Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Businesses Your Rights Online Apple

Time Warner Filtering iTunes Traffic? 199

Posted by Zonk
from the trial-has-begun-maybe dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Starting on Thursday, January 31st, Time Warner subscribers in Texas starting experiencing connectivity issues to the iTunes store to the point where the service wasn't usable. General internet traffic issues haven't coincided with these problems, and many folks have reported that the store works as normal when they head to the nearest mega-bookstore and use their ISP instead. Time Warner has announced that they're going to begin trials of tiered pricing in one local Texas market, but I'll be darn sure to switch my provider if I hear the slightest hint of destination/content based tiers instead of bandwidth tiers."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Time Warner Filtering iTunes Traffic?

Comments Filter:
  • by bagboy (630125) <neo@EINSTEINarctic.net minus physicist> on Sunday February 03, 2008 @02:30AM (#22280272)
    I'll be happy to offer you dedicated - unthrottled bandwidth to the internet..

    Thank you,

    Your ISP
    • Re:For $1500/month (Score:4, Insightful)

      by CriminalNerd (882826) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @02:34AM (#22280292)
      Note that there is no mention of a 20GB bandwidth usage cap.

      BUYERS BEWARE
      • by Rob Y. (110975) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @11:17AM (#22282546)
        If bandwidth usage is really an economic issue for ISP's, then there are several ways to deal with that fairly. A bandwidth cap, as long as it's reasonable (20GB seems pretty reasonable to me) would be preferable to throttling iTunes, YouTube, or porn for that matter. Personally, I'd prefer pricing tiers based on traffic, not speed. You pay for some amount of traffic, and then pay more if you go over. Either way, what you access, you get as fast as possible.

        The point is to let the customer decide what they want to access. If it costs a dollar or two to download the equivalent of a CD, maybe you should buy the CD and use your bandwidth for something else (or just save the money and pay less for Internet access). Maybe that'd get the RIAA off our backs. In any case, don't tell me what I can access.

        I guess there's a flip side to that. If the content's something like on-demand video rental, why shouldn't your ISP be able to provide a cheaper service based on having direct connectivity to you? Or, put another way, if it costs them less to deliver the service to you, why shouldn't you reap some of the savings? There are different aspects to the net neutrality issue. A Netflix isn't providing original content. We may gain in terms of competition based on their having, essentially, a free delivery mechanism though. I guess that's good for us and good for Netflix, but it's obviously not good for our ISP's. Do we care about that? I'm not sure, but there are two sides to the issue.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fitsnips (187974) *
      can you read?

      "destination/content based tiers instead of bandwidth tiers"

      bandwith throttling we understand, its the content/destination filtering that is bs. They now are deciding what biz survive and which do not.

      • Re:For $1500/month (Score:5, Informative)

        by bagboy (630125) <neo@EINSTEINarctic.net minus physicist> on Sunday February 03, 2008 @02:52AM (#22280382)
        Yes I can read... there are several products on the market that can throttle traffic based on protocols or destinations... I'm aware of their capabilities and I can tell you the one I have worked with (Packeteer) can throttle Itunes traffic (as well as shoutcast, bitorrent, etc...). It can shape on the protocol itself as a whole, a protocol with a limit and then dynamic allocation within it or on per-connection tracking within a protocol.
        • Re:For $1500/month (Score:5, Insightful)

          by AKAImBatman (238306) <.akaimbatman. .at. .gmail.com.> on Sunday February 03, 2008 @03:04AM (#22280434) Homepage Journal

          I'm aware of their capabilities and I can tell you the one I have worked with (Packeteer) can throttle Itunes traffic

          So ask yourself. What ISP would limit a popular service to such a degree that it becomes 100% unusable for their entire user base? That doesn't sound like successful traffic shaping to me. That sounds like a misconfiguration somewhere. If it was traffic shaping, I would expect that the speeds would drop to levels to where it would be impossible to watch a movie real-time (for example), yet possible to download it within the time-frame of a few hours. (Say, 4-8 hours as a reasonable range.)

