AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

Tutor

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?

Message 1 of 90 (19,240 Views)
Contributor

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

Thank you for the link, JefferMC.  

Message 16 of 90 (17,047 Views)

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

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.

Message 17 of 90 (16,934 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv


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.
Message 18 of 90 (16,905 Views)

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

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.

Message 19 of 90 (16,897 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

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.
Message 20 of 90 (16,857 Views)
Highlighted

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

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
Message 21 of 90 (16,764 Views)

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

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.

Message 22 of 90 (16,177 Views)
Voyager

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

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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ACE - Expert
Solution
Accepted by ATTJulieCS (Community Support)
‎09-30-2015 1:39 AM

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

[ Edited ]

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.
Message 24 of 90 (16,026 Views)
Teacher

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

[ Edited ]

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
Message 25 of 90 (15,954 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv


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.
Message 26 of 90 (15,908 Views)
Teacher

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

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
Message 27 of 90 (15,888 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

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.
Message 28 of 90 (15,880 Views)
Teacher

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

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

~Izzmo
Message 29 of 90 (15,875 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv


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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