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Ace Internet Enables P2P Restrictions

Posted: 13th Jun, 2006 By: MarkJ
ISP Ace Internet has posted a statement on their site that attempts to explain why the provider has suddenly implemented P2P usage restrictions. Apparently it's the World Cup's fault:

Dear Customer,

On Friday evening, our ADSL supplier, Mistral, had to take emergency steps to reduce bandwidth usage across the network. We were informed one of the factors in this was an increase of bandwidth usage due to the BBC World cup streams.

The emergency steps were to place all P2P and Usenet traffic down a "virtual pipe", with the result in increasing the contention of those services to 1/5th of normal peak usage.

The decision to do this was not well communicated, and we did not find out until Monday morning. Even some of Mistral's own staff were not aware of this when we raised the issue over the weekend.

If the steps had not been taken, the service would have reached saturation point and all services would have ceased to work at all.

We have been working with Mistral to see how we can best resolve the situation to the benefit of the majority of our customers.

With immediate effect, we have ensured from today that the temporary restrictions on the P2P and Usenet traffic are only in place from 9am to 6pm. After that, all restrictions are lifted. You will see this take effect form 6pm tonight.

We have also requested, that the peak time contention of 1/5th is changed to effectively utilise any other spare capacity. We expect this to be put in place at some time this afternoon. This should improve peak time speeds.

The current blanket emergency measures are not a permanent fixture, and we are going to be looking over the next couple of days of how best to remove the restrictions, but also avoid this from happening again. We are not happy with the way this has had to be done, in such a way it affects all users.

Looking to the future, we will need to make some changes to our ADSL service, which will prevent this from happening again. This may take the form of continued rate limiting for some customers, or maybe the introduction of a generous cap.

Because you, the customer, are the people who use the service, we would like to hear your comments on what realistic restrictions you would we willing to accept on the service.

We have already made some suggestions to Mistral, and we will work together to see which ones are most feasible.

If you would like to make a comment and help shape the future of YOUR service, please email comment@aceinternet.co.uk - although we may not reply to individual ideas, we can assure you that all ideas will be looked at.

We are not looking at a long timescale here, we anticipate being able to implement a more suitable restriction on service in the coming week which, hopefully, will be acceptable to as many customers as possible.

We would like to thank all our customers for their kind patience that has been displayed during these times, and we look forward to a long future with you.

If however, we have upset you too much with the temporary restrictions in place, although we don't want to see you go, we have decided to reduce the minimum contract from 3 months to 1 month for any customers who signed up on 12th June or earlier. We want customers to stay because they want to, rather than have to.

Once again, thank you all for your valued custom, current and in the future.

Ace Internet

We know of very few people that have used the Internet to watch World Cup matches, indeed reports from other ISP's suggest that service quality has so far remained normal.

It's unclear why Ace/Mistral has been hit so hard when others haven’t, although a lack of adequate network preparation for newer ADSLMax technology has caused issues with some ISP’s.
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