          Outright blocking a popular service like iTunes only invites unhappy customers and bad press.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by bagboy (630125)
            Imagine your ISP has 10mbps of traffic for all of their users (suppose for the sake of argument that if they buy any more at their current subscription base, they will bleed money). Suppose they begin to see over 4mbps of that traffic to itunes (now that you can rent there) 2mbps to bittorrent 2mbps of audio/media streaming other than itunes, and a myriad of ftp/smtp(consider spam traffic as part of this)/ssl/ipsec/etc... What does that leave for http traffic - the most common way of browsing the interne
            • Re:For $1500/month (Score:5, Insightful)

              by NoodleSlayer (603762) <ryan@severebore d o m . com> on Sunday February 03, 2008 @03:21AM (#22280520) Homepage
              Then that ISP shouldn't be selling 1 Mbps 'unlimited' connections to 1000+ customers and then complain when people actually *use* the bandwith *they are paying for*. That's false advertising.
              • Re:For $1500/month (Score:5, Insightful)

                by Goldberg's Pants (139800) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @03:31AM (#22280560) Journal
                I remember an ISP I used a few years ago. The local main DSL provider was bringing in a 30 gig a month cap (that's up and down combined. And it was $45 a month). This new service came in offering UNLIMITED, so a ton of people switched. Their response? To retroactively bring in an even lower cap than the main one, and charge people upwards of $200 for "going over". I went so far as to file fraud charges against them.

                It's so utterly ridiculous that ISP's can get away with this shit. I am fairly certain if iTunes started getting nerfed on a wide scale, they would incur the Wrath of the Jobs.

                My ISP throttles Bit Torrent. Confirmed this myself the other day when I wound up back using the default port. Down and up sucked. Changed the port, reloaded, speeds increased 4000%.
                • Re:For $1500/month (Score:4, Interesting)

                  by pipatron (966506) <pipatron@gmail.com> on Sunday February 03, 2008 @04:43AM (#22280808) Homepage

                  I went so far as to file fraud charges against them.

                  And what happened?

                  • Re:For $1500/month (Score:5, Informative)

                    by Goldberg's Pants (139800) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @12:48PM (#22283206) Journal
                    Well this was after two months of fighting with them. Filing fraud charges and giving the company a case number (I had warned them I was considering the action) had the effect of an almost IMMEDIATE letter from the CEO deeply apologizing for everything and saying unequivocally that I owed them nothing. I seem to recall they sent me a cheque too, but don't remember exactly why...
                • by h4rm0ny (722443)

                  I went so far as to file fraud charges against them.

                  Interested. How did it go and how successful were you?
                • It's been shown over and over that people don't want measured bandwidth.
                  Before there was widespread DSL there was ISDN, but 144K ISDN was *always* measured by the telcos. NOBODY wanted it, and nobody (well, essentially nobody) deployed it in a home environment.

                  ADSL and cable modem service have been unmeasured, "unlimited", which is all people will pay for regardless of the reality that at some level *ALL* bandwidth is measured.

                  The ADSL and Cable modem providers have had high success in obtaining cus
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Dan541 (1032000)

                Then that ISP shouldn't be selling 1 Mbps 'unlimited' connections to 1000+ customers and then complain when people actually *use* the bandwith *they are paying for*. That's false advertising.

                Thats actually fraud.

                A customer pays for a service and the ISP takes payment but dosent deliver.

                There is nothing wrong with overselling provided your customer can use what you sell them!

                If everyone made a phone call at the sametime the phone network couldent handle it because they oversell the service to produce cheaper rates but I have NEVER had a problem making a phonecall because my service provider has carefully planned things out to make sure this dosent happen.

                Overselling makes sense provided its don

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by Tony Hoyle (11698)
                  This has already been through the courts. Someone tried exactly your argument and failed.

                  The ISPs successfully argued 'unlimited' means unlimited *access* not unlimited service. As long as they're not saying you can long use the internet at certain times they're safe.
                  • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                    by Fred_A (10934)
                    ISP : "But look, this user could have connected any time he wanted, like, and that's just for last week, monday between 4:15 and 4:17 or thursday between 13:42 and 13:58 !"

                    Judge : "Indeed, that user is clearly wasting the time of the court. 10 lashes ! Now tell me about how those tubes work again."
                • by CastrTroy (595695)
                  How can you oversell and still have the customer be able to use what you sell them? It only works right now, because you have thousands of grannies with high speep internet who only use the internet for checking email and getting brownie recipies. Once you have everybody downloading a couple movies every week, things will start to get a lot worse.
                • Really? You've never gotten, "We're sorry, all circuits are busy now. Please try your call again later".

