TacomaGeekery

Aug. 17, 2011 at 12:33pm

Click! Are you throttling my bandwidth?

I've been a happy customer Click! (TPU) for years and until recently haven't had any problems. For about a week I've noticed a significant decline in the quality of my connection, particularly when streaming Netflix videos.

I can confirm that at least one other person (Kevin) has been having a similar experience. Has anyone else experienced similar issues?

I really hope Click! is not throttling bandwidth based on content or to whom I am connecting (read: violating the principles of net neutrality). If anyone from Click is reading this, would it be possible to get some kind of official response on this?

comments [121]  |  posted under click, internet, tacoma

Comments

by Nick on 8/17/2011 @ 12:53pm
To be clear (and to perhaps spark a discussion), I'm totally fine with ISPs throttling bandwidth, as long as they are upfront about it so that I can make an informed decision about which ISP I choose to do business with.

It's also important that they aren't picking and choosing which packets are throttled based on their contents or to/from whom they are being sent/received. Tacoma Water doesn't mess with my water supply depending on whether I'm showering or watering my lawn. Tacoma Power doesn't mess with my power supply depending on whether I'm microwaving a meal or running an empty refrigerator with the door open. I expect my ISP to treat my internet access the same way.

by JesseHillFan on 8/17/2011 @ 1:10pm
With broadband (especially cable access) a user is allowed a maximum of about 250 GB per month.
With some DSL providers it's 150GB per month
This can be easily exceeded if one is using more than about 8 Gigabytes per day for the 250 GB limit.Also when you exceed the limit your ISP will likely notify you by snail mail too.It can happen easily when someone streams high quality movies,TV shows a lot.I don't work for Click but have read about this many years ago.It was also mentioned fairly recently about a month or 2 ago on Toms Hardware (website) on one of their articles.

by jenyum on 8/17/2011 @ 1:14pm
I have been having difficulty lately, really only when trying to stream Mad Men, because Netflix only offers it in HD.

by thriceallamerican on 8/17/2011 @ 1:14pm
Which ISP are you using?

by fredo on 8/17/2011 @ 1:18pm
People downloading movies and other large files are about to experience service slowdowns (aka throttling) or surcharges as they are placed in more expensive service tiers. It's been in the news for quite a long time.

The utilities such as water/electric/and gas really don't have the ability to throttle your service, but they certainly can place you in higher pricing tiers based on total usage or when the usage occurs.

It's a good topic for discussion, Nick, but I don't think there is anything you can do about it. If you call Click they will probably tell you to stop downloading the movies. Have you tried calling them?

by JesseHillFan on 8/17/2011 @ 1:21pm
"I have been having difficulty lately, really only when trying to stream Mad Men, because Netflix only offers it in HD."

It depends upon your bandwidth speed.If you have very fast Internet Service there shouldn't be a problem.Myself I stick to DSL (I have a 250GB per month limit on my service) because I realize that paying for faster service means it's a lot easier to reach the 250 GB limit.I generally only watch TV shows,Movies in Standard Definition at youtube or hulu.My theory is why pay more to have the same max 250 GB limit.

by jenyum on 8/17/2011 @ 1:22pm
I am using Netventure.

I wouldn't mind watching it in standard definition, I had to do that when I got it off of iTunes last year because my laptop coughed up the HD version like a big hairball.

by JesseHillFan on 8/17/2011 @ 1:26pm
Oh jenyum it could also be your computer specifications too.
If your network card is slow (maybe you don't have a gigabyte ethernet network card) you could have a problem and also if your PC is older or has a low end CPU that could be a problem as well with streaming HD movies.Some graphics accelerators cards also have additional features for helping with streaming HD movies.Laptops are naturally on average much less potent than desktops.

by Nick on 8/17/2011 @ 1:32pm
@JesseHillFan You are correct, and that is also totally reasonable to me. What I don't find reasonable is when that kind of information isn't disclosed (which Click laudably has), or when the throttling we're talking about is specific only to Netflix or when downloading a certain type of file.

The internet has, and should continue to be, content-neutral. Just let me have my 250GB a month and leave me alone. If I chose to use it all on Netflix and can't send an email on the 29th, let it be my problem.

I don't even know if this is what Click is doing, but it did bring to mind a discussion that is definitely worth having.

by KevinFreitas on 8/17/2011 @ 1:32pm
Nah, it's a Click! thing for me as well. I'm going through Advanced Stream and lately streaming Netflix has involved way more buffering for the same, non-HD content. I haven't even tried higher quality content recently because of my frustration. I ran some connection speed tests and overall things are cruising along well (transfer rate and ping) which is why Nick and I are curious about packet type based throttling. I'm well aware of the bandwidth limit but am not anywhere near hitting that each month. I'd like to know from Click! if anything new is going on as well so I too can make an informed decision.

Bottom line for me is I don't have cable but enjoy shows here and there on Netflix instant play. For the money I pay per month I want my bandwidth to be what's promised and consistent. Leave the choice of how I use my bandwidth up to me.

by Nick on 8/17/2011 @ 1:39pm
@Fredo, you're definitely right on all counts. I would just point out a distinction that with the water and electricity analogies, TPU still doesn't discriminate based on the purpose for which I am using the power or water.

To me its all about the content - it should be off-limits. Throttle away based on usage, time of day, or what my monthly plan is, just don't touch my data. If I pay for 300GB/month at 15 mbps, let me download 300GB at that speed from any server for any reason.

by NineInchNachos on 8/17/2011 @ 2:51pm
from CLICK facebook:

"Click! Cable TV: Pure and simple RR--we do not throttle bandwidth. There are multiple reasons your experience could change. Please contact your ISP for technical assistance if you have not already."

by KevinFreitas on 8/17/2011 @ 3:30pm
So, Netventure and Advanced Stream should answer for this slowness? Huh. Buck passed.


by jenyum on 8/17/2011 @ 3:43pm
Sorry to confuse things with that comment about my laptop, that was just for itunes. We stream netflix to our blue ray, which had no issues until recently.

by KevinFreitas on 8/17/2011 @ 3:53pm
Good to know Jen. Seems the trend is Netflix-related traffic and that it's only become worse recently.


