Thursday, January 13, 2011

Question from reader: Is softbank throttling streams during peak hours?

Brian is experiencing streaming issues every day beginning in the late afternoon to early evening with his UK Dell Streak on Softbank. Unlike the previously reported issues, this is not limited to Tokyo and he is still getting normal uplink speeds.

Anyone else experiencing something similar?
Over October and December I have been using Audiogalaxy to stream music from my PC to my phone during my (exceptionally long) commute. Yea its a bit data intensive, but I don't really care!

Anyway, ever since the turn of the new year, my streaming service has been skipping like a first generation CD player after around 4:00 in the afternoon (don't know when exactly it starts). The thing that leads me to believe this isn't just about network congestion, though, is that it happens whether I am way out of Tokyo in the inaka, or in central Tokyo. My download/upload speed remains decent (for Softbank anyway), and while it has considerable trouble streaming the music, doing other network activities like web browsing or playing online games are uninterrupted.

So it could be that Softbank has initiated a policy of throttling certain web services during peak hours. Perhaps people on your blog can confirm/deny this?


  1. I have an iPhone 4 since Oct last year- I jailbreak right away so I can tether. It was working out fine for normal laptop use (emails, facebook, photo gallery) but recently the download speed sucks really bad. Specially between the hours 6:oo pm ~ 12:oo pm and even after midnight. In the morning download speed is back to normal (about 500kb/s~1Mb/s) but in the past few months usually speed during the day is about 100kb/s~300kb/s and at evening/night time just drops to 0~50kb/s which is ridiculous insane!

    I'm sure this is capping by Softbank- because it happens all the time everyday so I doubt coincidence on peak usage on my signal tower ...

    In my bill it appears the data usage cost but it is all subtracted because of the unlimited data plan contract I have.

  2. I connect via a softbank 007Z Wi-Fi router and can confirm that after the 2nd week, at 6pm sharp the bandwidth started going KERLUNK and a 1min Youtube video took 5-8 mins to load. It's been like that for 4 months. "Normal service" resumes sometime around 4am. Originally this was only with Youtube and my bittorrent or MSNBC video download was unaffected but this doesn't seem to have been enough for SB (sonsofbitches). So now they've hit Everything and are currently doing it periodically through the day too. So my 42.x mbps router is more like a 56.6kpbs dial up modem. Live streaming video? Ha! Stream your dream baby.

  3. I'm seeing around 12 ~ 40Kbps in peek hours on my UltraSpeed router during peek evening hours. after 1am is jumps up to +10Mbps. This is in Sendai.