AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

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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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Teacher

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

Message 31 of 90 (3,595 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

Did you happen to notice that the article you cited was nearly 3 years old and has nothing to do with Twitch.TV (which I don't even think was in business then)?

 

*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 32 of 90 (3,582 Views)
Teacher

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

[ Edited ]

Yes, 3 years ago, but nothing new saying it was ever resolved.

Also, at this point it's not really up to Twitch.tv, since they use Level3 as their ISP/CDN. It's not up to Level3 and AT&T. Same with YouTube, they don't purely use Level3, but in the locations where people connect to YT through L3, the connection is terrible as well. So, it's obviously a beef with Level3 and AT&T.

 

Also, Twitch.tv was in business 3 years ago. They were around since 2008 I believe (at least that's when I started using them). Justin.tv, their parent, has been around much longer.

~Izzmo
Message 33 of 90 (3,570 Views)

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv


Izzmo wrote:

Yes, 3 years ago, but nothing new saying it was ever resolved.

Also, at this point it's not really up to Twitch.tv, since they use Level3 as their ISP/CDN. It's not up to Level3 and AT&T. Same with YouTube, they don't purely use Level3, but in the locations where people connect to YT through L3, the connection is terrible as well. So, it's obviously a beef with Level3 and AT&T.

 

Also, Twitch.tv was in business 3 years ago. They were around since 2008 I believe (at least that's when I started using them). Justin.tv, their parent, has been around much longer.


As for YouTube, it doesn't matter who your isp is.  We have OC-1 at work and there are times that YouTube is crap.  It has nothing to do with AT&T in that case.  I have a friend who has FiOS and YouTube can be crap for him.  Do some research and you will see that every provider has complained about YouTube speed issues.  As far as Twitch, do a Google search and you wil see that Comcast has issues with them.  It's also an issue in Europe.  Hmmm, don't think AT&T or Comcast are over there so I'd venture to guess that the problem lies withing Twitch's system somewhere.

” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
Message 34 of 90 (3,509 Views)
Teacher

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

[ Edited ]

oufanindallas:

 

I was just giving YouTube as an example, I realize all other ISP's have problems with them at some point.

 

Back on topic, Twitch has problems with TWC, and Comcast had issues a few months ago but seem to have been resolved.

 

As far as your comment on Europe, that is Twitch's problem and they are adding more servers over there, but that is not within the scope of this issue.

~Izzmo
Message 35 of 90 (3,481 Views)
Contributor

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

I just got AT&T U-verse this past weekend for my house w/ the 24mbps plan and I noticed this happening right away. It's very frustrating since I previously had Charter Cable (with a slower download speed) and had no issues viewing 1080p quality streams.

I'm just east of DFW, and like quite a few in this area it seems to be an consistent issue.

Message 36 of 90 (3,428 Views)

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv


Izzmo wrote:

oufanindallas:

 

I was just giving YouTube as an example, I realize all other ISP's have problems with them at some point.

 

Back on topic, Twitch has problems with TWC, and Comcast had issues a few months ago but seem to have been resolved.

 

As far as your comment on Europe, that is Twitch's problem and they are adding more servers over there, but that is not within the scope of this issue.


You say they are adding more servers in Europe, you don't think that doing the same here could help alleviate congestion issues.

” Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway
Message 37 of 90 (3,420 Views)
Teacher

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

@oufanindallas Guy, you clearly aren't reading. Obviously it won't help because I can VPN to another ISP's network and it will work just fine, within my own state. So clearly it's just peering routes that need to be opened or expanded within AT&T to Level3.

~Izzmo
Message 38 of 90 (3,420 Views)

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

First, thank you for your reply JefferMC. I learned about something I did not know anything about! Really appreciate it.

 

Can you explain the ATT congestion management process? The bulk of my post was in regard to congestion management. You state that "there is no deliberate or active throttling or active traffic shaping going on." However, you did not define "throttling." The hard fact is that ATT admits it "manages congestion" on wired networks, but does not explain how or to what extent it manages congestion. I am concerned that I pay for a 1 MB connection, but during peak traffic periods they do not actually deliver me 1 MB because they have insufficient bandwidth. But, they do not just cut my bandwidth to all sites, they only cut it to sites like Twitch (or anyone that steams 1080p video) that send a lot of data.

 

The ultimate question is: how does ATT "manage congestion." I suspect their term "managing congestion" is equivalent to the term "throttling."

 

Again, thank you for shedding light on these issues.

Message 39 of 90 (3,401 Views)
Teacher

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

@kmharris09 I don't think that's the issue at hand, since that is just network load balancing, and just reroutes based on the least congested line. The real problem is, when all the lines are congested and AT&T always has to go the "long route" and causes your streams to lag.

~Izzmo
Message 40 of 90 (3,397 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

What I mean by that is that AT&T does not have filters set up that say "Hm... traffic from this Twitch.TV CDN IP has reached 15 Mpbs, so we're going to stop accepting packets from them."