by Nick on 8/17/2011 @ 3:59pm
@NiN Thanks for the update - I don't want to place blame where it isn't deserved. I just can't help but notice the coincidental nature of Netflix being the only area affected in my experience thus far.

by thriceallamerican on 8/17/2011 @ 5:10pm
Random tech question for those having problems: are you wired or wireless? From my understanding some wireless routers (read the cheap ones) have frequent issues with streamed stuff. We'd been having some pretty significant issues wirelessly streaming Netflix, Hulu, etc. issues with frequent halts and rebuffering...not so much stuff we'd notice on short videos such as on Youtube. I recently updated our wireless router to something a bit more pricey and flashed on one of the open-source firmwares for more configurability, but can't really report back too much on streaming experience yet...

by thriceallamerican on 8/17/2011 @ 5:12pm
(I guess in a more general sense, have you compared the performance of Netflix to other streaming sites like Hulu and Amazon Instant Video? That's a bit more apples to apples than just going to one of the speed monitor sorts of sites, though of course every site is going to have it's own unique take on streaming technology.)

by jenyum on 8/17/2011 @ 5:43pm
Confirmed with the husband we don't have a bandwidth limit. (We pay a lot of money for internet access)

by KevinFreitas on 8/17/2011 @ 7:35pm
@thrice: I have a wireless bridge connected up to my Xbox 360 where I do my primary Netflix watching. I'd agree it could be wireless but the issues only popped up recently. Admittedly, when I fired up an episode of ST:TNG tonight, it was just like the old days of almost no buffer time and quick start playback. Perhaps someone got our message? Fluke?


by NineInchNachos on 8/17/2011 @ 8:07pm
my upload speed sucks. We're with Rainier Connect. that is all.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 8/18/2011 @ 12:25am
I've been having trouble with Netflix the last couple of days. Even at low resolution the stream keeps buffering to the point of buffering more than viewing. An old man with prostate trouble puts out a better than Netflix it would seem. My speed tests come up with more speed than I need for streaming at HD. If anyone is doing any throttling I suspect it is actually Netflix. I did switch from watching via Roku to watching via a Win 7 machine connected to my TV and I was finally able to get my Star Trek fix for the night. I haven't seen any major chatter on Netflix streaming being a problem recently but I still think the problem is at the Netflix end.

by kevin22262 on 8/29/2011 @ 2:15pm
Why didn't you and the others just call Click and ask. They are very helpful and responsive.

Click! does not throttle bandwidth. The do have a "bandwidth cap" which is set very high. Read more here under "Schedule A" near the bottom: www.clickcabletv.com/Internet/AUP.aspx

I do know that at times, depending on what the ISPs and sometimes Click! may do, if I reboot (power down/power up) my cable modem it will restore a better connection.

To Kevin ... Click! is not passing the buck, they are not the ISP. From the Click! website...
"Click! only provides the transport services to ISPs. Click! is all about choice. By allowing customers to choose the ISP, Click! is able to support businesses that can provide a number of different products and packages to customers. Tacoma was the first city in the United States to have a choice in cable modem ISPs."

On top of all that, the number of things you have connected to your network will degrade your service and if you are running something via wifi, that will also degrade your service.

Outside of all this, it easily could have been a small problem with Click's connection to the internet backbones, a problem with the service you are trying to use and possibly their connection to the internet (example: netflix and net neutrality issues via one of the internet backbones or their "isp").

.... so... once again, Click! does not throttle.

by KevinFreitas on 8/29/2011 @ 4:44pm
Thanks for chiming in Kevin and for the clarification/insight. Overall my service has been great but I also believe, when multiple people I talk to all of a sudden have similar issues, it's good to have a public place to log this sort of stuff especially if others are having the same issue. I'm very aware of the different devices and such that could suck my bandwidth but when I noticed the slowing nothing on my personal network changed. I can't wait to try again once I get home to see if things improved but I can say that, out here on the coast where I'm at right now, using a wifi connection donated by a neighbor across the street on Comcast buffering and playback of Netflix through my Xbox 360 is great. None of the 2+ minute buffering for non-HD content I've been getting recently over Click!/Advanced Stream at home.

by fiolnir on 9/3/2011 @ 12:54am
I am glad I stumbled onto this... I have Advanced Stream also and for years it has worked without flaw. Roughly two weeks ago my download speed on the Playstation 3 for game content only (not online play) has been reduced to useless levels (were talking 2 hours for 15mg game patch). My sister also an Advanced Stream customer has an identical issue. My friends on comcast here in the city do not have this issue. Any ideas??

by jenyum on 9/22/2011 @ 3:14pm
Well, apparently our commercial Netventure account does have a bandwidth limit. 300 gigabytes. (Not mentioned anywhere on their site where you actually buy this package...)

We've had it for years with no problems, but we were just cut off for exceeding bandwidth. (Reinstated after a phone call, but not sure for how long.) The guy in their tech support office says each Netflix movie is something like 3 gigs, Daphne's been having a Doctor Who marathon during the teacher strike.

He also said that they had been slowing us down to try to ease our usage. (Which explains a few things) Jason is looking through the terms for other ISPs, which say it's Click!'s limit.

by KevinFreitas on 9/22/2011 @ 3:24pm
My recent experience was that I used all the same equip on my end but a Comcast connection (wireless from across the street) in Tokeland and buffering was nearly instant w/no playback interruptions -- much like it used to be for me on Click/Advanced Stream.

