Around the globe, youtube has become a metaphor for the democratizing power of the internet and information. But cynical types who suspect their Internet Service Providers (ISPs) intentionally degrade streaming video may be right as well. No, your ISP (probably) isn't sniffing your traffic every time you click a YouTube or Netflix link, ready to throttle your bandwidth. These business decisions involve "peering" agreements that Internet companies make to pass traffic from one to another and negotiations over caching services that store videos closer to people's homes so they can load faster in your browser. November 2010: After Internet backbone provider Level 3 signs a deal with Netflix to distribute video, Comcast demands money from Level 3 for carrying traffic over the proverbial "last mile" to Comcast subscribers. January 2011: European ISPs Deutsche Telekom, Orange (formerly France Telecom), Telecom Italia, and Telefonica commission a report saying companies like Netflix and Google's YouTube service should give ISPs a lot more money. August 2011: Cogent, another Internet backbone provider that handles Netflix traffic, files a complaint in France against Orange, saying the ISP is providing inadequate connection speeds. January 2013: Free, a French ISP, is accused of slowing down YouTube traffic by failing to upgrade infrastructure (but is later cleared of intentionally degrading YouTube traffic by the French regulator). January 2013: Orange and Google have a similar dispute, with Orange CEO Stephane Richard claiming victory.
January 2013: Time Warner refuses Netflix's offer of a free caching service that would provide better performance to Netflix users on Time Warner's network. June 2013: Cogent accuses Verizon of allowing "ports" between the two providers to fill up, degrading Netflix performance for Verizon customers.
July 2013: The European Commission opens an antitrust probe into whether ISPs abused market positions in negotiations with content providers, and it searches the offices of Orange, Deutsche Telekom, and Telefonica. In the most extreme cases, large Internet companies stop passing traffic to one another entirely.


Instead, network operators can degrade traffic by failing to upgrade connections without severing them entirely. Degraded connections disproportionately affect the quality of streaming video because video requires far more bits than most other types of traffic.
To get to the root of these problems, we need to take a step back and talk about the Internet itself.
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Conde Nast. I hate it when you’re watching a YouTube video, right, and you press spacebar to pause the video but instead of pausing the video, it just jumps down the page instead. K, it’s the K button, now if you press the K button provided your cursor is not in the search bar or something like this, right. My fellow Ars writer is a man who loves to watch YouTube videos—mostly space rocket launches and gun demonstrations, I assume—but he never knows when his home Internet service will let him do so.
But complaints about streaming video services—notably YouTube and Netflix—are repeated again and again in articles and support forums across the Internet. People may assume there are perfectly innocent causes related to their computers or to the mysterious workings of the Internet.
But behind the scenes, in negotiations that almost never become public, the world's biggest Internet providers and video services argue over how much one network should pay to connect to another. Free also temporarily blocks ads on YouTube and other video services by sending an update to its modems.
He says that Google is paying Orange to compensate the operator for mobile traffic sent from Google servers.


Separately, the French government demands details of interconnection agreements involving AT&T and Verizon.
The public won't realize that's what's going on unless negotiations become so contentious that one party makes them public—or a government decides to investigate. Netflix and YouTube alone account for nearly half of all Internet traffic to homes in North America during peak hours, according to research by SandVine. The very name "Internet" suggests many networks interconnecting, but few people know how the terms of these connections are negotiated. When ISPs refuse to use the caching services offered by the likes of Google and Netflix, video has to travel farther across the Internet to get to its final destination—your living room. And customers are far more likely to be annoyed by a video that stutters and stops than by a webpage taking a few extra seconds to load.
Understanding the business relationships that allow the Internet to exist in its present form is crucial to understanding the subtle and not-so-subtle ways Internet companies can bring your YouTube and Netflix videos to a slow stutter.
I’ll do that thing where – you know that what kids do in schools where they pick off the buttons on the keyboards and they put them back in different arrangement, and it spells out a rude word, right. In other words, bad video performance is often caused not just by technology problems but also by business decisions made by the companies that control the Internet.
You didn’t think that you could learn something this handy from such a shittily made YouTube video, did you?



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