                  I get that maybe 2 or 3 times a year tops. Retrying works. But I don't consider it fraud - just too many people on at once.
                  • by Skynyrd (25155)
                    Really? You've never gotten, "We're sorry, all circuits are busy now. Please try your call again later".

                    Half a dozen times in my life.

                    And once when I was calling 911. It was on their end, not the phone company.
              • Then that ISP shouldn't be selling 1 Mbps 'unlimited' connections to 1000+ customers and then complain when people actually *use* the bandwith *they are paying for*. That's false advertising.

                Virtually ALL telecom infrastructure is oversubscribed. If everyone on a particular central office picked up their phone at the same time, probably only about 50% (made up statistic) would get a dial tone. If enough people were camped on a cell tower and hit 'send' at the same time, some of them would not have their call go through. Do any of these services mention this in their ads?

                I'm not saying that this is OK, but it's not just the cable companies that do this. To do otherwise would incur a hugh cos

              • Re:For $1500/month (Score:4, Insightful)

                by Casualposter (572489) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @03:04PM (#22284404) Journal
                The unlimited part of the connection comes from the old dial up days when you were billed per minute of connection time. AOL and other like providers charged each customer for the amount of time they were connected in minutes. Once services began to allow full months of service at one low price, they called these services "unlimited" which now some decades later is being misconstrued as "unlimited bandwidth" which is not true. The speed and the connection times were sold separately. That the bundling of connection speed and connection time have mislead consumers to believe that they have bought an unlimited in any way service is sad, but the logical consequence of bundle marketing done years ago.
            • Suppose they begin to see over 4mbps of that traffic to itunes [...] No[w] suppose you decide to throttle the itunes to no more than 2mbps.

              Then iTunes users would see 1/2 the speed they were seeing previously. Unless the routers are extremely poor at traffic management, in which case half of the users would be zipping along while the other half would be dying. Of course, traffic is not constant. So if it was the latter, the speeds would pick up during off peak hours. Thus suddenly "solving" the problem temp

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by bagboy (630125)
                >>Then iTunes users would see 1/2 the speed they were seeing previously. This a common error many people make about bandwidth, throughput and tcp. TCP works on windows (not MS) and acks. No acks equals retries. This lowers throughput because of windowing. It's not an exact science. Most providers in tier 1 likely leave their buffers on routers at fifo. This means if an isp's users are throttled back on itunes from 4 to 2, it doesn't mean you'll get half. While everyone is trying resends and wi
                • Re:For $1500/month (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by Romancer (19668) <romancer@deaths[ ]r.com ['doo' in gap]> on Sunday February 03, 2008 @04:00AM (#22280676) Journal
                  "But there has been no solution to this short of raising prices and charging users more so the isp can afford additional bandwidth."

                  Or perhaps the ISPs could not make record profits and send CEOs to resorts with multimillion dollar bonuses and instead spend some money on the infrastructure that supports their business model. You know, to be in business tomorrow.

                  Just a thought.
                  • Re:For $1500/month (Score:5, Insightful)

                    by Nullav (1053766) <moc&liamg,valluN> on Sunday February 03, 2008 @05:55AM (#22281104)
                    Why? With a natural monopoly, you only need to be good enough to keep people from moving away.
                    • by Phat_Tony (661117)
                      This is a statutory monopoly. Some people may argue it's a statutory monopoly only because it would be a natural monopoly anyway, so the distinction doesn't matter. I disagree. But we couldn't really know whether or not internet connectivity is a natural monopoly or not unless we were to try repealing the laws making these utilities statutory monopolies.
                  • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                    by arth1 (260657)

                    Or perhaps the ISPs could not make record profits and send CEOs to resorts with multimillion dollar bonuses and instead spend some money on the infrastructure that supports their business model. You know, to be in business tomorrow.