Nothing about my equipment changed when the slowness started and with the info above I've eliminated most variables with this and am left gazing at Click/Advanced Stream.



by KevinFreitas on 9/22/2011 @ 5:33pm
Called Advanced Stream and the helpful tech said they've had a serious up-tick of calls related to streaming via Netflix and Hulu. Said they're compiling a list to send over to Click. 30 or so folks on it now so this is not our imagination. Get your calls in so we can get this fixed.

by JesseHillFan on 9/23/2011 @ 5:27am
One should have no problems streaming Hulu videos (TV,Movies) at Standard Definition 480P,360P or 288P.Same with Youtube too.
The big problem is with streaming High Definition TV or Movies especially 1080i or p.Even 720 could possibly present problems.
I think that with youtube flash videos at 360P an hours worth of video is only around 200 mb (not exacting just a ballpark figure well a guess since I have a ton of 15 minute long 50mb videos) so at 24 hours per day that would be 4.8 GB well under the average 8Gb or so needed per day to reach the 250GB per month standard limit.Looks like continuous watching of 480P Standard Def movies and TV might be all right too.Netflix could present problems though and I've seen an article before about broadband ISP's and Netflix.

by KevinFreitas on 9/23/2011 @ 7:32am
The speed/buffering problem doesn't appear to have anything to do with bandwidth caps but something going on with Click, according to my guy at Advanced Stream.


by kevin22262 on 9/23/2011 @ 9:31am
Is this with a home or biz account? I am on Click! with advanced stream and see no problem at all.

by kevin22262 on 9/23/2011 @ 9:42am
Here is one thing I would think about .... is this a "Net Neutrality" issue? Is this Comcast and some of the other corporate giants punishing Click! and other non corporate giant broadband users?

by kevin22262 on 9/23/2011 @ 9:48am
Is it possible that you are using so much bandwidth that you are hitting this "cap" and the reason you are fast again when you go to another service is because ... it is another service where you have not hit their cap?
......................................
"SCHEDULE A

Upstream is traffic from the Customer’s PC to the Internet, such as uploading files to a remote FTP site or website.

Downstream is traffic from the Internet to the Customer’s PC, such as downloading files from a remote FTP site or website.

Bandwidth consumption limitations are combined upstream and downstream and are capped at:
250 GB per month for residential customers.
300 GB per month for commercial customers.

Our bandwidth cap rate has been set well above what an average User would consume in a month. The cap is not designed to curtail normal Users, enthusiastic Users or even extremely enthusiastic Users, but rather to curtail the Users that are negatively affecting all Users on the network and driving up costs with excessive use of the service. Note that while bandwidth consumption limits are measured on the basis of monthly consumption, the User does not have the right to use disproportionate amounts of the limit at any particular time. Thus, as fully outlined in the AUP, Click! retains the right at any time to determine that inappropriate amounts of bandwidth are being consumed and violate the AUP even if the above-listed limitations have not been fully consumed."

www.clickcabletv.com/Internet/AUP.aspx
..........................

by kevin22262 on 9/23/2011 @ 9:49am
I forgot to add this... The above is from the section called:
"Click! Network Acceptable Use Policy -
Updated February 6, 2009. "

by jenyum on 9/23/2011 @ 10:43am
Netventure told us that we were being slowed down, because of the cap, prior to being shut off temporarily. (So yes, it's possible other people are noticing a slow down for this reason) I would have gladly reduced our use had I been aware of the problem, but they don't provide any way to track your bandwidth usage.

Ironically, the reason we went nuts with Netflix this month is that Click! had shut off our cable tv.

by kevin22262 on 9/23/2011 @ 12:47pm
I am assuming that Click! shut off your cable TV was because of a past bill.

Also, monthly caps have been adopted throughout the broadband delivery system. Look for future "offers", from ALL broadband providers, for you to pay more for more bandwidth, not just speed. This would be similar to what AOL and others did back in the old dialup days.

by kevin22262 on 9/23/2011 @ 12:52pm
To "track" your bandwidth use, search for free programs such as this... www.simplehelp.net/2007/09/09/how-to-mon...

There are others out there. Most of these run on a per PC basis.
It might be nice for the modem manufacturers to incorporate a program within the modem that we could access via a "client" on our PCs. This would most likely show total usage and not just per PC usage.

by kevin22262 on 9/24/2011 @ 3:42am
I sent an email to Click! today... this is what I got in return.

......
Thank you for the email. We appreciate your kind words and advocacy in support of our efforts. I have forwarded your email to members of our management team for review.

As always, if we can be of further assistance please don't hesitate to call us at 253-502-8900.

Sincerely,
Click! Customer Care
253-502-8900
......................................

by kevin22262 on 9/24/2011 @ 3:44am
Sorry... I should have included the email I sent...

.....
I am a long time customer and advocate for Click! I am not sure what
is going on here, but could all of you please address the issue that
is being talked about in this FeddTacoma thread. Please take a few
minutes to read the comments, because there is more info relating to
this issue in the comments.

"Click! Are you throttling my bandwidth?"

i.feedtacoma.com/Nick/click-are-you-thro...
........

by Click! on 9/26/2011 @ 4:25pm
The Click! bandwidth cap of 250 GB per month for residential service has been set well above what an average User consumes. The average residential Customer uses approximately 3.5 GB per month. The cap is not designed to curtail normal Users, enthusiastic Users or even extremely enthusiastic Users, but rather to curtail the Users that are negatively affecting all Users on the shared network by driving up costs with excessive use of the service.

When a customer hits the cap, their ISP is notified so they can work directly with the customer to identify the cause; often it is related to a virus or to using a cloud service to back up a system. There are ways to minimize overall bandwidth usage if a customer is getting close to their cap. The ISP can assist in advising the customer about such.

Our responsibility is to ensure a positive network experience for all customers. High bandwidth consumption over the cap is the leading cause of contention in the network and impacts others in the vicinity.

If you have received notification that the cap has been exceeded, please work with your ISP to manage consumption.

by JesseHillFan on 9/27/2011 @ 1:38am
Anyone who uses only 3.5 Gigabytes per month bandwidth is likely on dial up modem Internet access.It's laughably only slightly over 100 mb per day only enough for critical updates,antivirus,antispyware definitions and some email on a couple of computers.That's even less than half of the allowed bandwidth of smartphones.

by KevinFreitas on 9/27/2011 @ 8:39am
Thanks for chiming in here Click! My questions, however, has nothing to do with the cap but normal use of Netflix and other streaming video services having a lengthy initial buffer of 2-5 minutes where, when this thread started, it was well under a minute. The Advanced Stream folks confirmed they've been getting similar complaints (30+ as of last week) and would like to know if you folks can research this issue? My 'net speed and ping check out great and using my exact setup (Netflix via Xbox 360) over a Comcast connection temporarily yielded buffer times of under a minute.

