The recent study showed that major ISPs, such as Verizon, AT&T and Time Warner, are slowing connection speeds from popular websites to thousands of American businesses and residential customers across the United States.
The study processed the results from 300,000 Internet users and discovered degradations on the largest networks, representing ¾ of all wireline households in the country.
The study was conducted after the FCC introduced new “net neutrality” rules, making all data equal online. These rules keep Internet service providers from holding traffic speeds for ransom. Apparently, now broadband providers are not providing content to people at the speeds they’re paying for.
The recent study examined the comparative speeds of Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), which shoulder some of the data load for popular sites. Any popular service has to pay a CDN to store its content on servers around the world to keep it close to visitors.
For instance, in Atlanta Comcast offered hourly median download speeds over a CDN of 21.4 Mbps at 7pm in May. At the same time, AT&T offered speeds over the same network of 0.2 Mbps, and when a network sends more than twice the traffic it receives, AT&T requires it to pay for the privilege. AT&T explained that it wouldn’t upgrade capacity to a CDN until it saw some money from it. This ISP was against regulation of its business with the firms providing connectivity between high-traffic Internet users and their customers. Other tech firms also asked the FCC to make free interconnection to CDNs.
AT&T claimed it would be unjustified to force it to offer free backbone services to other backbone carriers or require it to augment network capacity unlimited and for free. The company pointed out that opponents’ proposals would shift the costs of their services onto AT&T users, thus harming consumers.
The controversial dispute over connection speeds escalates as the telecoms and cable industries launch their legal challenges to the net neutrality rules. As you may know, many telecoms are content letting their lobbyists like Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association and USTelecom sue the FCC over the recently imposed rules. It should be noted that AT&T is one of the few companies to sue the Federal Communications Commission directly.