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Contributor
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎08-11-2003
Accepted Solution

Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

I've had my Comcast internet connection feeding my TV thru a Smart DVD player for well over a year. I have a Netflix and a Amazon account for streaming video. Last week I began experiencing trouble during the evening. I got messages indicating that the DVD player could not reach either the Amazon or the Netfix servers. Interestingly, both could still be reached from my laptop. The next morning both were working fine and worked all day until around 6:00 in the evening and they went out again.

 

I know Comcast has been trying to squeeze more money out of netflix for some time. Does anyone know if they are actively sabatoging streaming video?

 

Thanx

Roy

Bronze Problem Solver
Jim721
Posts: 2,894
Registered: ‎12-05-2010

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

No there not killing your stream. I stream amazon and hulu plus all the time no issues maybe you have some other problem going on with your player or router.

Regular Problem Solver
Posts: 563
Registered: ‎05-21-2009

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

They wouldn't dare unless they want to take on the FCC again.

 

In December 2010, FCC approved new net neutrality rules. It forbids cable and DSL Internet service providers from blocking or slowing online service. Blocking or interfering with Netflix would violate these rules.

Connection Expert
EG
Posts: 43,110
Registered: ‎12-24-2003

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

[ Edited ]

FWIW, last time it was specifically the P2P protocol. They were sending / forging artificial TCP RST (reset) packets.

Bronze Problem Solver
Jim721
Posts: 2,894
Registered: ‎12-05-2010

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

Yes but isnt P2P illegal now i could be wrong. 

Connection Expert
EG
Posts: 43,110
Registered: ‎12-24-2003

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

Not at all. They must allow it otherwise they would be violating "net neutrality".

Bronze Problem Solver
Jim721
Posts: 2,894
Registered: ‎12-05-2010

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

Ok I thought that P2P stuff was ended because of people sharing copyrighted stuff to each other such as music,movies and software. 

Connection Expert
EG
Posts: 43,110
Registered: ‎12-24-2003

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

I still bit torrent with my connection;

 

http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch001042.htm

Bronze Problem Solver
Jim721
Posts: 2,894
Registered: ‎12-05-2010

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

Thanks for the link i stand corrected. :smileywink:

Connection Expert
EG
Posts: 43,110
Registered: ‎12-24-2003

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

No worries Jim ! :smileycool:

Regular Problem Solver
Posts: 563
Registered: ‎05-21-2009

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

EG said:
FWIW, last time it was specifically the P2P protocol. They were sending / forging artificial TCP RST (reset) packets.

That was Comcast's excuse for their management activities but in doing so they opened up a can of worms. The FCC who strongly believes in "net neutrality" slapped Comcast down and said they can't play favorites with any internet activity. In other word Comcast and other ISPs have to remain neutral and treat all traffic equally. The result is that Comcast can't interfere with multimedia content providers like Netflix or the FCC will come down hard on Comcast again.

It looks like Comcast has found a way around the FCC and "net neutrality". They are trying to find their own partners to distribute multimedia content. The partners would distribute the content on a private network owned by Comcast which Comcast hopes will be out of the reach of the FCC. They could even make this network a lot faster than the regular internet giving the multimedia content users a noticeably better experience than companies like Netflix.

While Netflix make millions of dollars on multimedia content from Comcast's customers Comcast itself makes nothing. That is until now. I think the real reason for the new data caps is to get in on the action. Comcast is assuming that most of the customers that are consuming a lot of bandwidth are heavy multimedia content users. For example if a customer streams a lot of movies from Netflix Comcast will gain from the overage charges when the customers goes over the cap.
=======================================

Jim721 said:
Ok I thought that P2P stuff was ended because of people sharing copyrighted stuff to each other such as music,movies and software.

P2P always was and still is legal. What is illegal is using P2P to "share" copyrighted material. Comcast's mistake was trying to play internet cop and punish all P2P users even legal ones. The FCC said Comcast was not entitled to do that.

New Visitor
halSF
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-25-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

I would like to report that I am having exactly the same issue as reported by Roy31415. Until a few days ago, Netflix streaming to my Sony Blu-Ray player worked fine. Then, earlier this week, attempts to stream Netflix video resulted in network connection errors or other network blockages. I've done some troubleshooting and can report the following:

 

- the blockage only occurs during evening hours. I have not been able to verify the start time, but tonight, the blockage was lifted at precisely 11:30pm EDT.

 

- the blockage does not affect internet connectivity in any way other than Netflix streaming to my blu-ray player. I can still stream video from Netflix to my PC. I can stream video from other services to the blu-ray player (for example, Crackle works fine). (Unlike Roy31415, I do not subscribe to Amazon so I could not test it.). The blockage does not prevent me from accessing my Netflix queue, but when I try to watch any program or movie, the network errors occur, and nothing loads (I either get network errors after a timeout period, or the Blu-Ray player hangs and has to be unplugged and restarted).

 

- the blockage is NOT with Netflix, it HAS to be caused by Comcast's internet service. I actually have a backup network at my house (ClearWire). Tonight, when I could not stream video from Netflix via Comcast, I switched my wireless router to connect to the backup network, and the video started playing. When I switched it back to Comcast, the video was once again blocked. Clearly, this vindicates all components other than Comcast.. it's not my wireless router nor anything to do with the blu-ray player itself.

 

I've reported this issue to Netflix, suggesting that perhaps Comcast is deliberately blocking Netflix video streaming.. the agent I spoke to could not have cared less.

 

I have contacted Comcast support and they have verified that there's no block of any kind on my account, and they completely deny that they are blocking Netflix access - they have tried pinning the problem on Netflix themselves or on some unlikely component of my network infrastructure. I am attempting to escalate to a higher level of Comcast support but so far all I've gotten is nowhere fast . I've talked to two different spectacularly inept Comcast support reps who very clearly do not understand the problem yet they keep trying to diagnose it - for example, even after I explained that the problem went away when I switched the wireless router to the non-Comcast network, the agent I spoke to was convinced the problem is with my wireless router.. she believes that my wireless router somehow has decided to disallow access to Netflix's streaming video, but no other network services, only during evening hours and only when it is connected to Comcast's backbone, not when connected to a different ISP's network.. (Yeahhhh.. suuuuuuure.., that's a MUCH more plausible explanation than my theory that Comcast is indeed blocking access to Netflix's streaming servers... )

 

I don't think there could possibly be clearer proof of Comcast's culpability here than my little alternate-network experiment this evening. Now whether Comcast is doing it deliberately or if it's the result of some sort of restriction due to high traffic is not something I can answer (indeed, that's what I am hoping to find out by escalating the problem within Comcast support).

 

Are Roy and I the only ones experiencing this problem?

Regular Problem Solver
Posts: 563
Registered: ‎05-21-2009

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

If you really think that Comcast is interferring with Netflix then complaining is not going to help. File a formal complaint with the FCC. If they get enough complaints maybe they will do something about it.

Official Employee
ComcastNick
Posts: 1,296
Registered: ‎12-13-2011

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?


halSF wrote:

- the blockage does not affect internet connectivity in any way other than Netflix streaming to my blu-ray player. I can still stream video from Netflix to my PC. I can stream video from other services to the blu-ray player (for example, Crackle works fine). (Unlike Roy31415, I do not subscribe to Amazon so I could not test it.). The blockage does not prevent me from accessing my Netflix queue, but when I try to watch any program or movie, the network errors occur, and nothing loads (I either get network errors after a timeout period, or the Blu-Ray player hangs and has to be unplugged and restarted).


If the issue was on the Comcast end, then it would affect your bluray and computer equally.  It would not just affect a single device while allowing others to work normally.  

Have you tried updating the firmware on your bluray player?

Comcast Nick
APSC Supervisor
Visitor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎06-06-2007

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

It does sound like halSF is having a problem with his blu-ray player.

However, I have a blu-ray player, roku player, a gigabit network and all devices wired.

Having problems with Netflix over my Comcast connection in the evening when traffic is high.

Interesting thing, will a couple of interesting things are that while Comcast comes in at a whopping 1.2mb/s, Amazon is blowing it away at 20mb/s and having no buffering issues. Netflix SuperHD is supposed to see 5mb/s or better to show the best resolution and according to their own numbers not even Google Fiber provides that, so somewhere along the line bandwidth is being stepped on.

Why doesen't Comcast just take advantage of Netflix OpenConnect and stop giving their customers grief? This may help some, but of course conflicts with Comcast's own products.

Remember when Comcast was an ISP and TV company, now they want to cook dinner for you too, seems like it anyway.

 

New Visitor
halSF
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-25-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

How can you possibly assume the problem is with my Blu-Ray player when it works fine - videos stream properly - under the following circumstances..

 

- via Comcast, outside the hours when the blockage occurs,

 

- via my non-Comcast alternate network even during the hours when the blockage affects Comcast,

 

- and for services other than Netflix at any time (via Comcast)

 

In other words, Netflix streams properly to my blu-ray player approximately 20 hours a day with Comcast, and 24 hours a day with the non-Comcast network I've got available for testing. So you're suggesting that my blu-ray player has a glitch or firmware issue that prevents accessing Netflix ONLY during the evening and ONLY when connected to Comcast? Sorry, I ain't buyin' that one..

 

As for the fact that this blockage does not affect streaming video to my PC, it is not unreasonable to conclude that different servers or protocols are involved that are not affected by the blockage. (And it's reasonable to believe that Comcast does not perceive streaming video to a PC as a major threat to its main business - cable TV - whereas streaming video to a home entertainment device is a huge threat.)

 

I have yet to hear a single *plausible* explanation - one that fits ALL the evidence - other than a deliberate blockage or restriction on Comcast's part. And every time Comcast tries to blame this problem on something completely illogical and contrary to the evidence (which they have done about a half-dozen times now), I am that much more persuaded that they are hiding something.

 

I am going to see if I can get Comcast to do some actual technical troubleshooting this evening when/if the problem recurs, just in case there is a real and valid technical issue that's been overlooked. If I learn anything else from the exercise, I will post it here.. otherwise, I will take MisterEd51's suggestion and file a formal complaint with the FCC.

Official Employee
ComcastNick
Posts: 1,296
Registered: ‎12-13-2011

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

The internet service goes to your modem.

After it hits your modem and goes to your router, it is off our network and we don't have any control over it.  Your modem is your single point of contact with the Comcast internet service.

If a service is working on one device, your computer, and not working on another device, your bluray, then it is not going to be something with the service.  Which is why I asked about the firmware on your bluray, older firmware could cause the problem you described.

Comcast has thousands of customers who use our Internet service to stream via Nexflix, if we were attempting to block that service, you would see a lot more people talking about it.  We are not blocking Netflix.

Comcast Nick
APSC Supervisor
Bronze Problem Solver
Posts: 1,335
Registered: ‎11-16-2003

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

[ Edited ]

 

I;m not commenting on block or not block ...

But the majority of users, Comcast or otherwise, would not even know if they were having a problem or not, (sadly), let alone try to report it.  That the majority of users are not reporting, is not valid argument.  (shrug)

 

 

@the people experiencing:

edit:  thinking,  maybe "blocking" is not the correct word to use, as that hasnt been established.  Something as yet unknown is interfearing with streaming your netflicks 2-3 hours per day in the evenings only

 

.

New Visitor
halSF
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-25-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

Nick,

 

How could bad firmware on the blu-ray player possibly cause the symptoms I've described? That makes no sense in light of the evidence.

 

Let me see if I can explain this simply: During the evening hours, the blu-ray player will not load Netflix streaming video if and only if it is connected to Comcast. If I reconnect it to another network, it loads and plays Netflix streaming video during those hours. In other words, changing only the network backbone (from Comcast to another network) while keeping all other components the same (TV, blu-ray player, net cable, router, source of electricity, the air in the room, etc) eliminates the problem. 

 

The outage thus HAS to be related to Comcast in some way.

 

You can grasp at straws and attempt to blame the other components but then you'd have to explain why those components work fine during non-prime viewing hours and why they work fine when connected to a network other than Comcast. It doesn't make sense that the blu-ray player would behave this way ONLY during certain hours and ONLY when connected to Comcast. (And yes, its firmware is the latest revision.)

 

The simplest explanation here is that Comcast's network is in some way preventing my blu-ray player from reaching the Netflix streaming video servers during prime viewing hours. It might be deliberate or it might be the result of some technical issue, but Comcast is not helping me figure out which it is, because they are too busy grasping at straws and trying, without any logical foundation, to blame all other components except the one that all the evidence points to, which is the Comcast network.

 

 

Visitor
kikap
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-27-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

[ Edited ]

I'm having this problem too. I've got Extreme 105 plan and all speedtests show indeed about 90+M down and 10+ up. Netflix works too, but strictly in non-HD mode. When I force HD it starts pausing for buffering every 15-20mins for another 5 or so mins.

I'm in Northern California, Menlo Park.

 

Contributor
Uster202
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎08-26-2012

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

[ Edited ]

We have issues with Netflix. The sound part of the stream is VERY LOW. 

Have you checked your data usage in your account? Comcast at one point was planning on Bandwidth throttling on anything over 250GB per month usage (clearly a *DATA HOG* using that much. 

However, comcast pulled back from that saying they would not Bandwidth throttle (after outcry). 
they pulled back and said "We reserve the right", to bandwitdh throttle.

Of course there's disclaimers for everything. However, let's assume you have a "Nice" to "very Nice" SMart TV. (ie. Feature reach, HD,etc.). 

Watching *ONE* Netflix Movie can GOBBLE UP 4GB of data (streaming)--that's 2-hour movie. 
If you have 3D it's 7GB-8GB per movie (2 hours). 

Here is the required *SPEED* Nees (not much)
https://support.netflix.com/en/node/306

Internet Connection Speed Recommendations

 

Below are the internet speed requirements and recommendations for playing movies and TV shows on the Netflix website.

*Note: Internet speeds listed represent Download speeds.

  • 0.5 Megabits per second - Required broadband connection speed
  • 1.5 Megabits per second - Recommended broadband connection speed
  • 3.0 Megabits per second - Recommended for DVD quality
  • 5.0 Megabits per second - Recommended for HD quality
  • 7.0 Megabits per second - Recommended for Super HD quality
  • 12 Megabits per second - Recommended for 3D quality

    Netflix Streaming Quality Examples 
    https://support.netflix.com/en/node/87

    Here are 3 settings to choose from:

    • Good quality (uses up to 0.3 GB per hour)
    • Better quality (uses up to 0.7 GB per hour)
    • Best quality (uses up to 1 GB per hour, up to 2.8 GB per hour if watching HD, or up to 4.7 GB per hour if watching 3D)
    Also, you mentioned a Laptop, remember if you're using a WiFI in your house, that takes data too.

    I use my Smart Phone *VERY VERY MINIMAL* in my home, on my WiFi and just checked it. from Sept2-Oct1st used almost 3GB of data. 

    *PLUS* if you use any Cloud services (Dropbox, Crash Plan Plus), etc. that can quickly add up..VERY QUICK.when you also add in Google Drive,etc. 

    So, in a nutshell, I would check your Data usage (inside your personal Comcast account--can't recall off top of my head--but it's in "Account Settings"

    Again, Comcast *WAS* going to put *CAPS*, they pulled back and said "We reserve the right", to bandwitdh throttle. 