                    You're jesting. This is the US of A, where company bosses get paid with stock, and their main concern is thus the stock price. And investors (including the companies own CEOs and CFOs) don't care about what the stock price will be five or fifty years down the road -- they care

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Raven42rac (448205) *
              Them overselling their capacity is "NMFP", not my fucking problem. Either don't promise what you can't deliver, or increase capacity. Speaking of "net neutrality", consumers pay for internet access, Apple is paying bandwidth for itunes. Who is getting a free ride? The ISPs just want to bleed you more for a service you're already paying for.
            • I agree with you on some points, and you're pretty on track on packet shaping. But "throttling" large use services doesn't seem to me to be the answer. If 99% of your traffic is HTTP traffic, then instead of throttling, put a QOS policy in place that guarantees at least 50% of the available bandwidth for HTTP traffic - don't start pointing at specific protocols and especially not at specific content providers.

              Additionally, I think that traffic shaping is a big deal and if there is traffic shaping then tra
          • Re:For $1500/month (Score:5, Interesting)

            by sumdumass (711423) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @05:02AM (#22280892) Journal
            Not to mention that Time Warner either owns or has partnered with Rapsody, an Itunes competitor.
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by m.ducharme (1082683)
              I can't believe I had to scroll 2/3 down the page before someone made this point. Not only is Rhapsody a competitor, but I'm sure Time Warner is using this as leverage to get "more flexible pricing" (really, higher pricing), for Warner Music and the other record labels when they negotiate for iTunes licensing. This is exactly why net neutrality is such an important issue.
          • So ask yourself. What ISP would limit a popular service to such a degree that it becomes 100% unusable for their entire user base?
            One that has a monopoly (or nearly so) on connections and wants to push its own content.

          • by ubrgeek (679399)
            I don't see why this is a surprise to people. The internal business decisions [multichannel.com] outweigh whatever grumbling people may make. At least, that's what the mindset was at Road Runner when I was there. They wanted to pimp internally developed content to the point of using the term "walled garden" to describe their efforts to try and get customers to stay away from the Internet as a whole. That filtered down to the affiliate level: We (the affiliates) didn't give a rat's poop about that content; we wanted to develop
      • by lpq (583377)
        maybe itunes was the only high-bandwidth site they visited while on the web?

        I'd guess that they start by dropping everyone into the lowest tier, then if you wanted your faster service back you would pay more...
    • Re:For $1500/month (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Skuld-Chan (302449) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @02:46AM (#22280340)
      Not sure if your joking or not, but honestly if they were up front about limits and caps I'd certainly appreciate it.

      Its their ISP and if they feel the need to cap bandwidth to certain sites, block sites/ports etc - thats fine - just put it in writing.
      • Re:For $1500/month (Score:5, Insightful)

        by taylortbb (759869) * <taylor DOT byrnes AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday February 03, 2008 @03:01AM (#22280426) Homepage
        You make a good point about ISPs being upfront about their policies. If they're reasonable and clearly explained so I can make an informed decision I am understanding about many restrictions. My current ISP does have a bandwidth cap, but set at a reasonable 200GB/month with more available for a decent price. They don't rip me off on overages, $0.25/GB, and they average over two months so if I lose track one month overages aren't automatic.

        I don't get the paranoia people have with regards to bandwidth caps, the truth is it costs ISPs a certain amount per gigabyte. A heavy user should be paying more, this isn't unreasonable. What is unreasonable is when ISPs advertise unlimited and then put a cap in the fine print.

        I will however disagree the idea that is okay for ISPs to throttle traffic just because they're upfront about it. Network neutrality is what made the internet the force it is today, without it the internet cannot thrive.

        (and if anyone's wondering, my ISP is TekSavvy. No this is not a advertisement, if it was I'd ask you to mention me so I get referral credit)
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ocbwilg (259828)
          I don't get the paranoia people have with regards to bandwidth caps, the truth is it costs ISPs a certain amount per gigabyte. A heavy user should be paying more, this isn't unreasonable. What is unreasonable is when ISPs advertise unlimited and then put a cap in the fine print.
          I disagree. Putting in the data pipes costs ISPs a certain amount of money. Putting in bigger pipes costs ISPs more money than putting in smaller pipes. But ISPs do not pay for their connections to the Internet on a per gigabyte
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            You got me thinking about exactly how much bandwidth do I use? I live in Saskatchewan and use SaskTel for my Phone / Internet / TV over IP provider. I pay for 3 video streams for tv, and 5Mb/sec down Internet, for a total of 15Mb/sec down. We leave the "cable" boxes on, because of a long boot time, so those 3 video streams are constant whether we are watching TV or not. And I'm sure most customers do the same. Anyhow, since my gateway was last reset 15 days ago, I have downloaded about 650GB.

