As we've noted previously
, despite serious advancement in broadband speeds, many ISPs have been having serious problems offering a consistent YouTube streaming experience over the last years -- including faster options like Verizon FiOS. By and large I've noted that given this is a problem across numerous ISPs, it would appear to be an unspecified peering or YouTube issue that causes the problems. To be clear on this front, Time Warner Cable issued a blog post late last week
stating clearly that the company does not throttle YouTube traffic.
"Delivery of video and other data over the Internet is a complex matter with many, many variables contributing to each particular end-user experience," said Time Warner Cable's Jeff Simmermon. "But we can assure you that, at Time Warner Cable, we dont throttle traffic."
Given that Time Warner Cable's throttling of YouTube traffic wasn't in the news last week (though their attacks on Internet video in general were
), the company appears to be responding to user realizations that blocking certain IP ranges
appears to improve streaming performance for some users (this doesn't work for all users). While originally highlighted as a Time Warner Cable specific fix, this appears to resolve issues across numerous ISPs.
With Time Warner Cable's denial the mystery of poor YouTube performance continues. The company strongly hints that the culprit is poorly balanced and managed CDN servers on certain networks, something we're also seen cited in engineer conversations
. Though I've yet to see specific CDN networks singled out, many believe that select servers are simply overloaded with user requests, resulting in poor streaming performance.
Earlier this month news emerged
that Google was planning on experimenting with broadband by hot air balloon or blimp (affectionately called "blimpband" around these parts). Now Google has come out with more details about the project and given it a name: Google Loon
As the PRISM story from last week mutates, it has been interesting to see how many of the Internet companies have fought NSA requests, completely unlike what we saw with AT&T and Verizon when it was exposed
that they were allowing the NSA to split network fibers and monitor all traffic in real time. Google for example recently went out of their way to point out they refused NSA attempts to install their own gear on network
, and now the New York Times
reports that both Yahoo and Twitter also tried to fight secretive rubber-stamped FISA court requests.
HughesNet has announced
that the company is now offering their satellite broadband customers the ability to bundle in voice services. The company's website
doesn't get specific on pricing, only stating that plans start out at around $20 per month. "HughesNet Voice customers enjoy high Quality of Service (QoS) calling as a result of new technology Hughes developed in its latest HughesNet Gen4 service delivery system, which establishes dedicated bandwidth for voice traffic, eliminating interference with data running over their satellite Internet connection," insists the company. While the company's new Gen-4 broadband service has been well hyped, many customers state HughesNet has struggled to deliver promised performance
with the new service.
According to a report in the Globe and Mail
, both AT&T and Verizon are contemplating buying a stake in the Canadian wireless market. According to sources speaking to the paper anonymously, both companies have held talks to acquire one or several of the struggling Canadian upstart operators, including Wind Mobile. The source claims Verizon in particular is taking a "hard look" at buying either Wind or Mobilicity, then bidding on spectrum at Canada's upcoming spectrum auction in order to create a stronger fourth wireless carrier. The move wouldn't be a new one for Verizon, who was a major investor in Telus until 2004.
writes in to direct our attention to the fact that Sprint has announced
that they've launched LTE service in another twenty two new markets, including Miami, New Orleans, Raleigh, North Carolina, and Tampa, Florida. As always the usual Sprint launch caveats apply: many users had seen signal in these locations for some time as Sprint brings signals online for testing well before a commercial launch. Said launches aren't always what you'd call comprehensive
either; only around 40% of towers have been LTE approved in the Miami launch market. The launches bring Sprint's LTE market total to 110. The company aims to offer LTE to 200 million people by the end of this year.
Security contractor turned leaker Edward Snowden continues to make governments uncomfortable, this week leaking more information to the Guardian
that the UK government spied on diplomats attending the country's G20 Summit in 2009. According to Snowden, conference attendees had their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted.