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Wireless Carrier Throttling of Online Video Is Pervasive

  • New research finds location, time of day play no role
  • Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video targeted for slowdowns
Ethernet Cable

Photographer: Smith Collection/Gado via Getty Images

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U.S. wireless carriers have long said they may slow video traffic on their networks to avoid congestion and bottlenecks. But new research shows the throttling happens pretty much everywhere all the time.

Researchers from Northeastern University and University of Massachusetts Amherst conducted more than 650,000 tests in the U.S. and found that from early 2018 to early 2019, AT&T Inc. throttled Netflix Inc. 70% of the time and Google’s YouTube service 74% of the time. But AT&T didn’t slow down Inc.’s Prime Video at all.