Posts Tagged Netflix

All of you Net Neutrality people need a little education on how the Internet works.

The Internet is not like the public highway system where anyone who wants to ride the Freeway can regardless of whether you drive a beater or a Lamborghini. The Internet is a patchwork of thousands of private networks. Some networks owned by the big players are called backbone networks and they handle a lot of the traffic but they only take the traffic so far.

Go to your command prompt or terminal and type in traceroute followed by a url. You will see how many networks and nodes it took to get to your
destination. I did >traceroute I got 10 different networks that were traversed before it got to

When you make a request to a server the request and the result of that request can traverse many networks to get to the server that hosts the information. These networks have cooperative agreements with other networks to allow traffic to go through them in return they get reciprocated with their traffic. When one network gets overloaded they cut off through traffic and the packets get rerouted someplace else that can handle the traffic. Sometimes there is no other option so the network has to throttle some traffic to handle the load. This is going to jeopardize this cooperation since they will want to protect their own traffic. The Internet cannot work without Inter network cooperation. If all networks circle the wagons nothing will get in or out and we will be left with thousands of private networks that can only talk to itself.

Why net neutrality will hurt and slow everyone down is because Networks will not be able to manage their networks based on the priority of the traffic so the result will be more traffic on their systems which means they will have to throttle Everyone to handle it. The result is it will take longer to receive packets and with streaming services such as Netflix it means you will see more of the dreaded buffering especially at night when most people want to watch Netflix.

What is interesting too is everyone is so concerned about net neutrality mainly because of Netflix but the funny thing is that Netflix uses a protocol that is low priority. The highest priority is TCP which requires every packet send back an acknowledgement that it was received or it sends it again. This makes no sense with streaming because if a packet doesn’t make it it is too late. Plus the protocol does not require every packet to be received to run the program. If anything you may lose a pixel of two. Netflix uses a protocol that has a “Best effort” protocol which is lower priority. So net neutrality will actually have no net benefit at all in streaming.

There are certain protocols used by the Internet to set priority for traffic. There is QoS (Quality of Service) and COS (Class of Service). These are part of the network protocols are are essential to operate the Internet smoothly and not bog it down. These prioritize traffic based on the nature or importance of the traffic. Net Neutrality is a small part of this and actually has little effect on the Internet and will not change QoS or Cos which means in reality Net Neutrality is mainly a marketing term. Sad something so insignificant has now resulted in the government taking over the Internet.

Obama was all gung-ho and used the full force of his administration to get ISPs to police copyrights but had no interest at all in doing the same thing to get ISPs to voluntarily adopt net neutrality. Rather he went the government takeover route. Hmmm wonder why?

Hey try the Android Game I created called CHOMP.

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