Thanks so much!



by thriceallamerican on 9/27/2011 @ 8:49am
Wait...cloud backup services are considered "excessive use"? I don't think we can honestly look at the direction of technology without acknowledging that cloud services are going to become more and more common.

by jenyum on 9/27/2011 @ 9:49am
Yes, that and HD streaming, which will easily put you over 3 GB a day. Hey, now that I know about the rule I will be more careful, but it does put a damper on my use of services that I am paying for.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 9/27/2011 @ 10:54am
Click! seems to have gotten pretty long in the tooth while companies like Comcast and Time Warner seem to have kept up with the times. I was using a Roku in Idaho on Time Warner cable internet and I had no problems what so ever getting high quality steady streams. Here in Tacoma I spend more time looking at a red progress bar than I do watching my program. My speed tests show excellent speed. Is Click! being overwhelmed by the Netflix users and they don't have the ability to improve their infrastructure so they are somehow choking the Netflix users? I understand bandwidth caps, don't like them but I understand the reason they exist. This is not about over use by a subscriber, this is about keeping the subscriber from enjoying a service that it seems that Click! is unable to support.

by jenyum on 9/27/2011 @ 11:07am
Those stats Click rattles off are pretty old. I don't really blame them, because the ISP's are giving them out, too.

According to Cisco, the average user used 11.4 GB of traffic in 2009, this was still two years ago and before Netflix streaming and cloud services really went gangbusters.

www.dslreports.com/shownews/Cisco-Averag...

According to Cisco's latest forecasts, there will be 6 million households utilizing more than a terabyte (1024 GB) of bandwidth every month by 2015, and 20 million households using half a terabyte (512 GB).

www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral...

I don't see myself using 1024 GB a month any time soon, but then again people love to trot out those old Bill Gates quotes about how no one will ever really need more than 64K. Things change quickly.

...and I realize the bandwidth cap issue and the buffering speed issue are separate, but maybe they are related if Click!'s infrastructure is based on old assumptions and isn't adapting to demand for streaming video services.

by jenyum on 9/27/2011 @ 11:38am
...and even that 11.4 GB average was updated to 14.9 GB in 2010: (an increase of 31% in one year) www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral...

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 9/27/2011 @ 12:53pm
Looks like Click! has dropped the ball on keeping their network up to date. America's most wired city, my butt!!

by kevin22262 on 9/27/2011 @ 1:09pm
Just so all of you know... the cap is not something specific to Click!, all broadband providers have caps. Yes... even comcast. Some of the remarks above that insinuate that Click! is not up with the times and technology and these statements would not be true. Best thing to do once again, is to call and talk to somebody at Click! about why they do and don't do certain things. Their marketing manager is easy to talk to and very informative.

Now here is a story I found from this year about a comcast customer in Seattle (they have no "cable" competition) being cut off... with no warning.. for a year because of high usage.
www.komonews.com/news/tech/125614378.htm...

"... "I was doing what these services are all about, and I got cut off. I exceeded Comcast's 250-gigabyte limit," said Vrignaud.

It wasn't the first time. Months earlier, Comcast turned off his Internet because he had exceeded 250-gigabyte transfer limit policy that Comcast has had in place since 2008. The limit is part of the terms of service every residential Internet customer agrees to in order to get Comcast Internet. ..."

Here is a link to comcast's "Frequently Asked Questions about Excessive Use" page.
customer.comcast.com/Pages/FAQViewer.asp...

This is not to say that they all need to update these restrictions... but it is ALL of them that need to do this.

I see a pricing structure coming in the near future that is based not just on speed, but on bandwidth usage. ... say hello to the old AOL where you paid on minutes used. (I remember getting a $75 plus bill from AOL back in the mid 90's) ... but... I don't like it.

To Kevin: ... If this buffer time problem is related to the bandwidth cap/slowdown and you had a better experience when you hit a comcast connection, could it be that persons comcast connection was well below the bandwidth limit?

By the way... I do not work for Click! (... wish I did, but i don't) or any part of the city of Tacoma or any company that works with the city.

by kevin22262 on 9/27/2011 @ 1:11pm
crenshaw... time to eat a little crow.. if you read my last post. .... crenshaw being informed, my butt!!

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 9/27/2011 @ 1:29pm
I'm not worried about excessive usage on my part, I have a program that monitors my bandwith and I'm always way under the cap. I just want to be able to stream my netflix and spend more time watching the movie than watching the progress bar on my Roku. My Roku worked perfectly well in Coeur d'Alane on Road Runner. I don't see why I am unable to watch a movie from end to end without buffering like I could in Coeur d'Alene.

by kevin22262 on 9/27/2011 @ 2:10pm
crenshaw.. one thing about cable broadband is that the more people around you that use in, in your neighborhood, the slower it can possibly be.

DSL has a direct connection back to the central office, cable shares the same copper or fiber within certain areas. You do not have a direct connection back to a central point, you only have a direct connection to the pole, where your signal is then combined with others.

So... in coeur d'alene... how many people in the city? How many people on the cable broadband? How long ago was it? How many of those people are using some of the "new" so called "cloud services"? Compare those answers to where you live now and the tech era/year you are now in.

by jenyum on 9/27/2011 @ 3:01pm
My point is, if a provider is basing its infrastructure on usage which is far below what is actually being consumed, this could lead to some of the problems people are describing.

Streaming video has hit a huge spike this year and is only going to go up, with "prime time" hours being between 9pm and 1am. The network needs to be able to handle this demand as well as keep up with increasing demands for greater bandwidth. (And sure we'd pay more for more bandwidth, but that's not currently an option.)


by Nick on 9/27/2011 @ 3:13pm
"So... in coeur d'alene... how many people in the city? How many people on the cable broadband? How long ago was it? How many of those people are using some of the "new" so called "cloud services"? Compare those answers to where you live now and the tech era/year you are now in."

This makes the assumption that the communication infrastructure is equal. For an analogy, how many lanes are there on I-90 into Coeur D'Alene versus I-5 into Tacoma? I'd wager communication infrastructure follows a similar strategy.

If Click is operating a 2-lane highway in a city that needs a 5-lane one, we can argue the technical limitations for needing metering lights and having congestion until we're blue in the face, but the fact will remain that the infrastructure hasn't kept pace with the growth in demand. That issue is then compounded by the fact that a parallel 5-lane freeway, operated by Comcast, is the same price and just 500 feet away.