            I have
          • Bandwidth used over time actually works out to Bytes of data, so bytes isn't an unreasonable way to cap.

            I don't know what sort of bandwidth a cable carrier actually has, but lets assume for easy numbers it's an OC-12 (~622Mbps, ~77.75MBps)
            In 30 days, there are 2,592,000 seconds.
            In that 30 days, they can transmit about 200 TB. (77,750,000MBps * 2,592,000s)

            I don't know how many customers they might have, so lets assume 20,000.
            If everyone was on using it evenly, they could each consume 10GB/mo.
            If everyone was
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by P!Alexander (448903)

          the truth is it costs ISPs a certain amount per gigabyte
          At what point are they incurring a cost per gigabyte? I used to work commissioning DSL equipment for a CLEC and we just paid for a DS3 (or multiple, if required) that had a monthly charge with no metering. This was a couple of years ago, but has it changed? Seems doubtful.

          If you get a T1 or other dedicated circuit, you certainly aren't metered. Why would an ISP be treated any differently?
    • by timmarhy (659436)
      I'll see you in court for misleading advertising, since there is no mention of site based filtering. Thank you, Your customers.
      • I'll see you in court for misleading advertising

        Telco:
        Good luck with that !
        Why do you think we paid off enough senators for not passing a net-neutrality law?

        Seriously i think this would expand to many other telcos like comcast, verizon, etc.
        This enables them to double-dip both the consumer and the company (google).
        Screw the tax-payer funded expansions they got, that money long went to buy yachts, etc.

        So, as a home user am screwed. As a business user, i can get some tax deductions.
        As a corporate, i don't care.

    • I know that you're joking but I was recently shocked to discover that my ISP (who I won't name) will offer us a dedicated, unthrottled line for just 50% more. So instead of the current $40 per month for a capped 8Mb line, we are being offered an uncontended 2Mb connection without any restrictions for $65 per month. They are a large reputable ISP, and the only reason that I won't name them is we all know what happens to customer service when an ISP's popularity jumps suddenly. They have also specfically conf
  • by AKAImBatman (238306) <.akaimbatman. .at. .gmail.com.> on Sunday February 03, 2008 @02:46AM (#22280338) Homepage Journal
    ...that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

    Based on all the comments, I have a sneaky suspicion that it's not an attempt at active filtering, but rather a network screwup somewhere in the Texas routers. I imagine that the Apple guys will be talking to every network admin up the line until they find the one who is responsible for maintaining the malfunctioning routers. Should be back up in a few days, unless I miss my guess.
    • I suppose I should have read the last few comments. It sounds like the crisis is already over and that people are getting back through.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ecks (52930)
      On malice/stupidity: So say we all. Nowhere on the thread did I see anyone try any standard diagnostic tools (ping, traceroute, etc) on the problem. This could have been anything from a router misconfiguration to a broken peer connection. Nonetheless Time Warner should be careful if they plan on implementing traffic shaping that could actually limit connectivity to something like the iTunes store. From this reaction I would expect quite a few angry customers if they do.

      -- Ecks
    • by vertinox (846076)
      ...that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

      But sometimes its pretty malicious to be that willfully stupid.
    • by bcrowell (177657)
      As a TW customer, the stupidity hypothesis works for me. Unfortunately TW has a broadband monopoly where I live. If they didn't, I would have dumped them long ago, because we've experienced constant intermittent connectivity problems for years now, which they've never been able to solve. I suspect they're simply oversubscribed and/or incompetent.
  • Sure... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @02:48AM (#22280354) Journal

    I'll be darn sure to switch my provider if I hear the slightest hint of destination/content based tiers instead of bandwidth tiers.
    Sure, because the free market forces will magically make them stop their experiment. How about some gosh darn regulation already!
    • Re:Sure... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by riseoftheindividual (1214958) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @03:02AM (#22280428) Homepage
      How about some gosh darn regulation already!