    Thus, if you're montly "touching" the ceiling, you could get stuck into some "Algorythm"
    And you could *EASILY* hit 200GB usage a month with the aformentioned devices. 

    Streaming ('eh say 20-ish movies a month)--just that, you're touching 100GB
    Laptop/Cell Phone Wi-Fi usage 20GB month
    Coud Services (10-20GB---this is due to the Syncing--example, I have on desktop and Smartphone, naturally they sync. I also have "Dropsync" to automate moving back/forth files in the could (that is the true "HOG" on my smart phone) 
    Then, add in a could back up (this only equates to the *FIRST BACKUP*. However, as we speak, we are backing up 2TB of data to Crash Plan Plus--*AFTER* that process is complete, it's simply then a "what's changed" scenario (that could be 10-GB month) 



    Thus to answer your question *YES* you *COULD BE* in a Penalty Box and *YES* it would make sense that at night time your penalty would hit (example--Georgia Power, if you agree to one service plan to reduce power *at night* (GA Power gets *HAMMERED* as people come home--summer-turn on the AC/Cook/etc.

    Same with Comcast...gets *HAMMERED* at night--people streaming movies,etc. 

    It's not a "conspiracy"--it's *JUST YET ANOTHER REASON*--Comcast is a Dinosaur of the 20th Century. America is *THE WORST* (literally--check it out on the Federal Government Sites"--FTC)
    IN the Industrialized world, America is the WORST provider of "FAST" Internet (places like North/South Korea *NORMAL* for them is 100GB (up/down--a-la-the Google Data Plan). 

    Comcast/AT&T because they were given Psyeudo Monopolies (or rather Oligopolies)--the "Franchise Model"--they've never had to worry about competition until now.

    It's no coincidence Comcast is falling overthemselves to rapidly push out services and you're constantly seeing posts "How can we help, how can we help" (when simply 1-year ago---well, you know.

    Thus conclusion, check your accout data usage
    If you're monthly over 200GB, you're *PROBABLY* getiting throttled---NOW, how that affects Netflix/et.al---depends on the quality of streaming you desire.

    I'm sure you've heard but Netflix is like 3%--*ALONE* of Data Traffice on the Intnet. To say they are a bandwitdth *HOG* is an understatment.

    But, it's not "Conspiracy", just outdated 20th centruy mindsets of "Pay to Play"
    (like the $10-"Blast" service--ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY *NOTHING* but a marketing gimic).  
Contributor
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎08-11-2003

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

Thanks this was one of the best answers so far. I did check my data usage. I found it under "My Services". There's a box on the right with your current usage and a link that lets you drill down.There is also a message there from Comcast that they are not currently enforcing the 250GB limit.

 

I don't think that is what was affecting my service. I was very surprised how low my usage actually was. I watch netflix or Amazon perhaps 5-7 hours a week and my usage hasn't exceeded 74 GB for the last 3 months.

 

I haven't had any problems since my first report, but I'm not a regular either. Based on the input of others here I'm inclined to think that the problem is related to the response time of the network. Perhaps, if the DVD player doesn't get a response from the server in a miminal period of time it displays the message that the service is not available. Thus during the busiest periods you're more likely to have a problem. It would explain why both Netflix and Amazon were affected.

 

I would further speculate that the laptops and tablets are either using a different protocol or are more tolerant of the timing delays, thus accounting for the fact that they still worked.

 

To be fair to Comcast I have found that their service has improved dramatically in the last year (AT&T began offering service here at that time), but the comments above that immediately pointed to the client's equipment as the obvious cause harken back to the Comcast of old.

 

Thanks for your help.

Roy

Bronze Problem Solver
Posts: 1,335
Registered: ‎11-16-2003

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

 

@ halSF

its likely both you and Comcast are basically interested in finding the cause of the issue you are describing, but just the title/subject of this thread creates a confrontational perception, and defensiveness on both sides, which is counter productive.

 

consider starting a new thread, that instead of being confrontational, is posted detailing just the diagnostic facts you can provide so far, w/o getting into premature conclusions.  Comcast is much more likely to help if the goal is finding and resolving the underlying cause, regardless of what side of the cable modem the cause turns out to be.  Knowing the cause would Help Comcast if others encounter the same issue, or even if there is some unintentional or unforeseen side effect with some system on their end  in some of the service areas.

 

maybe use a subject like this or similar,   "BluerayPlayer can't stream Netflix at 7pm every night" 

 

.

Official Employee
ComcastNick
Posts: 1,296
Registered: ‎12-13-2011

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?


halSF wrote:

Nick,

 

How could bad firmware on the blu-ray player possibly cause the symptoms I've described? That makes no sense in light of the evidence.

 


From your original explanation the service worked correctly on your computer at the same time.  Since both devices are connected to the same service, if one device is working and one is not, the first thing to check would be the device that is not working.  That is why I asked about the firmware of the Bluray player, older firmware has been a cause of similar problems with customers in the past.

 

Since the Bluray is working with the 2nd service, I would have different questions to track this issue down.  I am looking at your account now, and the signal levels are within spec.  I also don't see any signal fluctuation over that past 7 days at the modem.  I have also run a test on the node for the area, and there are no issues being reported there.

