Twitch working with Time Warner Cable to improve service

Streaming video platform working with ISP to improve overall stability and performance.

Twitch, the live-video network for gamers, has said it is currently working with US-based ISP Time Warner Cable to improve service to the site. At the same time, Time Warner Cable is assuring customers that they "don't throttle traffic."

Over the last six months, Internet users from around the United States have been increasingly speaking out claiming that Time Warner Cable, among other ISPs, have been slowing down their connections to streaming video services YouTube and Twitch.tv. This has prompted several Internet users to block certain IPs in an attempt to improve their experience.

This has prompted Time Warner Cable to publish a blog post defending their service, and to try and give reasoning behind the slow load times. "Occasionally, Internet users experience a lagging video game or a stuttering YouTube video," the post states.

"We do our best to minimize buffering and other slowdowns at Time Warner Cable, but this is normal for broadband users at any Internet service provider, at least some of the time. The reasons, as we'll explain below, have to do with the way the Internet works. A small subset of our customers, however, seem to think we are intentionally degrading their service."

"Our standard response has been a simple, 'We don't throttle traffic.' That's because we don't," Time Warner Cable firmly states, outlining different aspects on how video is transmitted on the Internet.

In a blog post on the official Twitch site, the company states that they have sat down with Time Warner Cable to improve connectivity. "Since that time we've heard from many TWC customers that the quality of Twitch video service has vastly improved," the post says. "This is a testament to your resolve and persistence, and TWC's willingness to sit down with us to find a solution."

The update comes a month after Twitch CEO Emmett Shear's Reddit AMA, where questions were asked directly related to Time Warner Cable. "We can't force them to peer with us anymore than you can," Shear said. "It doesn't help US to have bad service in any way."

There hasn't yet been a consensus if talks between Twitch and Time Warner Cable have resulted in increased speeds for users. Frustration with Time Warner Cable from users hasn't come just in the form of watching videos.

Popular YouTube personality and TWC-customer John "Totalbiscuit" Bain had his StarCraft II tournament, ShoutCraft, disrupted multiple times last month due a shaky connection.

"Watching or making YouTube videos or livestreams about videogames is getting more and more popular every day and some of those videos are getting views that rival cable networks in terms of popularity," Bain told GameSpot about the current state of content consumption for gaming-related media.

"This is not going away anytime soon and one could almost say, considering that TWC also serves cable television, that there is a conflict of interest going on. Consumers who wish to view the latest cutting edge media are struggling to do so because TWC is not in fact providing the best possible service it could."

"Time Warner has for the last few months been utterly dreadful for me whose job it is to create online media. Ridiculous buffering across the board, massive packet loss to Twitch ingest servers and laggy stream viewing is not the kind of thing you should be experiencing on a 50/5 connection."

"What's the point in speed if you don't have the reliability to back it up?"

Twitch and Time Warner Cable both declined additional comment to GameSpot.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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29 comments
Vicioussama
Vicioussama

Here's an idea, we actually upgrade our god damn infrastructure in our country in the first place. So many of our tax dollars have already gone to IPSs with the order of "upgrade the infrastructure" and they still haven't. Partially government's fault for not putting a due date on it enough... but definitely the corporate greed fault. FIX OUR INFRASTRUCTURE!! Fios should at least be in every town/city over 10,000 people.

DAOWAce
DAOWAce

I wish ISPs focused on reducing latency (which in turn means providing better reliability) more-so than improving speeds. Ideally they'd go hand in hand, but most ISPs couldn't care less about reliability (especially if it's only a small fraction of their subscriber base) and just want to see their large speed offerings plastered all over their marketing material to attract people.

I've had my fair share of problems with my ISP (Optimum Online, from Cablevision) and boy were they bad (and took TWO YEARS to fully fix).  I know how it feels for others experiencing issues as well.  My ISP was one of the fastest residential ISPs in the US, but reliability was a different story entirely after their DOCSIS 3.0 upgrade. (Had no other options here aside from pathetic 1Mbit DSL as Verizon never bothered to wire FiOS down my street. Been 3 years since they came around here and 3 years of me continuing to ask for their service. *sigh*)

Hell, my speeds are soon increasing from 50/8 to  50/25. There's a lot of worry that they won't be able to support the upstream bandwidth change due to how oversold they already are.  I fear the worse.

