August 23, 2014
In Austin, there are basically two ISPs, Time Warner and AT&T. That’s not really enough competition to be good for consumers but that discussion is for another time. The lesser of these two evils is Time Warner so that’s my ISP. The other week Time Warner sent me this:
Triple the speed for no additional cost Sounds great, right? Maybe it’s not as great as it sounds. You see, the Internet is not a dedicated line between your house and Netflix. It’s a packet switched network with many varying hops between you and House of Cards. So while speedtest.net may show you rocketing across the internet:
…Netflix still may be limited to 720p instead of the glorious 1080p that your connection warrants. That’s because major backbone providers connect to each other through peering points and if there’s congestion at the peering point between Time Warner and Netflix’s ISP, then Kevin Spacey doesn’t look as crytal clear as he could.
The solution is to rant about these things in public until the ISPs play nice and make their peering points fatter.