Can you run a speedtest during the evening hours when you are experiencing the problem and when the services are working to see if there is any difference?

 

dj280, You are correct that the tone of this thread is overly confrontational.  

I apologize for my part in that.  When I am asking questions about other devices, I am not attempting to place any blame, but to gather information to resolve the issue.  If I don't ask questions about the device I would be remiss in finding a potential easy solution.

 

As a final note, Comcast does not throttle service if you approach the data cap level.  

 

Comcast Nick
APSC Supervisor
Visitor
kikap
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-27-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

Nick, I'm experiencing "lack of HD" issues on all devices in the house, PS3, iPad, Mac and PC. I've tried all browsers on Mac and PC (FF, Chrome, IE, Safari).

New Visitor
shredhead7
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-31-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

I've been watching Orange is the New Black with my wife every night for the last week or so and the last two nights have been bad with our service as well.  We watch typically from 8-10:45EST and last night it finally booted us out all together.  We were able to finally get back in, but my thoughts are that there could just be a higher demand on the service as it's getting darker out earlier and more people are inside watching TV.  I don't know if it is intentional, I hope not, but there is certainly something different this week than in the past few weeks.

New Visitor
lightsp33d
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎11-03-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

I'd like to report the same thing: Netflix seems to be throttled over Comcast.

 

I've done the following test: speedtest.net from my computer (wired) WHILE watching Netflix via my PS3 (also wired). The result is that I seem to be getting FASTER Internet connection service than what I'm subscribing to, but the shows on Netflix all come as 480 SD, as opposed to the advertised SuperHD (1080 HD). And this is DURING prime time: 8 pm PDT.

 

A different test: switching to watch a movie on VUDU at that time (8 pm): no problems, fast and responsive and getting HDX (1080 HD), then going back to Netflix: no better than 480 SD for advertised shows as SuperHD.

 

Another test: testing the Internet connection status on the PS3: reports 25 Mbps download, more than 3 times what Netflix recommends in order to get SuperHD (1080 HD) on Netflix.

 

Another test: testing the Internet connection status on the PS3 via the VUDU app: all green, "VUDU recommends HDX", which is their 1080 HD.

 

Something else I've noticed is how unresponsive the Netflix app is now (compared to less than 1/2 the speed with Uverse): when clicking on a movie, it takes time for the menu to come up (and sometimes it never does), when stopping watching, it doesn't register where I left and just hangs for 10-20 seconds.

 

Note that I moved my equipment from Uverse to Xfinity within the last month, and with Uverse I was at less than 1/2 the speed I'm now with Xfinity, and when at Uverse had no problems with Netflix.

 

Also I talked today with Netflix about this and after some experimentation we both concluded that calling Comcast would be the next step.

 

Other than "contact FCC" or "contact Comcast" (neither of which I believe will change my immediate situation), any suggestions that may actually get my Netflix experience be the same as it used to be with less than 1/2 the speed I have now with Comcast with Uverse?

 

P.S. I also don't believe Comcast will admit to any wrongdoing, ever. (Even if found to be with concrete evidence--it's just what business is all about: never admit any wrongdoing, ever. But I digress...)

 

Regular Problem Solver
Posts: 563
Registered: ‎05-21-2009

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

In December 2010, FCC approved new net neutrality rules which would forbid cable and DSL Internet service providers from blocking or slowing online service.

Verizon has challenged these rules in court. There has not been a decision on this case yet.

If Verizon wins so does Comcast. Comcast will be emboldened to throttle internet traffice.

If Verizon loses so does Comcast. You would then expect to see Comcast in court again being acused of violating net neutrality again.

New Visitor
DaveM4964
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-31-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

I'm having major problems with Netflix. My option to stream anything in HD is gone. Every movie i attempt to watch is 2 dots and looks horrible. I've talked to Comcast and  Netflix. We've tried unplugging, disconnecting, resetting the modem, roku box, deactivating my Netflix account, we've tried speed tests. Nothing has worked. When i attempt to watch a Netflix movie in HD on my laptop it does the same thing. Someone please help!

 

Davey

New Visitor
lightsp33d
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎11-03-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

MI2 is a 1080 SuperHD title on Netflix. Watched it last night through my PS3, which is wired to my cable modem as I described above, for 40 minutes continuously until 10:30 pm PDT. The best speed I got was 480 SD.

 

I'm watching the same title right now, same setup, and am getting it at 1080 SuperHD. The time now is 11:44 am PDT.

 

Obviously Comcast is throttling Netflix traffic during prime time.

 

Regular Contributor
donutespresso
Posts: 28
Registered: ‎10-31-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

[ Edited ]

Netflix has offered an OpenConnect program for a long time now to ISPs. It's essentially a local copy of all Netfilx movies on Comcast's side, so that Netflix content can be provided to end customers without having to go to a third party source. It's free (!) for ISPs to participate, and makes the Netflix experience much smoother. 

