I think Time Warner Cable is Throttling and Shaping My Bandwidth

I’m not sure if this is a conspiracy or possibly due to a plan I have. (I’ll call them to find out.)

But I’ve long suspected Time Warner is screwing with my bandwidth.

The first test I ran was “ShaperProbe traffic shaping test“.

This test looks to see if, after a certain amount of time, your ISP slows down your traffic.

Sure enough, they do!

Here are the finds of my test:

DiffProbe beta release. October 2009. Build 1002.

Shaper Detection Module.

Connected to server

Estimating capacity:

Upstream: 494 Kbps.

Downstream: 13982 Kbps.

The measurement will take upto 3.0 minutes. Please wait.

Checking for traffic shapers:

Upstream: No shaper detected.

Median received rate: 448 Kbps.

Downstream: Burst size: 9443-9755 KB;

Shaping rate: 6850 Kbps.

So, this is the summary:
Upstream: No shaper detected.Median received rate: 448 Kbps.
Downstream: Burst size: 9443-9755 KB;Shaping rate: 6850 Kbps.

I can apparently upload stuff all day long at about 448 Kbps. But downloading is a different story.

Just to check, I ran the test again and got virtually the exact same results:

Estimating capacity:

Upstream: 443 Kbps.

Downstream: 11531 Kbps.

Checking for traffic shapers:

Upstream: No shaper detected.

Median received rate: 448 Kbps.

Downstream: Burst size: 9384-9581 KB;
Shaping rate: 6850 Kbps.

This seems very telling to me because if you notice, my downstream capacity was a little different in each test. 13982 Kbps in test #1 and 11531 Kbps in test #2. But the shaped rate was totally identical! 6850 Kbps on both tests.

This looks very controlled to me.

Next, I REALLY wanted to run the Glasnost test. But they are doing maintenance on their servers this weekend. Figures!

This test checks to see if they are throttling specific kinds of traffic. I have a theory Time Warner is killing me with Youtube traffic. I can’t stream anything in my house. I first thought maybe this was because of my home network. My router is on the third floor and I’m currently on the first floor. But I recently installed a repeater. I get poor streaming capabilities no matter where I am in the house.

I’m not a file sharing person. I am just trying to watch freakin’ Youtube videos!

From this CNET article:

I asked Dudley a simple question: “Does Time Warner Cable throttle that 5 percent of major network users?”

He simply said that his company does not comment on that and users should consult their use agreement to see exactly what Time Warner could do if it sees people using too much bandwidth.

I have to say, I’m a little concerned about posting this. I suspect they could just turn me off all together. Fortunately, I have a DSL option. But who knows if that’s good.

We, in this supposedly uber-capitalistic country, are being seriously squeezed by our Internet providers.

From this NYT article:

Competition, or the lack of it, goes a long way to explaining why the fees are higher in the United States. There is less competition in the United States than in many other countries. Broadband already has the highest profit margins of any product cable companies offer. Like any profit-maximizing business would do, they set prices in relation to other providers and market demand rather than based on costs.

Cell phone and Internet costs a lot less is many other places in the world. We just live in this haze of “America is the best” mentality. It is shocking to even suggest that maybe some other country has anything better than us.

From the NYT article above:

Pretty much the fastest consumer broadband in the world is the 160-megabit-per-second service offered by J:Com, the largest cable company in Japan. Here’s how much the company had to invest to upgrade its network to provide that speed: $20 per home passed.

We are are just getting squeezed for every penny the market will bare. We can’t forget that capitalism is all about getting the most money as you possibly can for something. Competition is supposed to be the great leveler in the system. But with Internet service we simply don’t have major competition… yet.

The holy grail in the U.S. right now is Verizon’s FiOS. The user community pretty much gives it the best rating of all ISP’s out there. They say they don’t throttle connection right on their site:

No throttling
Some high speed Internet service providers will resort to “throttling,” or slowing down your Internet connection if they decide your usage is too heavy. Verizon doesn’t. FiOS is consistently, blazingly fast.

I don’t know how up to date this site is, but they say FiOS currently in 16 states but have plans to come to all 28 states they have other services in.

I honestly feel like I live in China or some place. Except instead of the government controlling us, the large monopolistic corporations are controlling us.

With that, I’m going to start a personal petition to get Verizon to move FiOS to Ohio.