No Script, No Fear, All Opinion
RSS icon Home icon
  • Proof that Telstra Bigpond is Throttling Youtube Bandwidth in Australia?

    Posted on May 10th, 2010 EEVblog 30 comments

    Are Telstra (Bigpond), Australia’s largest Internet Service Provider deliberately throttling (capping) Youtube bandwidth on all of their plans?

    Try it yourself:
    http://www.youtube.com/my_speed

    My speed:
    http://www.eevblog.com/images/telstra/MyTelstra.png
    Other Telstra customers:
    http://www.eevblog.com/images/telstra/Telstra1.png
    http://www.eevblog.com/images/telstra/Telstra2.png
    http://www.eevblog.com/images/telstra/Telstra3.png
    http://www.eevblog.com/images/telstra/Telstra4.png

    Other ISP’s:
    Internode: http://www.eevblog.com/images/telstra/Internode.png
    Netspace: http://www.eevblog.com/images/telstra/Netspace.png
    Optus: http://www.eevblog.com/images/telstra/Optus.png
    TPG: http://www.eevblog.com/images/telstra/TPG.png
    Exetel: http://www.eevblog.com/images/telstra/exetel.png
    iiNet: http://www.eevblog.com/images/telstra/iinet.png

    Be Sociable, Share!
    • Lucas

      David, I’m from Brazil but I really like what you are doing! You have to ask for your rights!
      I’m looking forward to see what is going to happen.
      Ah, by the way, I used the link and is really nice. Thanks!
      Cheers!

    • Jason

      Pretty damning evidence Dave, hopefully this will reach a higher profile..

      I can also suggest that maybe you should publish your results at the Telstra forum of Whirlpool (www.whirlpool.net.au), which is an Australia wide forum for users to talk about their ISPs.

      I feel your pain that you’re stuck with Telstra… Our internet at my parents was the same for ages, they couldn’t go with any other service because only Telstra had DSLAMs at the exchange, and the bills were mental!

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        @Jason
        Yeah, I posted to Whirlpool. The thread got deleted by an admin with 10 minutes so I had to tack onto an existing thread 13 pages deep or something.
        I expect nothing but a barrage of flame responses on there. But hey, at least it’s out there.
        Dave.

    • http://devrandom.pl XANi

      Reason is, “we would rather buy our managers new BMW than lay down new fiber and buy networking equipment to modernize our network” ;]

    • http://www.armandas.lt Armandas

      My mobile broadband provider compresses almost every image on the web to a horrible quality. When I first found this out, I was really mad. I had the same question – why? It’s my friggin bandwidth and *I* pay for it, you bastards. All they could come up with was something about “providing best experience for all customers”. These corporate scumbags think they can do whatever they want.

    • http://truthspew.wordpress.com Tony P

      Yeah I’ve got 30/5 from Cox Communications and I’m lucky if I get 10/2 sometimes.

      I think part of it is YouTube too. They’ve been known to play games with bandwidth too.

      If worst comes to worst just put it all on blip.tv

      I did the test btw, 704. Half what you get and it’s consistent.

      This is why I’m glad the FCC is attempting to move ISP’s into telcom common carrier status. That way we can get true net neutrality.

      If you really want to get frosted, think about France where they get 100/20, digital tv (300 channels) and phone service for 30 euros. Want to know WHY? It’s because the last mile network is SHARED among all providers.

      In Australia and the U.S. the last mile is owned by the provider and not shared.

      But you’re right – it’s about the bottom line.

    • Chris

      Over here in New Zealand TelstraClear throttle youtube bandwidth as well.

    • Ryan Leach

      Dave, there’s a difference between Telstra and Bigpond, not a big difference but there is one.

      as far as i know, Bigpond is a subsidiary of Telstra, and thus has its own policies and management.

      So it seems Bigpond are throttling youtube but Telstra arn’t, as Telstra is who sells off the bandwidths and DSLAM ports etc to the smaller ISP’s.

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        @Ryan
        Yeah, probably correct. But I’m going for the big fish because that’s where the buck ultimately stops.

