back to article ISPs to spill net traffic management beans

The UK's biggest ISPs are set to reveal exactly how, when and why they throttle internet connections in order to maintain network performance. BSkyB, BT, O2, TalkTalk, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone have all agreed to provide better information on traffic management, which should help customers understand why connection speeds …

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Well

About bloody time!

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Grenade

So they are going to explain why they are so oversubscribed that they have to take such measures.

Don't sell what you can't support. It's like a bank giving you a 10k credit card limit but then admitting they only have £1000 left in the pot... Which in the case of RBS isn't far from the truth.

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Missing the point

While some probably _ARE_ selling above their capacity, home broadband is and always has been a contended service, a tradition going back to the days of dial-up where they owned less modems than they had customers, meaning it was possible for you to call the number and get an engaged tone.

As soon as even 2 people are using something, traffic management can be useful, for latency reasons even if not for bandwidth reasons. e.g. on a line that can get 100 meg throughput, someone bittorrenting at 50 meg can knacker someone's voice comms which only uses 1 meg, even though there's spare capacity, simply because the voice comms is more sensitive to late or missing packets.

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Joke

These will be available on the ISPs' websites by the end of June....

...in the form of a 1Gb flash presentation

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Oversubscribed...

For all the people complained about oversubscribed services, I presume that you would be willing to pay between 10 and 100 times as much for the same level of service but with a much lower contention ratio?

Thought not.

You get what you pay for.

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Re: Oversubscribed

What you pay for is determined by what they advertise, not what they can actually deliver.

If they advertise X and you pay them what they ask, then you have paid for X even if it turns out that X never existed in the first place.

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@MonkeyBot

What you pay for is determined by the conversation you have when you agree to enter in to the contract. At which point the representative will have conducted a line test and told you that you are likely to receive less than the advertised rate. Every time I have entered into a broadband contract I have also been told by the sales advisor that it is possible that I will not receive the same level or service during peak times etc, so it really isn't like they are hiding the fact that they manage their traffic.

They will also include within their Terms and Conditions (you did read those during your right to cancel period didn't you) details of the contention rates for the product you have purchased so you could cancel if you don't like it and find a product better suited to your needs.

For the record I do think that publishing the traffic management policies is a good thing, whether people understand it or not.

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When I left my old ISP Nildram

I did get what I paid for for the first 6 years. 512 meg downloads when promised, 2 meg downloads after the first regrade and then 8 meg when upgraded again. When Tiscali took over their infrastructure I certainly did not get what I paid for when it was apparent they had stealthily added ridiculously low Traffic Shaping (56k usenet downloads on an 8MB service) to appease the masses. I took my business to BE internet who promised UP TO 24 meg with a likely download speed of between 18-22 meg unlimited and unthrottled. For the past 18 months I've not seen my speed or downloads drop below 18Mbps. And it's cheaper than Nildram. I got what I paid for.

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About time too!

My 10Mb/s Virgin Media connection is inexplicably unable to sustain a 2.5Mb/s HD stream from Youtube or iPlayer, despite having a rock solid 9.7Mb/s real-world speed on any bandwidth testing site. Even more suspiciously, if I disguise my connection by using get_iplayer to download programs in HD, I can utilise my full connection speed.

This traffic shaping policy isn't described anywhere on Virgin's website or publicity materials. It's fundamentally dishonest to sell something whilst holding back material facts from the purchaser.

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You'll probably find

there's a plan on Virgin that emphasises access to YouTube and other video sites. Of course that's only a little extra, but the image link below explains why net neutrality is of vital importance if we don't want greedy ISPs charging us extra for access to certain websites...

http://img832.imageshack.us/img832/5566/netneutrality.jpg

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FAIL

Nice try, only...

It's not possible for Virgin Media to fully comply, given that their 'detrimental usage' policy is based on local contention, and not pre-defined limits.

@aahjnnot: Virgin Media specifically mention that they do not do shaping on iPlayer, in their traffic management policy

http://shop.virginmedia.com/help/traffic-management/traffic-management-policy.html

Speaking of which, it's about time they were told to remove 'N/A' from the fair use amount for the 'Unlimited' XXL package.

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