August 1, 2021
US carriers throttle video streams

Study Reveals US Carriers Aggressively Throttle Customers’ Video Streams

A recent study reveals and confirms what many customers suspect — US wireless carriers throttle customers’ video streaming…

US wireless carriers zealously throttle subscribers’ video streams, according to a new study.

AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon say they reserve the right to slow down traffic to better manage network congestion. This practice is ostensibly implemented depending on customers’ plans. But, a joint team of researchers have discovered otherwise.

Study Finds US Carriers Aggressively Throttle Video Streams

Researchers from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Northeastern University found the networks do indeed throttle video traffic at all times of day, regardless of network activity.

The researchers spent a year of collecting data from 126,000 participants across 183 countries. The study included 1,045,413 data points, with 650,000 coming from Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile customers in the US.

One example is AT&T throttling Netflix and YouTube in 70 and 74 percent of the tests. However, the telecom never slowed down Amazon Prime. By comparison, T-Mobile throttled Prime Video in 51 percent of the tests. Although, it never slowed Skype or Vimeo.

An AT&T spokesperson wrote a statement:

“We don’t throttle, discriminate, or degrade network performance based on content. We offer customers choice, including speeds and features to manage their data. This app fails to account for a user’s choice of settings or plan that may affect speeds. We’ve previously been in contact with the app developers to discuss how they can improve their app’s performance.”

William Boleys

Will is an experienced freelance writer who covers a wide range of topics, including apps, social media, and search.

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