    • http://dren.dk Flemming Frandsen

      I have two solutions for you:
      1) Set up a VPN tunnel to a server at a datacenter somewhere, you could roll your own and run it on your own rented virtual server or simply buy VPN access directly.

      2) Work around Telstra by doing your own last-mile, you might not think wireless will do, but take a look at the gear from Ubiquiti, they do 150 Mb/s thoughput at 5 GHz and I’ve found the gear to be rock solid.

    • huh

      Dave, you need to bring this to a wider audience on sites that often deal with this stuff such as Slashdot or BoingBoing. Most corporations stop bullying their customers only when enough eyes are pointed to them.
      As for wireless, as Flemming wrote it is very reliable if you choose the right equipment and manage it carefully. I’m writing this through a 20Km 5 GHz link.
      The only thing you should take care of are the laws involved as I’m pretty sure a hundred miles link over state owned property is illegal in most countries if you aren’t a certified service provider, so you better check first.

    • mattydee

      telstra are the go to ISP for many non tech savvy people. they grew a great reputation in the days of PMG and Telecom when they were the only game in town. As such, a majority of older Australians, and those who are new to the internet are connecting using Telstra. with experience from my parents and grandparents, people from those generations believe firmly in the old adage “if it isnt broken, dont fix it” and as such, havnt upgraded their internet to the latest speed. It is with this that i say that i do not believe they are throttling your bandwidth. As you said they have many many customers, and the ~1mbit average is the average of many many connections, including the dialup, 256kb and other ADSL1 connections, as well as slow 3G technologies of which telstra has many customers, not forgetting smartphones like the iPhone. You will notice that your personal speed on these graph is higher than your ISP average. If you are that worried about it, i suspect Optus have cable in your street that you could connect to, though i wouldn’t advise of this.

    • Evan

      I guess we are lucky here in the USA. Our office has a business class cable service (comcast) and we get 13.5 instead of the 1.1 you get.

      At home I get 6.8 from cableivsion.

    • Alex

      I get 25.22 average ISP and 41.5 at the moment ( university rwth aachen germany )

    • http://Telstra.com Craig Middleton

      Telstra/BigPond does not throttle YouTube in any way.

      There may be congestion in the CMUX or at other points in the network and that may cause an impact on download speeds but we do not throttle particular types of traffic.

      Sorry to ruin your urban myth.

      • Jason

        So there is just a nation-wide bottleneck preventing Bigpond customers from getting more than 2mbit/sec on Youtube, which seems to not affect any other ISPs in the country?

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        @Craig
        I’ve also heard from another Telstra employee that you do not deliberately throttle Youtube. Ok, so be it. But please explain why every Telstra bigpond customer customers I have spoken to about this gets terrible Youtube speed compared to every other ISP in the country (taking into account connection speed and the usual variability).
        I have no idea what a CMUX is, nor do I really care. What is obvious is that there is a systemic problem with Youtube on Telstra Bigpond.

        TELSTRA+Youtube = SHIT performance
        ANY OTHER ISP + Youtube = Acceptable performance.
        PLEASE EXPLAIN.

        Anyone using Bigpond who gets GOOD Youtube bandwidth please step forward. Anyone?, anyone?, Bueller… Bueller…

        Dave.

    • GaryC

      I live the UK and my ISP throttles everything during the day, sadly i live in a one ISP town. if i move just 15 miles in any direction i can have a choice of 15+ ISPs some throttle and some don’t.

    • dgp

      Dave,

      You need to check if the ISP are being clever or not, they could be applying QoS across everything that travels on your connection or they could be doing real packet inspection and “throttling” youtube as you suspect. You need to check if packets going to certain ports are getting shaped, or packets going to certain destinations or packets with specific content (i.e. the streaming protocol flash/youtube uses).

      Most ISPs are cheap and throttle certain ports (usenet etc) or destinations on their slow lists. If they are doing in-depth packet inspection that would be interesting. My ISP here in blighty shape usenet traffic, but it’s easy to fool by using the usenet providers alt port (same port as IMAP over SSL.. comes up a mail traffic in my usage stats ;)) and using SSL means they have no way of seeing anymore than where the packets are going.

