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UK ISP Plusnet Removes Broadband Internet Traffic Prioritisation

Friday, June 30th, 2017 (7:39 am) - Score 5,222
plusnet uk

Internet traffic prioritisation has been completely removed from Plusnet’s residential broadband service(s), which is because the ISP claims to have been “investing heavily in its network” and as a result their platform now has enough “capacity and resilience” that prioritisation is no longer needed.

Prioritisation is a form of Traffic Management, which is sometimes used (e.g. during busy periods) as a means to ensure that certain types of important Internet traffic (e.g. VoIP calls, Multiplayer video gaming, VPN) are not affected by general network congestion from “other less ‘time-sensitive’ traffic protocols” (e.g. P2P file sharing).

According to an announcement that was sent to us yesterday, traffic prioritisation was removed from Plusnet’s network overnight from June 28th to 29th 2017.

Plusnet’s Traffic Prioritisation Q&A

• Why are you removing traffic prioritisation?
Plusnet has been investing in its network improving capacity and resilience, and as such we are confident customers will see no degradation in service due to the removal of traffic prioritisation.

• When will the removal of traffic prioritisation take place?
Traffic prioritisation will be removed overnight from June 28 to June 29.

• What products will have the removal of traffic prioritisation?
Plusnet’s residential unlimited ADSL and fibre broadband customers will have traffic prioritisation removed. Business will not.

• What about all your previous statements about how brilliant traffic prioritisation is?
Plusnet is always looking at ways to continue to improve its service and products and now we’ve invested heavily in the new network we are removing traffic prioritisation and are confident customers will see no degradation in service.

• What if a customer wants to continue with traffic prioritisation?
Any customers who do want to continue to use traffic prioritisation can do so by ringing 0800 432 0200.

The change was introduced on the same week as the ISP raised their prices, which is something that was announced all the way back in April (here).

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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12 Responses
  1. adslmax Real

    Was surprise to see this press release but plusnet keep it quiet never informed the customers by email also my parents signing up yesterday of downgraded from 80Meg to 40Meg to save the cost due to price increase and were informed T&C’s such as Traffic Prioritisation is active on the broadband. Rather confused?

  2. Frank Butcher

    Interesting as there could potentially be some unwanted side-effects. I could be wrong but I seem to remember that one advantage of traffic prioritisation was that it would act as a form of QoS for a single connection, so if a member of your household is downloading a large file etc it would not negatively impact another member of the same household that is web browsing etc.

    • Frank Butcher

      https://www.plus.net/help/broadband/about-traffic-prioritisation/

      “Traffic prioritisation helps prioritise different types of broadband traffic to your home or business premises. It’s used to create the best possible service when you are trying to do more online than your line can physically support at the time. Where this applies we don’t limit your line speed, usage or downloads because of prioritisation.
      For example, if one person in your house or business is on Skype and someone else is downloading a file, bandwidth priority would be given to the person using Skype as this is the most time sensitive application. Likewise, if you were streaming a film or gaming online, priority would be given to you, rather than to file sharing or music downloads. So rather than all of these activities buffering or struggling to complete, your Skype call should run smoothly and the file download will just take a little longer to finish.”

    • wirelesspacman

      Might just be another way of Plusnet saying (without actually saying) that traffic prioritisation does not really work in practice.

      For prioritisation to work effectively, it needs to know (and I mean REALLY know) the down and upstream capacity limits. It can then manage within those limits. Otherwise there is a tendency for “most aggressive user wins” to take place. Eg a very heavy download starts, consumes all of the available capacity, and other (time sensitive) services then do not even get a look in.

      This has certainly been my experience when trying to implement it over wireless links in our network. It also has the issue that it adds complexity etc each time it is used, which can cause other unintended consequences (such as increased latency).

      Just my 2p worth. 🙂

    • George M

      The cynic in me thinks that removing traffic prioritisation means that Plusnet can switch off processor intensive tasks on their routers so can squeeze more consumer traffic through less devices.

      Thereby decreasing costs.

  3. adslmax Real

    @ Mark Jackson ISPreview stated

    • What if a customer wants to continue with traffic prioritisation?
    Any customers who do want to continue to use traffic prioritisation can do so by ringing 0800 432 0200.