      This can be translated as "Can't somebody else do it?"

      Giving a government run by politicians who are in the back pockets of these same corporations the power to regulate is not going to achieve what those who want regulation want to achieve.
      • by bjourne (1034822)
        So government penalizing certain business behaviour will not lead to fewer ocurrances of said behaviour?
        • Tell you what, why don't you go look at any given regulation passed in the last 20 years at the federal level for industries whose offerings didn't impact public health and safety and who have substantial lobbies in washington, then see if the goals of the public calling for the regulations were achieved by them.

          It's very easy for idealists to phrase arguments in ways that sound reasonable, but reality speaks for itself. You want to believe that regulation would ONLY entail penalizing a certain business b
      • by dachshund (300733)
        Giving a government run by politicians who are in the back pockets of these same corporations the power to regulate is not going to achieve what those who want regulation want to achieve.

        Don't be naive. These ISPs are already regulated, and the politicians are already operating in their best interests. Many are state- and municipal-backed regulated monopolies--- in other words, they're already being guaranteed preferred access to their customer base and high barriers of entry to competitors.

        What the p

        • . The alternative strategy you propose, i.e., pretend that they're not already regulated, or that you can turn the situation around without addressing the regulatory problem--- that strategy is guaranteed to fail.

          I proposed no such thing, that you would twist my words like this speaks volumes about you.

          Now, I didn't say they weren't regulated, nor did I pretend they weren't. nor did I advise any such thing. Care to demonstrate where I did?

          The strategy I would advise does work, has worked before, can
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jedidiah (1196)
            What competitors?

            The government has made sure that they don't have any.
  • Bad Summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by KillerCow (213458) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @02:48AM (#22280356)
    I read TFA (blasphemy, I know) and there are users in Arlington, Arizona, and somewhere else on AT&T DSL reporting the same problems.

    There are also a lot of comments about how it all happened when they upgraded to iTunes 7.6, including this gem (which includes a work-around:

    It appears that 7.6 messes with the way NAV manages the firewall.


    Of the few that claim that they were not using 7.6, a couple of them later came back and said "[oops, I did have 7.6]"

    But of course, Apple is the perfect and the evil cable monopoly must be violating net neutrality.
    • Re:Bad Summary (Score:5, Interesting)

      by solar_blitz (1088029) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @02:57AM (#22280412)
      At the beginning it seemed as that iTunes 7.6 is just as likely to be the culprit as the ISPs, but given that the peoples' speeds returned to normal (I, too, rtfa'd) - without an update patch for iTunes - it would seem like it was an issue on the server side of Apple or Time Warner. Since nobody from other areas in the United States complained about the issue as frequently as those from the Austin, Texas region this is not likely caused by Apple. Odds are it is a Time Warner issue. I never studied servers or networking, so all I can go by is my own experience.
    • by JMZorko (150414)
      Um, if you _really_ read TFA, you would have seen this other "gem" further down, posted by the same user who posted the NAV comment:

      "Okay,I am a Time Warner customer as well. So I decided to restore my previous setting and iTunes is still working fine now. Do disregard my last entry. This appears to be ISP related."

      Funny, that :-)

      Regards,

      John

  • by yamamushi (903955) <yamamushi@nOSpAM.gmail.com> on Sunday February 03, 2008 @02:51AM (#22280376) Homepage
    I'm in San Antonio TX right now, and Itunes has been so slow since thursday, to the point of being completely unusable. Whereas downloading albums or tv shows would take a few minutes, I'm now looking at an expected wait of 4 hours for a 3mb download. I thought it might have been issues with the itunes servers, but kudos to the article for shedding some light on the issue.
    • by Amigori (177092) *
      Agreed! I'm in NW Ohio, have iTunes 7.6, and downloaded the new LOST episode Friday morning...and Friday afternoon...and into the evening! Usually, it takes 20-25 min for the 500MB file, but not Friday; somewhere around the 6h mark. It was downloading between 15-20kbps, with a spike to 80kbps here and there. But YouTube videos were loading at their normal 300kbps+ rates.