      It might even be that somewhere upstream is shaping your traffic… you might want to check how your route to youtube compares to those that aren’t seeing this issue.

    • mesoiam

      I wonder why they aren’t more devious and scale rather than cap the connection. If they just scaled the speed then they could avoid detection as it would be slower but still have ups and downs rather than an obvious looking flat line. I’m in the UK on virgin cable and doesn’t look throttled to me, great!

    • Telinfo

      Hi we totally agree with you on this as we are on Telstra’s Unlimited Business Broadband which we pay roughly $300 a month for ADSL2 20mbps. We are finding this shaping very frustrating. I think the only real way we are going to get anything out of Telstra is if we start an online petition agaist them. I will send you our graph to add to your collection. Let me know where I can post the screenshot.

    • Telinfo

      Hey…..want to know something even more interesting….

      I went to post this comment to your Youtube post and it was blocking me from posting a comment. I tried to repost several times and it failed. I then decided to do a test, by uploading a video and signing into another account and posting a comment on MY OWN video and it posted fine, BANG instantly!

      Seems you may have hit a nerve with Telstra with your controvercial post as they must also be blocking the url for posting comments on your video. I Think we should start an online petition/class action against them.

    • Telinfo

      Went through a web proxy and my comment went to your youtube post fine…..funny that…bypass telstra. Its proxy time people.

    • james moriarity

      hi i live in victoria and i am on the bigpond elite cable 200gb plan and i got speed up to 30mbps on cable and mine was being capped to so i rang up telstra and demanded to find out more about it and they said it was to save money on the servers but now mine is up at about 10.49 mbps now that i have complained it has been rissen cause of many complaints

    • Nick Gammon

      Much as I would like to agree that Telstra are ripping us all off, I fear there may be a more mundane reason – they know they are running out of bandwidth.

      Consider that:

      * most Australians are using Telstra

      * more and more households in general are signing up for Internet access

      * YouTube is becoming more and more popular (your own blog included!)

      * other high-bandwidth items (like the iView service from the ABC, and online newspapers) are being heavily promoted

      * a decade ago people were sharing songs – now they are sharing movies

      * our politicians are dragging their feet over implementing high-speed broadband

      * recent gadgets like the iPhone and iPod with FaceTime are letting people chat with each other (over the Internet) by video interface, whereas previously it was just audio.

      I bet that if they got rid of the throttling, it would simply be replaced by “user-generated” throttling, where we are all competing in the evening for a slice of the rather small pie which is served up by the one copper wire running down the street.

      And let’s not forget the proposal to submit every web access to some sort of censoring engine – that is hardly going to speed things up.

      I suggest that whatever electorate you live in, or whatever political party you support, you get in touch with your local Member and suggest they “get on with it” and get some decent high-speed Internet access going.

    • Alex

      Sadly the customer isnt always right according to telstra / bigpond it seems, as for the blocking their own clients /customers from responding to a video and commenting on it shows that they truely have something to hide.

      I applaud the people who vote with their wallets / purses and find a decent rpovider (not optus or exetel) in asutralia because that is really the only way they will notice, oh and when you do cancel the Telstra service explain to them why you would be surprised the effect that one ripple will have in such a bigpond.

      As for whirpool i dont even bother reading anything off there it is a biased forum full of fanboys and trolls sadly.

    • Jennifer

      Don’t you love the ads at the bottom of the video advertising Telstra?

    • Gavin Wentzell

      Sit back and watch full movies no cost

    • http://cog.s63.xrea.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi?__mode=view&entry_id=11 banana health

      Bananas also are starchy and can help to make you
      feel full resulting in less foods eaten. The banana diet broke onto the scene in Japan with such
      force that many grocery stores the next day literally ran out
      and could no longer provide anyone with the fruit.

      Regardless of the sometimes popular name of “banana miracle diet,” the
      banana diet is not a miracle or some magical silver bullet.

    • http://www.ign.com/boards/members/malanadofiwo.4954927/ seo services

      Nice post. I learn something totally new and
      challenging on blogs I stumbleupon every day. It’s always useful to read content from other authors and use something
      from their websites.