK with whatever they do if they were honest about it. But after looking at their public disclosures for 30 minutes, I see that they have gone to great lengths to avoid any transparency on how they deal with wired congestion. It is possible that information is out there, but I don't see it in their official statements, where it should be. I really want to know how overburdened their network is and what level of throttling and what times they employ. I bet they throttle 15 hours per day rather than build more bandwidth because it saves them money. And I also bet they will never, ever tell us what they do.

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Jul 30, 2013 8:02:07 PM
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Voyager

I'm glad people are posting on this even if it is just a customer forum. I've been having the same issues for a month or so and it's really frustrating. One day I'm watching Twitch in HD andsuddenly I can barely manage 360p. I sent a PM to the customer support as suggested earlier in the thread and maybe that'll help.

 

I do have one thing to add that I recently noticed: if you have some media device (Roku, Xbox, etc) with a Twitch app, you can stream from those with much better reliability. I have a few channels I follow regularly and can usually stream high quality (with the occasional dip to medium) when I stream on my Xbox. I'm guessing High-Medium is 720p-480p so it's not the best but it works for me. Here's hoping the issue is resolved soon!

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Jul 31, 2013 4:38:03 AM
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ACE - Master
Edited by JefferMC on Jul 31, 2013 at 4:40:06 AM

kmharris09 wrote:

I am having the exact same problem. I ran a traceroute to twitch.tv and almost every hop times out.

 

As explained numerous times on these forums, AT&T's decision to not respond to the ICMP messages used by traceroute does not imply anything with regards to how these same routers handle TCP or UDP traffic.

 

What my options for fixing the stuttering issue?

 

I don't quite follow some of the analogies. Is the issue that twitch won't pay for sufficient upload speed? That seems very unlikely because it makes their service unusable. My understanding is that during high traffic periods ATT simply throttles certain high volume web services to save themselves money on developing bandwidth. Am I not correctly understanding the problem?

 

You are not understanding the problem.  There is no deliberate or active throttling or active traffic shaping going on.  Actually it's more complicated than my analogy.  Twitch.TV has their ISP.  AT&T is your ISP.  The ISP's have connections between them where they agree to a certain connection size (like you did when you subscribed to your ISP).  These are called peering arrangements.  The original idea was "you scratch my back so my customers can get to yours, and I'll scratch your back to your customers can get to mine."  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peering.  After a while, because of the difference of size in ISPs, paid peering became the norm.  ISPs with a lot of customers want companies with a few customers to pay for their data connection to all their customers.  Here's likely where our conflicts begin.  Twitch.TV's ISP and AT&T have agreed to some peering connections of a bandwidth for a rate.  Twitch.TV's growth has caused the load on some of these connections to reach the agreed upon bandwidth.  Unless AT&T and Twitch.TV's ISP agree to a new peering arrangement for more bandwidth before the expiration of their current arrangement, this situation will continue.

 

Twitch.TV's ISP is likely going to Twitch.TV and saying: "Y'all need to pay us more money because we need to expand our peering connections."  Twitch.TV is probably pointing at their contract and saying "nope." 

...

 


 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

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Jul 31, 2013 8:07:06 PM
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Edited by Phil-101 on Jul 31, 2013 at 8:15:30 PM

I have found multiple posts mentioning how Level3 and AT&T are on bad terms right now, and for all we know, AT&T are being ignorant and wanting too much money for peering to their network, so Level3 is essentially blacklisting them and throttling traffic, legal or not.

 

Most likely it's AT&T's fault, because, why not blame them? They have the power to fix it, and they aren't doing it. Looks to me like everyone is having this problem too.

 

[Please keep it courteous]

~Izzmo

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Aug 1, 2013 4:46:58 AM
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ACE - Master

Izzmo wrote:

I have found multiple posts mentioning how Level3 and AT&T are on bad terms right now, and for all we know, AT&T are being ignorant and wanting too much money for peering to their network, so Level3 is essentially blacklisting them and throttling traffic, legal or not.

 

Most likely it's AT&T's fault, because, why not blame them? They have the power to fix it, and they aren't doing it. Looks to me like everyone is having this problem too.

 

[Please keep it courteous]


It takes two to tango.  Why not blame both parties?

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Aug 1, 2013 7:36:20 AM
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Teacher

Because AT&T has always shown to be greedy, and therefor I would like to blame AT&T for not looking out for it's customers and just making the right decision to MAKE LESS profit instead of making us buy VPN's to another network in order to stream anything.

~Izzmo

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Aug 1, 2013 7:59:10 AM
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ACE - Master

I'm not sure that AT&T can act unilaterally to fix this issue. Are you?

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Aug 1, 2013 8:31:51 AM
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Teacher

Peering is a two-way street. Level3 wants to peer with AT&T, but AT&T wants too much money to do.

~Izzmo

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Aug 1, 2013 9:19:55 AM
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ACE - Master

Izzmo wrote:

Peering is a two-way street. Level3 wants to peer with AT&T, but AT&T wants too much money to do.


You know this for a fact?  Can you cite sources?  Is Level 3 even known to be Twitch.Tv's CDN ISP?

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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