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NTL Introduces Traffic Shaping

Posted: 03rd Apr, 2006 By: MarkJ
Cable-Forum reports that a number of NTL's customers have reported slower than normal broadband connections. It has since been discovered that a 'Traffic Shaping' clause was recently introduced into the T&C's without any notice, which could be related to the problems:

As with the implementation of broadband download caps back in February 2003, ntl have quietly slipped the relevant Traffic Shaping clause into their User Policy (section 20). In February 2003, ntl:home MD at the time, Aizad Hussain, admitted that the cap was “poorly communicated,” and unfortunately it would appear that lessons were not learnt from this exercise. You can read the relevant section from the User Policy below, which Cable Forum member Toto spotted:

"In addition, we reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to manage all traffic and traffic types on our data network to ensure a consistent and optimal service for all our Broadband customers. At peak times (normally 6pm to 11pm), we may therefore limit the bandwidth available to less time-sensitive traffic types, in particular peer to peer traffic, or in extreme circumstances, where network congestion leads to potential denial of service for some customers, to reduce bandwidth allocations at an individual or a network level, in order to maintain a consistent quality of service for all customers. These restrictions do not apply outside of peak hours."

Whether traffic shaping has already been implemented is still unclear, but early reports on the forum would indicate that it has been, at least in some areas between 6pm and 11pm.


It's not known whether the new clause will also impact Telewest's customers, although we can only hope it doesn't. Traffic Shaping has a tendency to cause problems when not managed correctly.

Most disturbing is that NTL appears not to have learnt from its past mistakes, once again failing to communicate. Many had hoped that the restructuring and Telewest merger might wash away some of NTL’s past problems away, we guess not.
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