On the flip side, I'd happily pass a ballot measure that allocated funds to allow TPU/Click to bolster its data infrastructure (if operating revenues just can't cut it). I really want Click to continue to succeed, but I can't help but think the current problems are signs that it needs a shot in the arm to keep up with the private alternatives.

by KevinFreitas on 9/27/2011 @ 3:20pm
@Kevin22262: I've never run up against the cap nor have ever been notified as such. I wasn't even in town half the month nor did the situation (if it were related to caps) relieve itself upon my return with 0 mb used.

If my connection's speed and latency test check out then the problem, by reasonable deduction, is at the ISP/Click! level and only on a certain type of bandwidth.

The Advanced Stream guy I spoke with was really helpful and I will be asking for an update from them in a week or so. Consequently, I'm moving to an apt downtown and will report once my Click! connection is up there this Thurs.



by Nick on 9/27/2011 @ 3:32pm
... as a side note, we're currently in the process of switching from Click to Comcast at the office for the very reason that, even though we are willing to pay (and prefer to support our local municipal option), Click ISPs do not offer any business plans with more than a 300 GB/mo cap.

With ~20 here in the office, that limit is just not realistic. Especially when the consequence of hitting it is cutting it off completely, rather than some sort of structured surcharge added to our bill. That's a huge risk when our ability to earn our paychecks requires having a functional internet connection.

by Nick on 9/27/2011 @ 3:34pm
Constructive Idea: Scrap the "circuit breaker" idea (shutting off internet access once the cap is hit) in favor of a "charge-per-bit" model where you pay an additional amount per MB over your monthly cap. Then, *use* that extra revenue to lay more fiber and upgrade the capacity of existing lines.

FIXED! :-D

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 9/27/2011 @ 4:15pm
I am well aware of the communal nature of cable internets, the more in your neighborhood using the internet the worse things become for you. It would seem that here downtown on St. Helens that there are lots of people using Click! and degrading my service when I'm wanting to watch some netflix. Never had the problem with Speakeasy DSL. Best terms of service in the business, no caps, the bandwidth is yours so long as you don't break any laws. Costs twice as much as Click! but one of my employers is now providing me with Click! instead of Speakeasy. Want internet that you can actually use go with Speakeasy. Their service sucks since they were bought out by BestBuy but the connection was rock solid in my neck of the woods.

by low bar on 9/27/2011 @ 4:23pm
www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/24/fastes...

USA didn't even make the list. If our country didn't have the best entertainment industry in the universe, because yes I do believe we're alone, then I'd move the fuck to Sweden.

by Click! on 9/27/2011 @ 4:37pm
Our policy is designed to guarantee a positive experience for everyone. Every user is different so we would prefer to address individual customer concerns. Feel free to call our customer care department at 253-502-8900 and ask for Carrie H. or Debra E.

by jenyum on 9/27/2011 @ 4:43pm
Nick: what are the bandwidth cap options for Comcast business class? I've been looking but they don't make the info easy to find.

I think I can keep us to around 300gb a month but it would be nice to not have to worry about it, if it's about the same price.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 9/27/2011 @ 6:55pm
Comcast Business has the same cap as Comcast regular. They just warn you if there will be a planned outage is about the only real difference.

by kevin22262 on 9/27/2011 @ 7:16pm
To Click! Thank you once again for responding here.

To others... did you check out the link I posted in my reply above?

by kevin22262 on 9/27/2011 @ 7:44pm
I am curious.
On Click! ... what ISP are you all using? I am using Advanced Stream. Trying to see if there is a pattern here.

by JesseHillFan on 9/28/2011 @ 8:51am
One could of course steal your neighbors bandwidth if they have an open wireless router with no encryption on it.I don't actually recommend it though but I'm surprised about the number of unprotected wireless routers.I even told one of my neighbors that I like that his router was open and unprotected but he and his wife have done nothing about it so far.

by low bar on 9/28/2011 @ 9:14am
All fine and dandy Click! but please explain why bumfucked Latvia is faster then you. And don't tell me it's some bullshit like there being less porn viewers per capita on the net or something. Thanks:) (BTW COMAST IS GETTING MY BUSINESS)

by KevinFreitas on 9/28/2011 @ 9:35am
@kevin22262 I'm Advanced Stream


by kevin22262 on 9/28/2011 @ 11:06am
low bar ... hm. Way to add to the conversation.

by kevin22262 on 9/28/2011 @ 11:08am
To the others... as I stated above... What ISP are you all using on Click! ? I am using Advanced Stream (there is also NetVenture and Rainier Connect). Trying to see if there is a pattern here.

by Nick on 9/28/2011 @ 12:05pm
NetVenture

by low bar on 9/28/2011 @ 12:15pm
I'm too gritty for this thread as annoyance22262 pointed out. Have fun arguing over how fast we can watch two humans pump each other over the inter webs. why can't people just pick a name like nick without a bunch of fucking numbers behind it so when you address some one it's easy and you don't have to add fucking 22262 to everything? thank you:)

by NineInchNachos on 9/28/2011 @ 12:21pm
isn't Click! network just Sprint dressed up in a cheap city of Tacoma clear channel billboard or bus wrap?

also, is there a way to mute specific threads for the email notification?

by low bar on 9/28/2011 @ 12:33pm
i know, the notifications are like richard pryor's crack pipe talking to me. hi, i'm low bar and i'm a notificationholic.

by kevin22262 on 9/28/2011 @ 1:53pm
Hey low bar... oh forget it...

RR ... no Click! is not using the sprint network.

by NineInchNachos on 9/28/2011 @ 2:10pm
I remember doing some trace routes and sprint was all over there

by KevinFreitas on 9/28/2011 @ 2:50pm
@RR - Notifications are all or nothing right now but a more fine-grained opt-out is in the plans. Now to get me another sabbatical... ;)


by jenyum on 9/28/2011 @ 3:01pm
Kevin: is there a way that I can change my email so that I can get these "notifications" of which you speak?

by kevin22262 on 9/28/2011 @ 3:48pm
RR ... sprintlink.net ... I believe.. is one of the major backbones. This is how Click! connects to the internet backbone. Click! is a local portion of the internet "backbone".

This is not the same as sitting on top of or reselling another service such as "Credo" cell phone service which is basically reselling Sprint.