Zilched
Zilched

The service is 50/5, and that 5 upload could be as low as 1-2... so tell me, how in the world can a gamer play a game that depends on response to stay alive or be of any use to teammates?! You can't... and worse yet, your fellow gamers will blame you for your crappy skills, and you might not even understand that no amount of in-game gold can fix your gear or improve your skills.

A_Rabid_Dog
A_Rabid_Dog

Comcast > TWC.

That's saying something.

highlanderjimd
highlanderjimd

sky fibre have been doing this recently, only with youtube tho and at certain times. they deny it of course even with the hundreds of complaints

Eddiejr
Eddiejr

I've had TWC for years cause unfortunately they are the only company in my area. My internet service really sucks, I have to reset the modem almost everyday due to issues. If you have choices, dont ever choice TWC!

flamingboard
flamingboard

They'll just charge Twitch a bunch of money to get "reliable service" and net neutrality will cry in the corner.

thequickshooter
thequickshooter

an online DVR is a really bad idea for multiplayer 

but for single player it sounds neat 

blown503
blown503

that means Time Warner is not as good as they want people to see them as

BadMrSnake
BadMrSnake

TWC is holding back their internet service,  They can reach speeds near a gig per second!  That's twice as fast as what even Japan has who has the best internet!

Gen007
Gen007

lol When a website has to help an ISP with an issue you know that they are either complete trash or just straight lying.

StonerDemon
StonerDemon

This has to be the "blah blah blah"-est article ever...

jrabbit99
jrabbit99

Could just be that Time Warner sucks. I have them in my apartment and the internet always goes out once a week.

STrugglingFool
STrugglingFool

I have had Time Warner for 2 months and the level of incompetence is incredible. Just a week ago I was in the chat with them trying to tell them I'm still on my promotion offer. It took me 45 minutes to resolve the issue. Unfortunately they are the only cable service in my area. I could go with Att U verse internet but they have a 250 Gb cap. I'am happy however, that they are doing something.

domxnik
domxnik

I think a lot of people that used to have Insight are having problems. Insight got bought out by Time Warner Cable earlier this month I think. My internet has been horrible for the past few days, today it seems fine, but I doubt it will stay that way. Time Warner Cable is a horrible company, though...and I haven't even had them that long.

cornbredx
cornbredx

Weird. 

I have TWC and a 20/2 connection. I don't really get any lag on video streams. Occasionally a drop in video quality but that's not a big deal to me.

baxwam
baxwam

Be prepared to never live stream a Batman game again on twitch or Time Warner will sue your ass. 

ivanchiz
ivanchiz

Partnered with Microsoft and still no offical app for windows phone...

silvergol
silvergol

Wow! good see them trying harder for their services!. 

da_chub
da_chub

Blah blah blah. I've had dsl for 8 years and have never, not 1 time had an issue with it. I use 3mbs and with the wii u, kindle, pc, and roku all working Netflix and gaming and no slow down. Time Warner sucks, end comment.

telaros
telaros

@A_Rabid_Dog I hear ya... considering Comcast wants THE providers of THEIR internet that they sell to US to pay for OUR streaming of youtube and other such streaming services.

Yeah, the big guys didn't take kindly to a pup like Comcast trying to tell THEM they should pay for stuff Comcast is supposed to take responsibility for.

And yes, Comcast has been repeatedly caught trotting till some people with a program speed test that checks for throttling called Comcast out of it by posting their stuff online. TWC still does it. Hell Comcast doesn't even give me the 15 MB they make us pay for lol In reality we only have 1.2-2MB per second down here in MA.

What I wouldn't give for some Google Fiber &_&

dadistiller
dadistiller

@Eddiejr i only have one cable company too. i dont live to far away the google fiber so i hope it makes its way here. cable companies should use all that money and invest it into the internet infrastructure and the backbone instead of milking ppl

colt_a
colt_a

@flamingboard Except Twitch won't pay them.  TWC throttles Twitch.tv, Justin.tv, and YouTube.  Regardless of what their executives say, this is a fact.  As soon as you block the necessary IPs, you can watch anything that was previously lagging just fine.


If TWC didn't fix the 'issue' (aka their rampant throttling) Twitch would have simply endorsed the IP Blocking fix.

blown503
blown503

In Evansville, they took over and they are too big to care about people in general. I switched to wow because of this and it works 10 trillion zillion times better than the slow turtle.

jadaski1
jadaski1

@domxnik I'm in the same boat.  I loved Insight, but TWC has been giving me fits.

domxnik
domxnik

@blown503That is the second time I have heard of WOW. I don't believe they are in the Louisville area, but I will look more into it.