ISP traffic management policies

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An overview of consumer ISP traffic management policies

ISP traffic management in which some types of traffic may be prioritised over others has been the subject of an ongoing debate. This is particularly the case amongst the Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP) communities but also elsewhere. NetNeutrality is the issue (look it up) and is extensively covered on this blog.

This post is a simple one. It takes a look at the biggest six ISPs, tells you if they traffic manage and provides a link to the ISP’s own pages on the subject.

ISP Do they traffic manage? Comments
BT No Fair play to them
EE Yes Lots of contractual stuff
Plusnet Yes Looks complicated to me
Sky Yes and No Sky Connect only – Unlimited and Lite packages are free of Traffic Management
TalkTalk No Except to prioritise TV packets which is fair enough
Virgin Media Yes Also looks complicated

It is generally the case that if an ISP does traffic manage they generally prioritise time sensitive packets such as VoIP and gaming. Traditionally this has been done to save bandwidth costs at peak times. However I will say that if TalkTalk who are traditionally seen as a pile it high sell it cheap ISP who you might think would need to conserve bandwidth costs,  can manage without traffic management, so to speak then there should no reason why all the others can’t follow suit. BT and Sky (mostly) do.

It could be down to their having older core networks that require investment but I can’t say for sure. Whatever the reason, bandwidth is cheap and ISP traffic management needs to be seen only in the rear view mirror. It is outdated.

This does to a certain extent come down to scale. The bigger your network the cheaper the bandwidth on a per unit basis. 1Gig connectivity is more expensive per gig that 10Gig etc etc etc

If you need more details on ISP traffic management click on the links in the table. Lots more stuff also on this blog here.

Ciao amigos.

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