broadband Business internet

BBC Claims BT is Throttling iPlayer

The BBC has an article online regarding the fact that BT is broadband throttling the iPlayer traffic of customers taking “Option1”.  Option1 appears to be BT’s cheapest broadband package at 8Mbps with a 10GB download limit.

I’m afraid that it is a fact of life that ISPs cannot afford to keep providing the services they do at the prices they do without some element of constraint over what consumers can download.

BT’s website does have a long list of caveats for its broadband service. They are quite open about the fact that they “network traffic manage” P2P and video streaming between their peak hours of 5pm and midnight although you might argue that the fair usage policy has become quite a complex one for people to understand.  Also whilst openly promoting the fact that users can watch online TV they fail to mention that only the lowest quality iPlayer setting is accommodated at these peak times.

The problem is about to get worse as higher speed 21CN connections become more prevalent and trials about to begin on 40Mbps services using Fibre To The Cabinet. Customers will expect to be able to get high quality video streaming  with these services.  Indeed video and likely HD video, will be one of the drivers for uptake of faster broadband.

Note whilst checking out the BT website I observed that the company sells its 10GB download limit as the equivalent of 2,500 music file downloads, 14 videos or 25 hours of streaming iPlayer a month.

This riles the music industry no end.  Does anyone believe that consumers download 2,500 “paid for” music files?  Is BT inadvertently helping to promote illegal P2P filesharing here?

broadband Business

BT in the News for Throttling Broadband

BT has made the headlines again for throttling all peer to peer traffic. has just produced a report on the subject.

People perhaps don’t realise that P2P isn’t just used for downloading (often illegal) media from the internet. P2P is often the most efficient way of moving large amounts of data from one location to another and as such is an essential business tool. Timico doesn’t throttle any of it’s traffic.

This suggests to me that the UK is moving more to a two tier ISP market. Tiers are usually based on the size of an ISP – the big ones are Tier 1, medium sized are Tier 2 etc.  I would suggest that in future the Tier  classification should be based on the quality of the customer experience. Tier 1 = good, Tier 2 = not so good.

I’ll leave you to decide which one BT fits into but I would have to say that Timico would certainly fit into the former.

broadband Business

Heaviest Virgin Media Downloaders Face New Daytime Go-Slow

This is an article reproduced from The Register.

It is basically a perfect advertisment as to why people should use a quality ISP as opposed to a “pile it high sell it cheap” operator. Timico’s policy is that “we don’t throttle….. we just ask users to pay a usage based surcharge if they choose to use a lot of our bandwidth….SIMPLE!”

If business users chose to go with an ISP who operates the type of policy outlined by Virgin below then they are going to get a non optimal experience.

the story goes

Virgin Media will double the number of hours it throttles the bandwidth of customers who hammer its network day and night, changes to its traffic management policy have revealed.

The tightened regime means that between 10am and 3pm subscribers to its “M”, “L” and “XL” packages will have their connection throttled for five hours if they download more than their full speed ration.

The decision follows recent regional testing of extended restrictions in London and the North West. Previously the brakes were only slammed on for five hours if limits were exceeded at any point between 4pm and 9pm.

Now, “M” customers who bust 900MB during the day will have their theoretical maximum download halved from 2Mbit/s to 1Mbit/s. “L” and “XL” users’ usual headline speeds of 10MBit/s and 20MBit/s will be slowed by three quarters if they break daytime download limits of 2400MB and 6000MB respectively.

The download thresholds for the daytime broadband throttling period are double those of the evening period, which also restricts uploads. We’ve reproduced Virgin Media’s explanatory table below:

Virgin Media says that at current levels of demand, one per cent of its 3.8 million customers will be affected by the new daytime restrictions. In the evening, when ISP networks are under most strain, traffic limits are aimed at the top five per cent heaviest users.

A spokesman said the new rules are necessary to ensure quality of service for the majority. The move will nevertheless anger some who have been tricked into believing that “unlimited” broadband actually exists by years of crummy marketing by the ISP industry.

The cable monopoly, created by the merger of NTL and Telewest in 2006, is currently working to boost its top speed to 50MBit/s as part of its strategy to put broadband at the centre of its quadruple-play offering. recent trials to ramp Virgin Media’s 10Gbit/s backhaul to 40GBit/s in support of the upgrade were successful. ®