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fluke
Level 10

Repeal of Net Neutrality vs. Roku?

Several of the top used channels on Roku are probably already paying major internet providers for direct peering or paid prioritization.  So, users that focus on channels like Netflix, Amazon, HBO Go or HBO Now, there probably will not be much of a change.  It also is unlikely that internet providers are going to take advantage of the death of net neutrality in the USA during the first week or first month it has been repealed.  As such, I don't expect anyone to have noticed any changes yet.

However, some of the smaller channels, including Roku's own free ad-support movie channel, probably have not had funding internet provider's paid prioritization as part of their business model.  It would be nice to be able to understand if users of specific ISPs start experiencing problems with some channels how to determine if the ISP is (or is not) at fault.

I wanted to start this thread in the hopes of generating a level headed discussion on the following:

- As Roku users, do we really care about the USA net neutrality repeal?

- What diagnostic tools already exist for the Roku for trying to detect if an internet provider is impacting video network traffic?

- What diagnostic tools would we like to see Roku provide in the future?

- What diagnostic tools would users recommend for other platforms (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, etc) which can help detect if an internet provider is impacting Roku video playback?

I am NOT starting this thread for any of the following:

- This is not about any political party or who people should vote for in the fall

- This is not about attacking anyone's view.  If someone prefers if the FCC returned to a net neutrality policy then that is their own opinion.  If someone prefers the FTC to be protecting consumer rights instead, then that is also that person's opinion.  And if someone wants it left up to each state to pass net neutrality laws (or not) then that is that person's opinion.

If possible, I would prefer to keep this largely a technical discussion but I understand this might be a charged up topic for some people.  I ask anyone posting something potentially offensive to take a breath and keep any toxic bashing to a minimum (or preferably not at all).

Thanks!
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4 Replies
Tajson
Level 8

Re: Repeal of Net Neutrality vs. Roku?

What is wrong with paying for preferred access and/or comfort? I mean we are doing it all the time.

You pay to drive on the toll roads because it is usually faster and more direct from A to B than using the secondary road system.
You spend the extra money on a deluxe sedan/suv/etc to ride more comfortable from A to B while you could have done it in a 3 door budget hatchback.
You pay more in service charges to have electricity delivered in a rural area than if you lived in the city.
You pay more for the direct flight from A to B than the one with a few layovers.
You pay extra to Netflix to watch in 4k while you could have gotten the same story in HD from Netflix for less.

The lack of Net Neutrality or having Net Neutrality would probably not matter much if there is a guaranteed minimum requirement for bandwidth as in I can use the 55 mph secondary roads as a standard all the time and others might pay to jump on the 70 mph toll road. I will still manage to get from A to B within a certain standard.

I agree throttling should be illegal by law if it prohibits me from i.e. watching my story in HD from any content provider with a content server within reachable distance on the internet. (Reads: same rules should be applied to ensure minimum content quality as standard over-the-air in my area) However, should the law prohibit companies from throttling my connection to have six simultaneously 4K streams going on a up to 150Mbps internet plan?

I believe that it is all about finding a balance for reasonable service levels while keep improving overall ISP speed within the entire USA than discussing the speed limits.

On a side-note to the internet speed: There are states who have laws prohibiting their government and/or local municipalities from providing a better service level than the available ISP(s). If the internet is truly a public utility, shouldn't a local municipality have the opportunity to provide better service levels than a distant ISP company?
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Tajson
Level 8

Re: Repeal of Net Neutrality vs. Roku?

"fluke" wrote:
What diagnostic tools

There are various speed test tools throughout the Roku platform that you can use to eyeball your internet connection. The common issue is that they basically measure a A to B connection and not giving a clue as to who I should yell at for the slowdown.

There are various benchmark tools for computers where you can measure latency and speed from A to a matrix of B's that you set up. This can help you to understand in which direction to yell at.

Or individual companies are trying to help you understand the issue as well i.e. https://ispspeedindex.netflix.com/

However, I doubt that you will have one or handful of diagnostic tools to have 100% accuracy for every slowdown.
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mike_s
Level 8

Re: Repeal of Net Neutrality vs. Roku?

"Tajson" wrote:
should the law prohibit companies from throttling my connection to have six simultaneously 4K streams going on a up to 150Mbps internet plan?

Yes, if six simultaneous 4K streams will fit in 150 Mbps of bandwidth. Otherwise, you're not getting what you're paying for (excepting the "up to" marketing BS). If an ISP's paying customers are pulling content, why should they be able to double-dip by demanding a ransom from the content providers?
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Tajson
Level 8

Re: Repeal of Net Neutrality vs. Roku?

"mike.s" wrote:
"Tajson" wrote:
should the law prohibit companies from throttling my connection to have six simultaneously 4K streams going on a up to 150Mbps internet plan?

Yes, if six simultaneous 4K streams will fit in 150 Mbps of bandwidth. Otherwise, you're not getting what you're paying for (excepting the "up to" marketing BS). If an ISP's paying customers are pulling content, why should they be able to double-dip by demanding a ransom from the content providers?

Why should the company after your ISP on the internet path allow you all 6 streams without your ISP paying for preferred access?
Granted, your ISP and the company has a transit agreement which allows your traffic to be routed through their network by the ISP paying the company. But at which point would your traffic be considered excessive and be throttled by the company, regardless of the speed you are paying your ISP to use?
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