Speed issues with Netflix streaming

Mentor

Speed issues with Netflix streaming

To start off I'm a knowledgeable Linux Systems Engineer with over 20 years experience in Internet related technologies so I've done my fair share of troubleshooting on this topic.  We also live in the city limits of St. Louis and are told that our area has completed it's Uverse network upgrades.

 

Since we switched to Uverse we have consistent issues streaming Netflix.  The initial 10-15 seconds of any video plays great, but then the picture quality severely degrades, sometimes enough that you cannot read text within the video because it is so pixelated.  I was warned before switching by other users in our area that there is a severe over subscription issue with Uverse Internet.  The more I look at this the more I am inclined to agree, but wanted to get community feedback.

 

We experience the issues the worst during peak times (4pm-midnight) but also at 4am we cannot stream movie in full HD without degradation of the picture due to throughput issues.  This alone leads me to believe my area is oversubscribed on Internet and there simply is not enough bandwidth upstream to handle the streaming appropriately.

 

We've done the following to troubleshoot:

Moved all wireless devices to wired.

Restarted router/modem (too many times to count).

Had our lines checked by a tech.

Run speed tests during - these tests are inconclusive because we have the 24Mbps package and even during trouble times we sometimes get speeds up to 18Mbps which is more than sufficient for Netflix HD streaming (you only need 5Mbps sustained).

 

Multiple devices are affected including the Apple TV that never once had an issue in its 5 years of service while using Charter cable services.  To re-iterate, never once, have we experienced what we are experiencing now with Charter cable services, but it consistently happens every day with AT&T.

 

Calls to AT&T have gone no where.  Techs say everything is fine, one even went as far as to tell me this is a common problem and he sees a lot of people cancel Internet services and go back to Charter for them.  I priced it out and we can get just Internet through Charter at 30Mbps (guaranteed steady throughput, not UP TO like AT&T) for $54.99/month without having to have cable TV through them.  That is considerably cheaper than I'm paying for 24Mbps Internet through Uverse.

 

All of that said is there anyone who can actually help me fix this problem?  I'd much prefer not to give another penny to Charter, but if this is the quality of Internet service we can expect from AT&T there is no way I am going to continue paying them for substandard service at a higher rate than the cable company.

 

Am I doomed with Uverse or is there hope?

Message 1 of 61 (27,711 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: Speed issues with Netflix streaming

Think iTunes is using the same CDN to deliver content as Netflix?

 

*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 16 of 61 (26,509 Views)
Mentor

Re: Speed issues with Netflix streaming

Not sure about that, if they are it is not performing for Netflix like iTunes because iTunes is working great.

 

Something odd happened after midnight last night, it magically got completely better.  It was fine this morning before I left for work.  I'll check again tonight during peak hours to see what it looks like then as well.

Message 17 of 61 (26,498 Views)
Mentor

Re: Speed issues with Netflix streaming

Also, since I saw the thing about DNS causing issue with iTunes downloads for another user, I did change the DNS settings to 4.2.2.2 (Level3) last night.  It was better after that, but not immediately.  It's possible that once the AppleTV relooked up the DNS entry it was pointing to a different place for Netflix.

Message 18 of 61 (26,493 Views)
Community Support

Re: Speed issues with Netflix streaming

Hello jesserehmer,

 

We have received your message and will continue working with you via private message to investigate your situation.

 

SadathCS
ATTU-verseCare


Need more help? Feel free to search the AT&T Community for great answers. You can also get immediate troubleshooting steps from the myAT&T app. Simply login, scroll and click Fix it Now! Support Tools. You can also reach out here in the Forums by sending us a Private Message or checking out our Chat Support.

Employee Contributor*
*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.
Message 19 of 61 (26,483 Views)
Mentor

Re: Speed issues with Netflix streaming

Thanks.  I haven't heard anything yet.  My performance has been poor this evening.  Right now speedtest.net ratings are ranging from 4.1 - 16.4Mbps.  I'm seeing the same sort of fluctuation in download speed on the computer as well.

Message 20 of 61 (26,299 Views)
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Re: Speed issues with Netflix streaming

Still no resolution.  They were going to send out a tech to swap out the gateway for a different model since I am so close to the switch.  I've yet to be contacted about it.

 

The more I read on here and discuss with other U-verse customers (as well as with AT&T employees) the more it seems like a problem with QoS specifically for Netflix.

 

When I'm trying to stream from Netflix and have all other devices turned off I only see 1-2Mbps throughput.  If I download from a server hosted in a data center I work for I receive 24.5Mbps throughput (yes, .5Mbps over what I'm supposed to get).  There is no neighborhood throughput or overall throughput problem here, simply an issue with AT&T performing QoS with traffic destined to/from Netflix.  

 

We are going to cancel AT&T Internet and go back to Charter at the end of this billing cycle.  Enough is enough and the people higher up at AT&T don't care to look into this problem.

Message 21 of 61 (25,972 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: Speed issues with Netflix streaming

[ Edited ]

Maybe the problem is Netflix/Netflix's CDN not providing an adequate peering link to AT&T in your area and AT&T can't fix it.

 

For as many people in your boat (AT&T doesn't work, other ISP works), there are others who says other ISP is broken, AT&T works.  I just saw a post from a soon-to-be-ex-Comcast subscriber basically saying he's getting your experience with Comcast, but his new AT&T U-verse service doesn't have this issue.

 

But if this solution works for you, then it may be the best road you 've got.