One thing I would like to see, is for Click! to market themselves better, especially towards businesses. How many of you knew that Click! offers a wide range of business and enterprise level connections? They do not directly sell these connections, they are sold through other "ISPs" as is done with the residential connections. (different ISPs except one)

Here is the Business link: www.clickcabletv.com/Business.aspx

Check the "Last Mile Transport" and "Authorized Service Providers".

by KevinFreitas on 9/28/2011 @ 4:04pm
@jenyum: Sure, they're pretty! :) Email me with the address you'd like to use and I'll change you up: kfreitas@feedtacoma.com


by NineInchNachos on 9/28/2011 @ 4:07pm
wish I could have internet directly with click. I hate the ISP middle men... Harbor Net used to be run by people in clown suits

by kevin22262 on 9/28/2011 @ 5:33pm
RR .. all residential internet connections go through an ISP. Even with comcast and centurylink you are not connected "directly", you go through an ISP, even if it is under the same company name.

I have no problem having choices in ISPs

I was checking the Rainier Connect website and noticed that they now have the lowest cost for the different levels of Click! service. It used to be Advanced Stream that had the lowest cost service.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 9/28/2011 @ 6:02pm
Click! is doing a terrible job of keeping up with the current usage patterns of their users. I'm with the person that says we should have a ballot measure and get some money to vastly improve our network infrastructure for the citizens and businesses of Tacoma, We deserve to have the same internets as they have in South Korea. I'll say it again, Most Wired City, my butt.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 9/28/2011 @ 6:03pm
Oh, I have RainierConnect if it matters.

by kevin22262 on 9/28/2011 @ 6:44pm
crenshaw ... "Click! is doing a terrible job of keeping up with the current usage patterns of their users." Did you read any of the links I posted above? This is NOT just a Click! problem, this is an industry problem ... yes... even with comcast.

Also... yes.. much of the world, except china, has faster and cheaper broadband than we do in the USA, but again, this is not just a Click! problem. This is more of a corporate greed problem with a lack of or very little federal government regulations or enforced regulations (thank you repubs and blue dog dems)

Now.. about Rainier.. how do you like them?

by wildcelticrose on 9/29/2011 @ 8:56am
I've been noticing slowdown on Click (Rainier Connect) when UPloading photos/video.

I don't do a lot of streaming or heavy downloading (and funny, my download speeds are fine) but I do need to upload my photography.

I'm about ready to start looking around

by wildcelticrose on 9/29/2011 @ 9:05am
I had experienced failure on Flickr uploads and didn't think that much of it.

Then I went to upload a short video from my Andriod. Video uploads go over wifi.

It failed 4 times at home when I gave up.

later that evening at a friend's house I tried and it uploaded the first try in about 3 minutes.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 9/29/2011 @ 9:46am
I like RainierConnect just fine. My comcast friends, however, never have trouble streaming their netflix. Some even watch on two different TVs in their homes with two different programs running and they never have a problem. I think this is a Click! issue. They are really screwing their loyal customers who want to support a local option. Face it Click! needs to make some major upgrades or their customers will start jumping ship. Netflix is a major part of many people's lives. People will subscribe to services that work for their particular needs. Tacoma Utilities needs to use this opportunity to create a world class service, not one that may have been world class in 1998.

by kevin22262 on 9/29/2011 @ 2:39pm
crenshaw .. you are assuming so much. Have you ever personally talked with anyone at Click! about this?

Seems I see a lot of complaining but very few seem to have actually talked to Click!, emailed Click!, etc.


by Rainier Connect on 9/29/2011 @ 6:12pm
Hello,

Thanks to Kevin for notifying Rainier Connect of this discussion. Of course, Ill be very concise and careful about what I mention here (dont want to step on any toes). There is allot of information here, allow me to sum up the issues Ive seen listed so far.

1.) Complaints over the 250 / 300 Gig bandwidth cap.
2.) Issues streaming video (namely Netflix) on ISPs using the Click! network

As for item #1, I wont go into much detail; however, it seems apparent that there are some valid concerns over the bandwidth cap. It appears some of you have run into that limit and suffered a reduction to 56kbps as a result.

For those that have gone over the limit, I implore you to carefully monitor your bandwidth consumption in order to avoid going over the cap again. For techies try installing firmware on your router that allows bandwidth monitoring (DD-WRT, Tomato, etc). For those less tech savvy, there are software tools (shawplus, wireshark, etc) that can be used on a machine by machine basis.

I cant speak to altering the bandwidth cap in any way; however, we are aware of your concerns and will be forwarding those along.


Item #2, I think I can be a bit more verbose with this one and would love to work with any of you further on this (regardless of what ISP you are with). As some of you may know, Netflix streaming is not exactly simplistic. The streaming servers sending you data vary depending on network congestion and content being streamed.

The symptoms seem to be across the board for all of you, long buffering periods and interruptions in the stream.

We need data to see where the breakdown is occurring. Presuming youve checked the basics (bypassed routers / switches, turned off software that would impact your connection (P2P file sharing, etc)) then I would like to see the below information

1.) Trace rts or trace routes to the Netflix streaming servers during both when experiencing the issue and when not.
Go to the command prompt on your PC while streaming, type netstat -f. You will either see something that is clearly Netflix or you will see one of their content providers. Unfortunately depending on what you watch, you may get a different content provider.

EXAMPLE: I watched Star Trek:TOS, Battle 360, & Drop Zone. All were part of the content provider Lime Light (cds374.sea.llnw.net = drop zone cds358.sea.llnw.net = Star Trek, etc)

2.) Speedtests to Click!s speed test server cnspeed.click-network.com/speedtest

3.) What is your location in Tacoma (feel free to call me with this info if you would like: 253-683-4234)? I want this information to determine whether or not certain cable nodes are more problematic than others.

4.) What were you watching when you had the troubles (as noted above, different shows or movies may equate to different content providers).

5.) What time of day or night did you encounter this issue?


As I mentioned on step 3, feel free to call me with this information (especially the address info) at 253-683-4234. Im happy to speak to anyone on the Click! network about this issue. Please do leave me a message if you dont reach me.

Lastly, on an entirely dorky/personal note to Nick, Scott Murphy is a bona fide genius. :D

-Chris B.
Network Operations | Rainier Connect

by KevinFreitas on 9/29/2011 @ 9:03pm
Thanks so much for chiming in Chris! Really helpful info. Do you have a suggestion on how I might get these stats/data if I primarily stream Netflix via my Xbox360? Thanks again!

by jenyum on 9/29/2011 @ 9:24pm
Same question, but how would I go about it if I'm using Blu-Ray?

