Sunday, February 23, 2014

Our Netflix service is slowing down

Julie and I like watching things on Netflix.  It is at its peak now that they have released another season of House of Cards.  The disappointment is that we have noticed our Netflix service getting worse and worse.  It takes longer to buffer up, reports a lower quality, and tends to pixelate a bit.  We never used to have those problems.
My first thought was poor Internet service.  As much as I am not a huge fan of Comcast, our service rocks.  I just did a test and our download speed is 28 mbps and our upload speed is about 6 mbps.  Both are quite reasonable for almost any application's needs.  If you want to test your own connection, just click on this link and follow directions: www.speedtest.net.

I was about to start doing some real testing to uncover the problem when I ran across this article in Extreme Tech.  It explains that Netflix is contributing up to 32% of the United States' Internet download traffic.  Unreal!  Because of this, the ISPs have started to throttle their traffic.  The article is well written and easy to understand.  The worry is that it means that there is absolutely nothing I can do to improve the situation.

Now the good news.  Today I read a USA Today article that Comcast (again, my service provider) has inked a deal with Netflix to fix the problem for Comcast customers.  I'm not sure how long it will take to roll out whatever secret thing they have agreed to, but I hope it happens soon.  For all my NC buddies, perhaps when Comcast closes their purchase of Time Warner Cable, then you will get the same thing.
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