*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 22 of 61 (25,970 Views)
Highlighted
Mentor

Re: Speed issues with Netflix streaming

I'm now having the same issue with iTunes streaming, Hulu Plus, Netflix, and Youtube. Sadly, it is not isolate to Netflix like I originally thought.
Message 23 of 61 (25,855 Views)
Contributor

Re: Speed issues with Netflix streaming

I am a charter internet user in metro Atlanta.  On this site because I am considering switching.  I have wonderful charter internet (45mbps tests), but in the last month have noticed netflix streaming reduced from normal 10-24mbps to 1.5 to 3 mbps when streaming and sometimes buffering from my Sony wireless blue ray player.

Hard to believe that all the ISP's are not purposely blocking Netflix.

Message 24 of 61 (25,517 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: Speed issues with Netflix streaming

Harder to believe that all the ISP's are in a collusion to block Netflix.  Especially when some users of each ISP have problems while others have no problems whatsoever.

 

Netflix's traffic is 1/3 of the traffic on the Internet anymore, yet they rely on others to move the data 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.
Message 25 of 61 (25,360 Views)
Tutor

Re: Speed issues with Netflix streaming

Thanks for the thread on this subject. I recently switched from Cox cable to ATT Uverse and cannot get Netflix in HD on anything in my house and the people I have dealt with could care less. This thread has convinced me that I need to switch back to Cox because this just isn't going to get fixed with Uverse. Thanks for the info.

Message 26 of 61 (25,036 Views)
Contributor

Re: Speed issues with Netflix streaming

I'm in the metro-west St. Louis area.  Netflix buffering is quite irksome here.

 

With due respect to JeffrMC (who comes across as an AT&T apologist) I really don't care who is at fault in this pissin' contest.

 

AT&T knows (or should know by now) that there is a problem delivering Netflix, HuLu, etc. content.  Where are they on this?  Shouldn't they be out in front of the problem?

 

 

Message 27 of 61 (24,959 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: Speed issues with Netflix streaming


gmdewulf wrote:

I'm in the metro-west St. Louis area.  Netflix buffering is quite irksome here.

 

With due respect to JeffrMC (who comes across as an AT&T apologist) I really don't care who is at fault in this pissin' contest.

 

AT&T knows (or should know by now) that there is a problem delivering Netflix, HuLu, etc. content.  Where are they on this?  Shouldn't they be out in front of the problem?

 

 


Alright, let's say that AT&T is aware of the problem (and they are).  Let's say that the problem is getting the traffic into AT&T's network through the peering arrangements they have all over the US, because at the points where Netflix's traffic enters, these points get overwhelmed (as it seems to be).  Note that AT&T's peering arrangements seem big enough for the traffic its customers generate to pass out (note that peering on the Internet is arranged with the understanding that traffic is essentially balanced).  So, what, exactly, do you think AT&T (or any consumer ISP) should do in this situation?

 

Netflix's answer seems to be "host our content in your network for us."  Which means (a) free hosting for netflix's servers and (b) free network access.  AT&T sells these things to everyone else, so why should Netflix get a free ride?

 

A lot of consumers seem to say "AT&T (or insert any consumer ISP's name here) should just pay to make the peering connections handle more bandwidth to make their customer's happy."  Well, that isn't free, and Netflix already seems unwilling to pay for that, so you're happy that your bill will go up to pay for that?  How about those who don't use Netflix, whose bills will also go up to pay for that?

 

My answer, until someone presents a better technical and business case to me, is that Netflix needs to fix the problem their business model has created.  They need to pay for better connections to the consumer ISP's or they need to pay for the hosting.

 

Call me an AT&T apologist if you want to, but all of the ISP's are feeling this same problem to one extent or another and all for the same reason:  Netflix is getting paid by its customers to flood the Internet with unsustainable traffic and between it and its ISP/CDNs is not willing to correct the problem.

 

*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 61 (24,952 Views)

Re: Speed issues with Netflix streaming

I have had similar issues as noted in this thread. https://forums.att.com/t5/2014-and-Earlier-Relevancy/Netflix-unwatchable-Internet-otherwise-fine/td-...

 

My problems extend to any streaming video. HBO Go, hulu, watch espn, all slow as heck especially during "peak" hours. Internet is otherwise terrific. 

 

My solution has been to PURCHASE a VPN service such as CactusVPN which ta da lets me stream in HD for any and all of my streaming services and even reduces my ping while gaming from 70ish to 50ish.

 

Problem is of course is that I can no longer use my chromecast as the uverse gateway is not DD-WRT enabled and therefore I cannot input the VPN settings in to that, nor do I want to spend another $200 on a high-end router capable of VPN streaming-throughput. So I run a 15-foot HDMI cable from my desktop pc to my TV and use it as a monitor to watch netflix etc...

 

I am in Houston and my apt complex does not allow anyone but AT&T so I am stuck with it. Satelitte is an option but not really as it's way too slow. I am sure this also contributes to the problem as everyone around me is also watching netflix and they are all on AT&T. I am going to petition my complex to allow verizon, comcast etc..

Message 29 of 61 (24,876 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: Speed issues with Netflix streaming

The fact that using a VPN fixes your issue demonstrates that the AT&T network has plenty of capacity to move the content into your home, so long as it doesn't come directly from the video provider's CDN where there's just too much traffic coming through a choke point in the network.

 

*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 30 of 61 (24,847 Views)
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