    I rang them up and they say there is no option to enabled traffic prioritisation back on, there isn’t. Told me it only for business only.

    • DTMark

      That was a quote from PlusNet.

      Which itself contradicts the other quote – that it’s only for business customers.

      It appears they’re standing firm on that one so it appears they’ve changed their minds, or that the press release has not been communicated internally.

    • I get the impression from Plusnet that the announcement wasn’t communicated correctly by somebody in their team. I’ve asked twice for some clarifications and we’re still waiting.

    • alan

      Ah good’ol Plusnet and its traffic diddling.

      “…wasn’t communicated correctly by somebody in their team. I’ve asked twice for some clarifications and we’re still waiting..”

      There was no real clarification on why traffic management was introduced originally or what it would do.

      Took some finding on here from neigh on 5 years ago both these are entertaining reads…
      http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2012/12/isp-plusnet-to-introduce-unlimited-broadband-packages-across-the-uk.html
      http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2012/12/uk-isp-plusnet-launches-new-unlimited-broadband-and-call-packages.html

      “Which itself contradicts the other quote – that it’s only for business customers.”

      I hope any queries about traffic management being removed or being able to have it back are more clear than why it was introduced and what it did in the first place. Judging by the statement about it being scraped and the reason why i doubt that will be the case though.

      Doing people proud again :-{

    • George M

      For those who haven’t gone to the Plusnet community forum for the answers, I’ll repost it here:-
      https://community.plus.net/t5/Plusnet-Feedback/Plusnet-Removes-Broadband-Internet-Traffic-Prioritisation/m-p/1453440#M77523

      Hi Guys,

      Please bare with me I’m going to try to answer some questions in bulk.

      goldenfibre wrote:

      • What if a customer wants to continue with traffic prioritisation?
      Any customers who do want to continue to use traffic prioritisation can do so by ringing 0800 432 0200.

      We no longer offer traffic management on unlimited products. In the unlikely event that this change has negatively impacted your experience you require traffic management we will temporary provide free access to the pro add on so that you can see if the enhanced traffic prioritisation it offers is of benefit to you.

      goldenfibre wrote:

      I rang them up and they say there is no option to enabled traffic prioritisation back on, there isn’t. Told me it only for business only. Yes you are right Oldjhim, it didn’t say on plusnet page either!

      That’s because as stated above we no longer offer the service, it cannot be reactivated. If you require traffic management because this change has adversely impacted you we will apply the Pro add on

      MauriceC wrote:

      As this removal of Traffic Prioritisation materially changes the both the product and the basis on which ISP selection may have been made, does the user have the option to cancel their contract without penalty?

      No, customers will not be able to leave because of this change.

      corringham wrote:

      I don’t know whether it is just because where I live there is only ADSL Max available, but when I check what packages are available they are all “unlimited”. Do Plusnet still sell limited packages anywhere?

      No we do not. Sorry.

      billnotben wrote:

      Will this see the return of the defunct pro addon?
      And the additional cost.

      Yes Pro is available for anyone wanting to add enhanced traffic prioritisation at a cost of £5.00 per month.

      ITWorks wrote:

      John Lewis broadband ( provided by PN) still states traffic prioritisation , is that still the case?
      https://www.johnlewisbroadband.com/faq/#whenbusy

      We’re unable to answer questions about John Lewis Broadband on the Plusnet Community Forums.

      ITWorks wrote:

      PN On the new network what are the advantages to the customer, in having traffic prioritisation turned off, rather than kept on?

      We’re not being prescriptive about how you use your internet connection, it’s your connection to use how you like.

  4. Captain.Cretin

    I wonder if this means that all those poor souls stuck on their ADSL service will finally get decent speeds, and not be locked down to a fraction of what their lines are capable of with the excuse of “The cabinet is oversubscribed”; which is the BS my parents were fed for 10 years.

  5. ultraspeedy

    So in one breath Traffic prioritisation no longer exists but in the next breath you can pay £5 for the pro addon which is/was part of the Traffic Management/Prioritisation service?

    As clear as mud!

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