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BT Total Broadband's Traffic Management
By: MarkJ - 05 July, 2007 (8:42 AM)

Readers may recall BT's Total Broadband customers complaining about the provider’s poor performance towards the end of last month. The ISP itself blamed the issues on a technical matter of exchange based connection:

BT Statement: Broadband usage in the UK has been one of the great consumer technology success stories and we are aware that this accelerating demand has meant that a few exchanges can be congested at very busy times. The broadband team at bt Retail is working with our bt Wholesale colleagues to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

However some customers disagreed and blamed the problem on BT's use of traffic shaping / management technology, much as one of the providers own support staff later alluded to on its official newsgroup:

Information just came in actually. Apparently all the usernames I supplied to Trend are being shaped deliberately for being heavy users. I have been advised that you should contact the FUP team for further advice.

I am aware that many of you have already called them, I would suggest talking to them again. As an example I know that Robert has not been experiencing any issues, if you would oblige us maybe you could call them and ask if you are being managed as a result of high usage.




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No doubt the truth rests somewhere in between, yet this is all relatively old news now. However by way of an update, it's also emerged that BT Retail was busy adopting a new traffic shaping / management technology at the same time as the problems were occurring:

June 20, 2007 – Ellacoya Networks™, Inc., a leading provider of carrier-class broadband service optimization solutions for IP networks, today announced that British Telecommunications plc (BT) has deployed its solution to support the BT Retail broadband network of more than 3 million subscribers.

BT is committed to delivering new products and services that enable users to take advantage of opportunities in the broadband Internet’s changing environment,” said Mike Cunningham, Director, BT Retail Internet Networks. “The Ellacoya system has proven to be an important part of this strategy by enabling us to understand user demand and meet that demand with quality-assured premium services.

The Ellacoya solution’s network visibility function is being used for capacity planning and traffic analysis; providing visibility into aggregate traffic and specific application usage on both a real-time and historic basis. This enables BT to effectively engineer network capacity to meet all subscriber bandwidth needs as well as to anticipate and plan for future service requirements.

The service optimization functions of the Ellacoya solution are used to identify and provide Quality-of-Service (QoS) for BT’s IPTV service, BTVision, and to analyze VoIP service quality to ensure expected performance. It also allows BT’s business customers to self-activate services remotely.

BT is setting the pace in the new world of broadband services,” said Gerald Wesel, chairman and CEO of Ellacoya Networks. “We are delighted to have been selected by such a distinguished group.

Typically that PR was issued during the latter half of June, unfortunately it wasn’t widely publicised in the UK Internet press and was missed. Chances are most of you know about it already, but if you didn’t then you do now =).

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