Thursday, March 4, 2010

Net-Neutrality Crosses the Pond

"The deployment of traffic management techniques and policies is now happening in scale here [UK] as well. And last year's adoption of the EU Framework moves us firmly into new territory." said Ofcom's Chief Executive Ed Richards.

"Clearly, we need to be vigilant about genuinely anti-competitive discrimination. But we also need to be wary of rushing to judgement on the likely behaviour of firms at this stage" he added. "Ofcom, collaborating closely with our colleagues in BEREC, is now committed to developing some answers to these questions as a priority and we hope to publish our initial proposals later in the spring". here.

As Mr. Richards says, traffic management policies are already in place by UK ISPs. Nevertheless, the ISPs fully disclose their policies (which is one of the US Net-Neutrality guidelines). See the following examples for the UK Top4 ISPs:
  • Plusnet - (5M Subscribers) "Our broadband service is provided over a shared network. This means we have to manage traffic to make sure our customers receive a quality and sustainable broadband service" - here and here
  • TalkTalk (4.2M Subscribers) - "Traffic management involves monitoring and restricting the service speed at peak times for a small minority of users who exceed reasonable use of the service" - here
  • Virign Media (4.1 M Subscribers) - "So, to make sure our service is fair for everybody, we monitor our network's performance. And, if someone is downloading a large amount of data and impacting others, we may moderate their speed during peak times"  - here
  • Sky (2.4M Subscribers) = "To ensure we provide a sustainable quality broadband service to our customers, we continuously monitor and efficiently manage the Sky Network as a whole. To do this, during peak times (from 5pm to 12am each day), we may slow down the speed that all Sky Broadband Connect customers can get on certain applications which we consider use up a lot of bandwidth (for example peer-to-peer and newsgroups) and which have a negative affect on other customers" - here 

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