Of course, participating in the OpenConnect means that Comcast will no longer get paid by third party sources to serve Netflix content, so I'm sure that's a big reason why Comcast isn't participating in the program. I wouldn't be surprised if there was some throttling going on. Netflix regularly ranks ISPs in terms of the Netflix experience, and Comcast is #8:

http://ispspeedindex.netflix.com/usa

To get a better Netflix experience we can only keep on filing requests and bugging Comcast to participate in the OpenConnect program: https://signup.netflix.com/openconnect



New Visitor
lightsp33d
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎11-03-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

Unfortunately this course of action is completely futile and non-constructive. Comcast will continue to deny any wrong doing, all the while the evidence shows that they've throttlling scripts that limit Netflix traffic during prime time.

 

A better course of action is to spread the word, let people try and test this for themselves and see that indeed Comcast is throttling their Netflix traffic during primetime, and have the people call and ask Comcast to remove their Netflix throttling scripts or the people will cancel their service and move onto a competitor.

 

Last night I watched a movie on VUDU and sure enough HDX (1080 HD, Dolby Digital 5.1). Immediately after the movie on VUDU, I switched to Netflix, at 10:30 pm, and watched a documentary which is advertised as SuperHD (1080 HD) and sure enough, 480 SD. However today, I can continue watching it during daytime and it comes in at SuperHD (1080 HD).

 

The fact of the matter is that people can test this themselves:

 

1) During prime time (8 pm your local time), start watching a SuperHD title on Netflix on your BD player/game console. Press the Display button so your Netflix app shows the status of the title; you'll see it showing in 480 SD.

 

2) At the same time, on your computer, test your connection speed using your favorite method: speedtest.net, or downloading a huge file from some high availability site, etc, and sure enough you'll see you have plenty of bandwith.

 

The fact: Comcast is throttling Netflix traffic during primetime.

 

They should not be doing it.

 

If you're paying for Internet service, you should get Internet service--not preferential Internet service, as it is not in the contract between you and Comcast.

 

Contributor
thor3
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎07-15-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

Issues with Netflix streaming video might likely be due to what's described in this article:

Why YouTube buffers: The secret deals that make-and break-online video

The gist appears to be that Comcast is likely indirectly throttling Netflix traffic essentially by not taking action to better enable the traffic to stream into their network. This is why the issues with streaming that many are experiencing, including myself, occur during hours of the day when bandwidth demand is higher: e.g. I can easily stream Netflix video in HD at 1080p during the daytime, but can barely stream at 480p at night. What's interesting about this situation is that at the same time you're having issues streaming video, a test can show that your downstream bandwidth from the Internet as a whole is not being affected at all (which also better enables Comcast to claim you're getting what you're paying for, and it's not their fault).

I also understand that, depending on the nature of Comcast's lack of action to better enable streaming video from Netflix, customers might be affected differently depending upon their location, i.e. they might see faster bitrates if they're closer to where the stream is originating (which is why Netflix are trying to get ISPs to cache video within their networks).

What I'm curious about is why all of a sudden it appears as if Comcast customers are more widely experiencing streaming issues when they previously had not. Personally, I just started experiencing streaming issues over the past few weeks whereas for months I've been able to stream at 1080p at nearly any time of the day (it was more sporadic at night, but at least it would hit 1080p). Could it be because Netflix are now allowing "Super HD" streaming to ISP networks outside of Netflix's CDN?

BTW, in case it's not widely known, if you want to more easily see the bitrate and resolution you're getting from Netflix, play the video called "Example Short 23.976" - it will display the streaming video bitrate and resolution moment to moment.

I imagine these kind of issues with "last mile" providers is why Google are laying fiber to user's homes; maybe we'll see Netflix do the same, or partner with the likes of Google to do so?

Regular Problem Solver
Posts: 563
Registered: ‎05-21-2009

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

Why is everyone picking on Comcast? The FCC has mandated that ISPs must maintain a neutral position and not help or hinder any content providers such as Netflix.

 

Some said that Netflix has offered OpenConnect for free. That is not good enough. If Netflix wants special treatment they are going to have to officially partner with Comcast. Oh I forgot partnering with Netflix and giving them special treatment would violate that pesky network neutality thing again. If people do not like that they need to complain to the FCC.

 

There is only one way around network neutality. That would be for Netflix to partner with Comcast and stream Netflix movies on a private network like Comcast does with Streampix. Of course Comcast would only go along with something like that if they got a portion of the revenue from the new improved Netflix.

Regular Contributor
donutespresso
Posts: 28
Registered: ‎10-31-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?


MisterEd51 wrote:

Why is everyone picking on Comcast? The FCC has mandated that ISPs must maintain a neutral position and not help or hinder any content providers such as Netflix.

 

Some said that Netflix has offered OpenConnect for free. That is not good enough. If Netflix wants special treatment they are going to have to officially partner with Comcast. Oh I forgot partnering with Netflix and giving them special treatment would violate that pesky network neutality thing again. If people do not like that they need to complain to the FCC.

 

There is only one way around network neutality. That would be for Netflix to partner with Comcast and stream Netflix movies on a private network like Comcast does with Streampix. Of course Comcast would only go along with something like that if they got a portion of the revenue from the new improved Netflix.


Except what Comcast doing is the exact opposite of being neutral...? Throttling (i.e., special treatment) Netflix traffic during peak hours is not being agnostic to the source. 