      Perhaps some of the iTunes/Akamai servers are in India? The 3 fiber pipes that were cut last week would certainly slow things dow
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 03, 2008 @02:56AM (#22280404)
    This is interesting, since whilst you could call it a "net neutrality" issue, it's really a monopoly issue. US cable suppliers really have a monopoly on each geographical area. They can use this to force you to use their music services instead of their competitors since you can't switch suppliers. If the US had stronger anti-monopoly laws then this would only be allowed where consumers have a choice of supplier. An "corporates should be free to be evil" campaigner would tell you that this means that others can enter the market and offer competition. That's not true unfortunately since such barriers are very temporary. If you start trying to sell cable service with music in a particular area, TW could just speed up itunes around there so their customers don't see the problem.

    In the end, I think we are back to the times when it makes sense for everybody to start building their own internet connections again and buying a single corporate connection per group. Look up community network [google.com] on google and start building. You know best how do do it.
  • Sounds nice in principle, but when you don't have any choice in your area, you are sort of screwed.

    Even if you do have choice today as more buy-outs/mergers take place that choice will go up in smoke.
  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @03:07AM (#22280450)
    I would be happy to get the bandwidth I already pay for!

    As a Comcast customer, I have tended to get about 1/10th of their advertised "you will get up to..." bandwidth, and sometimes not even that.

    And yes, they are STILL throttling BitTorrent traffic, illegally. I have been trying to download perfectly legal but large files, with plenty of peers and seeders, yet my download speed has been between 1k and 30k! This on a multi-megabyte-download-speed cable service. Just about everything else downloads very quickly... but of course would download even more quickly if I got anywhere near the throughput they advertise.

    You know it is getting bad when certain traffic (BitTorrent, for example) downloads faster on dialup than it does on cable.
  • ...just smile, sit back, and watch how badly this explodes. This is actually going to be fun. These assholes have no idea the kind of mistake they've just made.

    Pass the popcorn!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by kemushi88 (1156073)
      Never underestimate the ability of people to not care and not do anything about it.
  • by arcade (16638) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @03:27AM (#22280544) Homepage
    I don't know the specifics here, but this seems like user gripes without a proper troubleshooting. "Waaaah, I can't connect to \$RANDOM_SITE !!" .

    Maybe a router was down? Maybe BGP was flapping a bit? Maybe there is just a couple of peering partners between apple's provider and this provider ? And a backhoe took the cable?

    Maybe powerloss in a Single Point of Failure?

    That conspiracy theories should reach slashdot due to a couple of hours of outage is just insane. I expect more of slashdot. And also I expect more of the slashcrowd.
  • First, let me say I support net neutrality.

    Net neutrality is an illusion. If you want to use different services, you have to pay more RIGHT NOW regardless of who your ISP is. Let me explain. Net neutrality is a concept stating something similar to the following. Your ISP gets bought out by Microsoft. Suddenly, you as a consumer on the "Cheap" internet tier can no longer perform web searches on Google without experience long page loads. Your searches on Microsoft Live are fast as lightning, but you
    • by m0i (192134)
      You can't send packets out on or receive them in on a variety of ports, notably 21, 25, and 80. I figured that there must be filters up on my connection because most consumers don't require service on them, and on Joe Sixpack's connection, it's more secure that way.
      May I suggest you go visit an abuse's desk of an ISP not filtering port 25 outbound before stating that it's blocked for the unique reason that they don't require it? Viruses on customers' computers don't need port 25, period. It's allowed for bu
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by RulerOf (975607)

        You can't send packets out on or receive them in on a variety of ports, notably 21, 25, and 80. I figured that there must be filters up on my connection because most consumers don't require service on them, and on Joe Sixpack's connection, it's more secure that way.
        May I suggest you go visit an abuse's desk of an ISP not filtering port 25 outbound before stating that it's blocked for the unique reason that they don't require it? Viruses on customers' computers don't need port 25, period. It's allowed for businesses because they usually have some kind of IT dealing with viruses, but at the ISP I worked for we could block these as well if abuse was reported, no matter the price of the connection.

        My point is that ISP's unrelentingly filter port 25 traffic. Abuse or not. And in the case of my ISP, they claim it's for security.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by NeutronCowboy (896098)

      My point is, we all get the idea, but how far fetched is the difference from paying extra for the ability to send and receive SMTP traffic, paying extra to send/receive HTTPS traffic, and, of course, the coup de gras, paying extra to access Google or Yahoo!

