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iiNet Slammed By Telstra As Netflix Dowloads Strangle Network

iiNet Slammed By Telstra As Netflix Dowloads Strangle Network

Mike Wright, group managing director of Telstra’s networks, took issue with iiNet’s claiming that “iiNet has end-to-end responsibility for their network, including managing the various network elements required to deliver reliable video streaming, one of which is traffic backhaul and interconnection,” Mr Wright said in a statement to Fairfax Media on Wednesday.

“It is the responsibility of each ISP to have sufficient backhaul capacity to deliver services to their customers.” He added: “If customers of another ISP are experiencing congestion, insufficient backhaul could be one explanation or there may be other elements at play.”

iiNet customers worst hit include thousands in NSW, Victoria and Queensland using ADSL, and those using fibre offerings on the national broadband network and Opticomm’s network.

The slowdown starts at 4.00pm when kids and trades arrive home. It continues till late in the evening. 

It’s also ben exacerbated by the fact that iiNet is offering their customers Netflix downloads for free resulting in the down loads not impacting the download limit of customers. 

Telstra said that a large part of the problem is that iiNet does not have big enough “backhaul” cable capacity from key exchanges to its core network to cope with the demand.

Roger Yerramsetti, iiNet’s network services manager, admitted the telco underestimated traffic level growth in a post to Whirlpool.

“In some areas we’re seeing network traffic reach levels that were projected to occur well over 6 months from now, so under the bonnet we have been rapidly upgrading our network to keep pace with the demand and to ensure we’re continuing to provide a high quality service,” Mr Yerramsetti said.

Privately Telstra executives claim that iiNet is hiding the real truth about their network and that the easiest way out for their problems was to blame Telstra. 

The executives claim that Netflix is under-reporting the amount of Netflix traffic they are getting so people don’t connect the dots and realise Netflix has crippled the network 

iiNet has not responded to repeated Fairfax Media requests for comment with the Company now ducking for cover under a wall of silence. 

The iiNet online fault status page lists dozens of notices concerning congestion on numerous ADSL exchanges and NBN “points of interconnect”.

One source told Fairfax Media that Netflix was “crippling” iiNet’s network.

This is the same Company that openly supported Bit Torrent downloads.

“That 15 per cent figure they reported earlier … that’s 15 per cent averaged over the course of a 24-hour period, when actual usage is heavily spiked between 6pm and 11pm AEST.”

The person said iiNet’s engineering team knew about the problems, but needed to get approval to purchase extra backhaul capacity from third-party providers – which often locks Telco’s into multi-year contracts – to cope with the Netflix demand.

iiNet Group subsidiaries, such as Internode, Westnet and Adam Internet, are also impacted because they share the same infrastructure as iiNet. 

Customers using Telstra ADSL exchange equipment on iiNet’s network in Queensland are also suffering between 5pm and midnight. But the current estimated time for return to a less congested service for these customers is more than two weeks away, on April 24.

Another problem for Netflix is that the WA Company has not invested in new network gear resulting in their backhaul operation now reaching maximum capacity. 

Despite this the Company still gave away the Netflix downloads for free.

Fairfax Media said that the big question for iiNet and other ISPs is whether consumers who have signed up to the one-month free trial of Netflix will continue to use the service when the free trial expires.