 

Also, you seem to be misunderstanding what OpenConnect is. You do realize that participating in OpenConnect just means Comcast gets local copies of Netflix content? Thus, as a member of the OpenConnect initiative, streaming it to their customers (which are on the Comcast network already) would be equivalent to how Comcast gets Streampix content to their customer today. It has nothing to do with traffic shaping, and therefore nothing to do with net neutrality. 

Regular Problem Solver
Posts: 563
Registered: ‎05-21-2009

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

donutespresso wrote:

Except what Comcast doing is the exact opposite of being neutral...? Throttling (i.e., special treatment) Netflix traffic during peak hours is not being agnostic to the source. 

 

Also, you seem to be misunderstanding what OpenConnect is. You do realize that participating in OpenConnect just means Comcast gets local copies of Netflix content? Thus, as a member of the OpenConnect initiative, streaming it to their customers (which are on the Comcast network already) would be equivalent to how Comcast gets Streampix content to their customer today. It has nothing to do with traffic shaping, and therefore nothing to do with net neutrality. 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Can you prove it is Comcast that is causing the slowdowns? Comcast has no control on what happens between Netflix and you. If there is a bottleneck it may have nothing to do with Comcast or anything they are doing.

 

You misunderstand what I was saying. Comcast uses its own private network for Streampix so that they can legally give it special treatment. The FCC and their net neutrality rules only apply to the public internet which Netflix is using. If Netflix wants better performance and get the same treatment as Streampix they are going to have to pay Comcast enough money to make it worthwhile for them.

Visitor
kikap
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-27-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

> Can you prove it is Comcast that is causing the slowdowns?

 

I can. I own a machine in the datacenter (with 100Mbit unrestricted pipe to the internet), so I've installed a proxy there and was able to watch HD from home through this proxy. Now please explain to me how this may have happened. It was: Home->Comcast->Internet backbone->Netflix (which resides in Amazon cloud), now it's Home->Comcast->Internet backbone->my machine in the DC->Internet backbone->Netflix and it is much faster.

 

> Comcast has no control on what happens between Netflix and you.

 

I'd rephrase this as "Comcast has all the control on what happens between Netflix and Comcast customer".

 

> If there is a bottleneck it may have nothing to do with Comcast or anything they are doing.

 

This is just not true.

 

Kirill

Contributor
MidgardDragon
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎10-20-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

Comcast will never admit to throttling streaming.  Comcast will ALWAYS be throttling streaming.  Just look at the new 300 GB caps that apply to internet but don't affect your cable TV connection.  Comcast is anti-competitive as heck.  Don't listen to the planted employees in this forum telling you otherwise.

Regular Problem Solver
Posts: 563
Registered: ‎05-21-2009

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

If Comcast is interfering with Netflix then that vilolates FCC's net neutrality. If this can be proved then the FCC would normally get involved and come down hard on them. Unfortunely the FCC is tied up in the courts on net neutrality and it will probably not get invlolved in this matter until that is resolved.

 

If you think that I am a planted employee then that is a laugh. I don't like Comcast any more than anyone else. I am just being a realist.

 

Complaining here or to Comcast will not do any good. Some better choices are:

* Since cable providers are franchised then if enough people complained then the city could threaten to pull the franchise if things did not change.

* People could get together and form a class action lawsuit against Comcast.

* Get the city where you live to vote to raise taxes to fund a new taxpayer funded gigabit ISP with no caps.

 

BTW, the city where I live once tried to put pressure on its cable provider by bringing in a second cable provider to compete against it. Unfortunately that backfired because the original cable provider folded and was bought out by Comcast. We now have a choice between Comcast and WOW.

Contributor
thor3
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎07-15-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

This is not an issue of a violation of net neutrality, as Comcast are not discriminating against Netflix. What they are doing is choosing to not make infrastructure changes that would ensure the fast delivery of increased data from Netflix, regardless of time of day or bandwidth demand. These changes could include upgrading peering connections between their network and the backbone providers that deliver Netflix data as well as caching Netflix data within their network. In order to encourage ISPs like Comcast to make such changes, Netflix are offering these for free. However, Comcast would still incur [relatively nominal] costs related to the transfer of data, such as upgrading or installing new hardware to better handle the increased bandwidth from Netflix. For unknown reasons, Comcast have chosen to not make these changes. It could be they are under the impression that their customers will grow to prefer their offerings such as those from Xfinity On Demand and Streampix (especially as customer experience with Netflix degrades). They also could be objecting for philosophical reasons, i.e. they believe they should not have to incur any costs to better handle Netflix data, regardless how nominal, and that in fact Netflix should be paying them to better handle the increased data coming into their network.

Comcast could therefore actually use net neutrality to support their inaction, essentially asking "why should we spend money or make changes to better handle Netflix data when we don't do so for other data providers?" The answer of course is that Netflix customers are also their customers, so if they make Netflix customers unhappy, they by definition make their own customers unhappy. So, as customers, it's likely that our only course of action to improve our experience with Netflix streaming is to express that unhappiness either by communicating directly to Comcast or indirectly by switching to a different ISP.

However, based on my experience with Comcast I imagine it will take a significant situation to change their perspective, such as Netflix or Google providing free or low cost Internet access and prompting Comcast customers to leave en masse. Of course by then it will be too late, well for Comcast anyway.