Thanks for the detailed reply, very helpful.

by Rainier Connect on 9/30/2011 @ 9:10am
Unfortunately both aforementioned devices do not allow you to install third party software without some serious hacking :(

If you have a computer that could conduct the test, that would be helpful. It would also be a good idea to try to experience the issue with that computer rather than attempting to do as I outlined above when you run into troubles on your XBOX or Blueray player.

by wildcelticrose on 10/1/2011 @ 2:59pm
So just now, I try to upload a 15 second video off of my phone over my wifi.

Of course, it won't work.

So I take it a again with my camera.

How long does Rainier Connect/Tacoma Click say it will take to upload this thing to Facebook or YouTube.

1:43; yes folks ONE HOUR FORTY THREE MINUTES for a low res 15 second video.

I am not amused.

by Rainier Connect on 10/1/2011 @ 3:29pm
Although this issue differs from the rest, I'm happy to help. I can't say that I've had any customers report a like issue so it sounds like your trouble is local to you. It could be line troubles or even equipment troubles on your side of the coin.

I do know that Facebook as well as Youtube will not really tell you when you've reached their file size limit, the upload will seemingly take forever until you give up :( -Chris B

by wildcelticrose on 10/2/2011 @ 5:36pm
I called tech support today; and after reporting my speed test results I'm where I'm supposed to be for the plan I'm on.

This leads me to believe that I may have been getting a slightly faster speed, Click found out and shut that down.

I'll have to call around tomorrow to see if I want to upgrade plans or go with someone else...

by wildcelticrose on 10/2/2011 @ 7:07pm
Chris,

These have been super short/low bandwidth videos, one was 15 seconds shot on my phone 143mb and the one today 445mb.

The tech I spoke to at Ranier Connect was very helpful.

I just need to decide if I want to upgrade plans or look elsewhere.

This just started recently, so my theory is I had faster speed, Click found that and slowed me back down.

by KevinFreitas on 10/2/2011 @ 8:03pm
Speed test I just ran via Click!'s tool:

Download Speed: 13498 kbps (1687.3 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 759 kbps (94.9 KB/sec transfer rate)
Sun 02 Oct 2011 07:55:28 PM PDT

Yet I can't stream a 60 Minutes video (nothing fancy, no HD) without it pausing 3 times right as it starts let the buffer get slightly ahead until it chokes again.

Not sure what I can use to test/diagnose in Ubuntu but with the speed above I should have no trouble streaming much of anything.



by wildcelticrose on 10/2/2011 @ 8:06pm
did you do this on speedtest.net?

I've got the basic basic package, but I've had it for SEVEN years and never had a problem until a few weeks ago.

This is why I'm undecided as to if I'm going to upgrade my Click/Rainer Connect package or look elsewhere for service.

Why would it suddenly choke after all this time (in two different locations)

by KevinFreitas on 10/2/2011 @ 8:19pm
I've done a few different speed tests. The one above was via Click's tool.

I'm not sure what you should do @wildcelticrose. I've had Click!/Advanced Stream for a couple years and had no Netflix streaming issues what so ever 'til August. If you're thinking of switching I wouldn't blame you considering my flawless Comcast experience while out at the coast (using wireless across a street, believe it or not).



by wildcelticrose on 10/2/2011 @ 8:21pm
I've heard nothing but horror stories about Comcast.

I might consider Clear...

by jenyum on 10/2/2011 @ 9:15pm
A friend has Clear and she has nothing but trouble with it, especially Netflix.

by wildcelticrose on 10/2/2011 @ 9:21pm
just checked the price and am no longer interested.

There is just something that rubs me wrong about paying Rainer Connect/Click MORE money for throttling my bandwidth.

by JesseHillFan on 10/2/2011 @ 9:41pm
I haven't had any problems with Clear.I've used it at several locations.However check their coverage map first to see if you're close to one of their WiMAX towers first.You might want someone (a friend or neighbor) with Clear to test it out at your location to see how well it works (say at your home).Myself I like having something demonstrated first before I buy something or sign up with a service.I also like spending extra time checking out a product before I buy like say a particular laptop (seeing if their are some oddities or quirks about it,reliability,performance,specs etc.).
Here is the coverage below.Check to see if the towers are close to you.
www.clear.com/coverage

The main advantage is that you can use it for mobility purposes (getting a USB dongle for a laptop or netbook) around the city.You don't have to be tied to a specific location.You can use the USB dongle on a desktop too.
Sometimes though coverage can be iffy depending on location.
Most of the times it's good.The closer you are to a WiMAX tower the better.Also less obstructions the better signal too.
Myself I have 2 ISP's one Clear WiMAX (mobile) and the other 3MB DSL (static location) with Century Link so I can utilize extra bandwidth and have a higher cap with both.It seems silly then again I use a lot of bandwidth.
Here is Wikipedia's article on WiMAX
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WiMAX

by Marty C on 10/2/2011 @ 10:55pm
I never have a problem with movies. Then again I watch them on DVD & Blu-Ray from a locally owned video store. :)

by JesseHillFan on 10/2/2011 @ 11:33pm
Here is an interesting article and be sure to read the post responses too.
www.komonews.com/news/tech/130910178.htm...

Here is something else that's somewhat interesting and somewhat pertinent to this discussion.
www.komonews.com/news/tech/130883058.htm...

by wildcelticrose on 10/3/2011 @ 10:45am
I finally figured out what part of the problem is.

In the case of the most recent video, I had not converted it to WMV so it was a HUGE file. (DOH)

That still doesn't address the issue with my Flickr' uploads slowing and failing over the last few weeks.

I am going to go up one plan with Rainier Connect and see how that goes.

by kevin22262 on 10/3/2011 @ 5:54pm
@wild ... is it a flickr issue? Glad you figured out the video issue, often it seems to be a simple fix and a "DOH" moment. :)

Also... so you were getting the mid-level package at the low level charge for how long? You were lucky.

by wildcelticrose on 10/3/2011 @ 5:57pm
No, it wouldn't upload a short phone video (videos go over wifi)

I called today and got the mid level package for $10 a month more.