      It is coup de grace, but otherwise, spot on. Someone mod this guy. This is the wet dream of all ISPs: to charge you by connection type, by port, by protocol and finally, by content and end-point access. They want to charge you the same way they charge your cell phone usage: lots of completely made up charges that are only differentiated because their tracking software can.

      I predict in the fairly near future (5 years or so) that there'll be a lot of these tests going on, and a lot of cut-rate Internet offer

      • by RulerOf (975607)
        t is coup de grace, but otherwise, spot on.

        Doh! Those phonics rules I learned as a child soooo don't apply to foreign words....

        Americans are convinced because of decades of draconian usage charges from telcos and cable providers (don't we all love paying extra for "High Definition" service?) that every little aspect of a service that is enough to differentiate itself from others in presentation only, and in the terms of IPv4, think directly of the presentation layer of the OSI model, that they should pa
    • by grcumb (781340)

      Some people don't realize that Net Neutrality doesn't even exist today. Try this: If you have email at, say, your office and you host it on your own domain, Telnet into port 25 on your email server. No response? That's because your ISP is filtering you RIGHT NOW.

      This has nothing to do with Net neutrality.

      a) Net Neutrality applies to backbone carriers, not individual service providers.

      b) Net Neutrality does not stop a carrier from blocking certain traffic. It only says that traffic rules cannot be appl

    • by merreborn (853723)

      I called my ISP and asked them to remove the blocks so that I could test my email server at work, set up a personal FTP, and, god forbid, accept Email. I argued with them for two hours, during which they told me, several times, that I could get Business Class cable internet service

      For what it's worth, running server applications has always been against the ToS of every residential broadband ISP. The actual filtering of ports 25 and 80 is newer, but the clause in the ToS has always been there.



  • As an ex-Austin customer of Time-Warner ISP, I would say that the first suspect in any service outage should be TWC's incompetence. I finally switched to their new, local competitor: Grande Communications [grandecom.net] and have been thoroughly pleased ever since. The final straw for me was a network outage for my entire neighborhood that was identified on wednesday, they sent a guy out thursday, then said it would require a tier-2 tech to fix, who won't come out on the weekends, and friday is all booked up. So our whole
  • by groovelator (994174) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @04:14AM (#22280700) Homepage
    In the UK Tiscali have been 'unintentionally' blocking iTunes traffic during peak periods for some time now. This, again, on 'Unlimited' MAX ADSL connections where p2p regularly slows to a crawl...

    Despite having acknowledged the problem recently (they said they're working on it - try turning off your traffic shaping???) they initially ignored it, deleting support forum posts wholesale.

    I've walked away.
    • by Tony Hoyle (11698)
      From the ISPs point of view they're going to be prioritising HTTP and probably POP3. If itunes isn't that much bandwidth it'll generally escape. Bittorrent is the real target, using 90% of off peak bandwidth for 5% of users.

      They're not going after apple specifically, but when they announce a bandwidth sucking HD download service the ISPs have two possible responses:

      1. Charge more for their service so they can afford to significantly upgrade their pipes.
      2. Throttle itunes.

      My own ISP doesn't even currently
  • Time Warner, whose subsidiaries include numerous entertainment firms [hoovers.com] and content delivery companies [timewarner.com], may at the very least look at a restraint of trade suit in the making.

    I hear the saliva splatting on the floor from the lawyers dripping jaws already.
  • by LWolenczak (10527) <julia@evilcow.org> on Sunday February 03, 2008 @09:10AM (#22281798) Homepage Journal
    I have a "teleworker" account, which means I get business class service to my house. (I might add, its useful to be able to get them dispatched in the middle of the night with such an account.) I've noticed that using iTunes before 8pm, its useless, right after 8pm though all my iTunes downloads speed up from 1-2 hours for a half hour tv show, to like 10 minutes. Its pretty clear that something is amiss, but I just went to downloading everything after 8 PM.

    FWIW, Before 8pm, I've seen no other speed impacts, and have been able to download ISOs at a normal speed. I've only seen it with iTunes.

Per buck you get more computing action with the small computer. -- R.W. Hamming

Working...