Contributor
shawada
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎01-05-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

My Netflix now only streams in SD on my Apple TV 6.0.2 as of two days ago. Any thoughts?

Contributor
shawada
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎01-05-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

I played the example and I get the following:

 

375kbps

384x288

4:3

 

 

Contributor
shawada
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎01-05-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

Same thing is happening to me too!! I have some calls out to close friends on the inside of the walls. If I find anything out I will share.

Contributor
shawada
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎01-05-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

It's being blocked now Nick. I am having issues as of two days ago and I used to get great service until I downloaded Apple TV 6.0.2 update. Then I hear that Comcast is not working with Netflix on the Open Connect service...

Contributor
computerguy22
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎11-18-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

[ Edited ]

Yes, we have noticed the same thing.  Netflix and Amazon works fine in the morning but in the evening it is hit or miss and mostly miss.

 

This has worked find for a long time but it appears not so any more.  FIOS has just came to our neighborhood so it looks like it is time to switch.

 

Also,  I found this link:  http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Netflix-Teases-Comcast-FiOS-Users-With-SuperHD-They-Cant-Get-1253...

 

 

New Visitor
Ninjew
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-19-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

I have also had Netflix streaming issues over the last couple weeks. Daytime is fine but the evenings suck bad. Comcast has replaced 2 modems and changed all my connections again the house and pole. This has not been a problem for the last 5 years in this house, just the last 2 weeks

The streaming problems happen on all devices, Apple TV 3, Xbox ,iPad

I am in Spokane WA. Really wish we could find a solution to this problem.
Contributor
computerguy22
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎11-18-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

I'm on the east coast in Maryland near Washington DC so this appears to be a system wide issue.  It appears the way comcast is peered to Netflix has been changed or is now overloaded. 

Contributor
thor3
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎07-15-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

If the symptoms of your problem are such that:

- You pay for enough downstream bandwidth from Comcast that you should be able to stream Netflix in HD

- You can stream Netflix in HD or even in 1080p during off-peak hours, such as during the daytime

- During peak hours, such as in the evening, you can stream in HD from comparatively lower traffic, non-Netflix sources such as Amazon (but maybe not from another high-traffic provider, such as YouTube)

- But can't stream Netflix in HD - or barely even in SD - during peak hours, even though during those peak hours a downstream bandwidth test might show you're getting the bandwidth you're paying for from the Internet as a whole

It's a strong possibility the cause of your problem is that Comcast are not making infrastructure changes to better handle increased data specifically from Netflix.

Complain to Comcast. Tell them you're a Netflix customer, and believe if you pay for the downstream bandwidth, you should be able to use that bandwidth to stream Netflix video at the highest resolution possible, regardless of time of day or bandwidth demand. Tell them they should join Netflix's CDN. Tell them if this problem isn't addressed you'll consider other ISPs that enable you to stream Netflix content without issue, which you should do regardless.

Complain to Netflix. Tell them you're with Comcast, but as a Netflix customer you expect to be able to stream video at the highest resolution possible at all times, regardless of your ISP. Tell them they should increase their efforts to address this issue with Comcast. Tell them if they don't you'll consider alternatives to Netflix streaming, which you should do regardless.

Point being you should try to make your voice heard, but look out for yourself while these giants slug it out without considering your needs. Maybe this will help drive the resurgence of local ISPs as well as Netflix alternatives, as all that matters in this case is that you're happy.

Contributor
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎08-11-2003

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

I heartily agree.

 

I started this thread a while back rather innocently. The confrontational tone of which I have been accused was not intended. Clearly, this issue a frustration for a lot of people. I watched all the complaints go by and there are many possible causes for these performance problems from basic setup at the user end to netflix servers and anything in between. I agree that the most effective way to resolve them is to put the burden on Netflix. Not only do they have the financial incentitive, but they are in the right place on the network and have the right technology to tell the user what they see as the problem if anything. They may already be collecting performance data, but not sharing for their own reasons.

 

I would like to see them put a diagnostic on their site that is tied to my account and my individual devices that would allow me to see what they are seeing in terms of bandwidth and expected performance at the device.

 

I intend to make that suggestion to Netflix.

 

Thanks for the suggestion.

Roy

 

 

Regular Contributor
donutespresso
Posts: 28
Registered: ‎10-31-2013

Re: Is Comcast blocking Netflix?

Roy31415, that info is available today. Each Netflix capable device has a diagnostic screen which shows the current streaming bitrates and buffer sizes. You can follow this guide here to get the diag screen up: While watching Netflix (Instant Play) hold down Shift+Alt and click on the screen to access bufferin...

 

 

FWIW, I disagree and don't believe the burden is at Netflix's end. When you stream from Netflix (or any other video service), none of the videos are actually coming from Netflix servers. They're coming from third party CDNs (content delivery networks) that are getting paid by Netflix to serve the content. In turn, CDNs pay ISPs to host the content locally.

Thus, when ONLY Netflix content appears to be slow, it certainly appears that Comcast is discriminating against, or perhaps "favoring" non-Netflix CDNs. That last mile is controlled, owned, and operated by the ISP. There is literally nothing Netflix can do to improve your service in that last mile.