I came home and shot a short video of "Cheeky" (my new cockatiel) and it uploaded just fine :)


by NineInchNachos on 10/4/2011 @ 6:08pm
God damn it Rainier Connect! I've had nothing but headache from your horrible email billing notices. I NEVER GET THEM and end up getting a disconnect notice in the mail. Would love to get notices in the regular mail, but you fucking charge extra for that. AAAAARRGH! I HATE YOU! HATE HATE HATE!

by NineInchNachos on 10/4/2011 @ 6:13pm
OKAY RAINIER CONNECT, MOTHER FUCKERS SET MY EMAIL NOTICES TO OFF BY DEFAULT...!!! just now activated. sons of bitches!!!

by low bar on 10/4/2011 @ 6:27pm
I hear Latvia has really nice broadband this time of year.

by Rainier Connect on 10/5/2011 @ 10:10am
Hi all, Mondays and Tuesdays are my day off, sorry for the delayed response.

@wildcelticrose � Click! / Rainier Connect will throttle your bandwidth if one of three events occur.
1.) Exceed the 250 Gig bandwidth cap
2.) Violate the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) in another manor
3.) Forget to pay your bill

The speed will either be completely turned down to zero or will be reduced to 56kbps. If you believe this to be the case give us a call and we will make it right; however, if you violate the AUP we will notify you (unless we have no valid way to contact you).
Also, I�m confident your service was not programmed at a higher rate unless someone here at Rainier Connect made a mistake (in which case there would be a log). Call me if you would like me to check on your connection speed for the past year. :)

In relation to Clear, ensure you are going to have bandwidth to support on-line streaming. I�m fairly certain there is a bandwidth cap there and it may be more stringent than other options.

I don�t blame you for your frustration; again I�m available for troubleshooting over the phone. I�d like to look at your cable modem and lines leading up to it (remotely) to see if there are other issues causing your troubles.

The file size you were uploading should be fine for YouTube (In December 2010, YouTube announced that holders of standard accounts would be allowed to upload videos of unlimited length, provided that they have a good history of following the site's Community Guidelines and policy on copyright.)

Facebook�s criteria are a little more vague. Certain aspect ratios will be rejected. (www.facebook.com/help?page=833)

Not sure on Flikr though.

Again, don�t hesitate to call me especially if you find that streaming Netflix is an issue, I�m very interested in eliminating that problem.


@KevinFreitas � if you have Linux / Ubuntu you can run a �traceroute� via the �terminal� window found in various places depending on what version of Ubuntu you are running help.ubuntu.com/community/UsingTheTermin...

Follow the steps I listed in a previous post for tracing the route to the Netflix streaming server. Additionally, if you would like, I would be happy to take readings of your cable modem / lines leading up to it to ensure its functioning properly. Or you could ask your ISP to do the same. Would be good to know the signal levels leading up to you (�phy� statement).


@NineInchNachos - If you've not all ready contacted customer care to get the e-notification process working as it should, jump on that 253-683-4100. My guess is the e-mail you provided us is no longer valid so notifications are not heading your way as they should be.

by KevinFreitas on 10/5/2011 @ 11:13am
Thanks! I can definitely give that a shot. Should I run the traceroute on the servers you mentioned or is there a good way I can monitor traffic going in/out of my router to see what server(s) I should pay attention to?

by Rainier Connect on 10/5/2011 @ 3:33pm
@KevinFreitas - From the console window type: netstat -ta

That should give you a list of active connections on your computer. As I noted in my previous post, you will want to sift through that for the Netflix streaming server while streaming a movie.

Also as I noted before, depending on what you are watching, the content provider (whom Netflix uses to stream data to you) will differ (IE, Starz vs an old TV show).

For my tests (listed back a few posts), I was primarly seeing limelight as the content provider

EXAMPLE: I watched Star Trek:TOS, Battle 360, & Drop Zone. All were part of the content provider Lime Light (cds374.sea.llnw.net = drop zone cds358.sea.llnw.net = Star Trek, etc)

After determining who the content provider is you will want to run a trace route from that same console window to the netflix content provider. You should get a bunch of information similar to the following link / image: dvas0004.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/pat...

If you see time values (ms or miliseconds) exceeding 100ms, that may be indicative of a problem at that point in the path to the streaming server. In any case, post your results up here and we can see together if something is amiss. Remember to do this both when you are having troubles and when everything is fine.

by kevin22262 on 10/6/2011 @ 2:26pm
I just want to say BRAVO to Rainier Connect for responding in such detail.

by Advanced Stream on 10/11/2011 @ 10:12am
Hello everyone from Feed Tacoma.

We have been working on this issue very hard, even though we haven't been talking openly to you guys.

Today we did get confirmation of at least one issue with the Limelight networks. They have confirmed that there is packet loss over their connection to Sprint (which is what Click uses). Their Network Operations team is currently working with Sprint to identify and resolve the issue.

We'll let you know when we know more.

by KevinFreitas on 10/11/2011 @ 10:51am
Huge thanks for chiming in Advanced Stream! It's exciting to hear there's an actual issue here that's been confirmed. Keep us posted and thanks again!


by Advanced Stream on 10/12/2011 @ 9:18am
We just got confirmation from Limelight that they have tracked down the issue and have resolved it.

In our testing here, we have definitely seen a remarkable improvement in streaming from sources that previously had issues.

Please let us know if you're experiencing any more problems.

by KevinFreitas on 10/12/2011 @ 4:08pm
Ooo, I'll give it a run through at home tonight! Thanks ever so much again!


by Nick on 10/12/2011 @ 4:09pm
W00t! Can't wait to give things a try when I get home!

by KevinFreitas on 10/12/2011 @ 6:10pm
Already, just testing out what I've been watching for a while now (Voyager) buffering was way quicker. I'll test a few more but this is looking great! Yeah, wow, skipping around in an HD documentary takes mere seconds to buffer. Sweeeeet!!

I wonder how many people around this area that use the same Limelight/Sprint pipe have been effected by this fix?

About

I'm just a computer geek that has fallen in love with Tacoma.

So, what's almost as fun as sitting in front of a computer all day? Talking about the growth and development of a new Tacoma, duh!

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