 

What they have is multiple connections to multiple ISP's, etc.  All of these connections have some physical limitations.  Some of them may have contractural/financial limitations that aren't physical (e.g. while the connection could carry 1 Gbps, the ISP is only paying for 0.5 Gbps to the peering provider). Some connections never go near these limits.  Some hit them during high traffic times.  Sometimes there are other routes that will pass the traffic nearly as well.  Sometimes the packet have to wait.

 

Connections with high consumer rates (e.g. U-verse network) may see high contention from consumer focused services (e.g. Twitch.TV) during evenings while commercial networks (e.g. Verizon Business) may have nearly zero traffic in the peering links.  If you VPNed from U-verse to a Verizon Business customer circuit, you may work around the problem.  During the work day, other patterns may emerge.

 

My point is that there is no compelling evidence that AT&T is arbitrarily throttling any particular company's traffic to punish them or its customers.  There are much simpler explanations that fit the situation better.  While nearly everyone's Internet connection has more bandwidth than they did 10 years ago, the last mile to the consumer has been growing faster than the other end and some parts in the middle. 

 

 

*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 41 of 90 (3,418 Views)

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

Let me see if I understand your explanation.

 

Basically, each item of data is stored in a "packet." The packet goes from the originator (twitch) to the end user (me) via a series of ISPs. The "last mile" ISP in my case would be ATT.

 

Are you saying that other ISPs do not have enough bandwidth, and, as a result, the last mile ISP does not receive the data fast enough from the other ISPs?

 

How many other ISPs do you think the data goes through? Is there a way to determine which ISPs are the problem?

 

Is it a safe assumption that the first mile provider (perhaps level 3 or some other ISP), provides plenty of bandwidth to Twitch? If they did not, then Twitch would have a fail of a business because people could not watch HD video. I am sure Twitch's ISP provides them all the bandwidth they could possibly want because bandwidth is so critical to their business.

 

Is there any way to control which ISPs the data goes through?

 

Is it possible for ATT to refuse to connect to other ISPs that do not provide sufficient bandwidth?

 

Is there any way to empirically verify that the "physical limitation" is not AT&T?

 

To be clear, I don't think anyone can reasonably assert that ATT "arbitrarily throttles traffic to punish companies." Doing so would be a rediculously poor business strategy and probably illegal LOL. The question should be framed as, does ATT purposefully throttle high bandwidth traffic during peak usage periods because ATT does not have enough bandwidth for everyone? They must use some method to pick packets to pass when they do not have enough bandwidth. I want to know what that method is.

Message 42 of 90 (3,134 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

Normally, with a company in the business of providing large amounts of data (e.g. Twitch.TV) they have a content delivery network that provides content from many different locations, normally on one or more ISPs  and have mulitple peering points to consumer ISPs.  So theres not usually many ISPs in this scenario (I'd say three, tops), but still amultitude of different paths to choose from.

 

So, obvious choke points or possible limitations could be:

- Content servers don't have enough power to serve the requests

- Content server networks don't have enough bandwidth

- Content server network hardware can't keep up with packet load

- Content ISP Network to peering point is over loaded

- Network routing error takes data to sub-optimum peering point

- Peering point is over congested (network/hardware/contracted bandwidth)

- Consumer ISP network between peering point and last mile is over congested

- Consumer ISP hardware is over loaded

- Consumer's circuit/last mile is bad/overloaded (including contracted bandwidth)

- Consumer's in home network or equipment is overloaded

 

Any and or all of these could be in play and can change by the hour.

 

I would not assume that Twitch.TV has "plenty of" bandwidth.  They are a business with income and expenses.  Unlimited bandwidth is expensive.

 

 

*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 43 of 90 (3,084 Views)

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv

@jefferMC

This is a known ATT problem. I just moved into a new house that only has att uverse. But i had a small company called One Source and i had no problem streaming 4 streams at a time at 1080p. But with ATT. I can only stream 720p anytime before noon. After that it is 480p only or lower. ATT is routeing us wrong. If you look thou google you will notice that this is happening all over the US. so it IS A ATT PROBLEM. Not twitch.tv
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ACE - Expert

Re: AT&T Uverse and Twitch.tv


Donovan1981 wrote:
@jefferMC

This is a known ATT problem. I just moved into a new house that only has att uverse. But i had a small company called One Source and i had no problem streaming 4 streams at a time at 1080p. But with ATT. I can only stream 720p anytime before noon. After that it is 480p only or lower. ATT is routeing us wrong. If you look thou google you will notice that this is happening all over the US. so it IS A ATT PROBLEM. Not twitch.tv

Thank you for your opinion, however, you've just done the equivalent of taking a single drop of water from the ocean and determining from it that all bodies of water on earth are salinated.

 

 

*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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