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Nildram U-Turns On Traffic Management Policy
By: MarkJ - 01 November, 2006 (12:50 PM)

Roughly two weeks ago we reported on how Nildram had quietly introduced a form of 'Traffic Management' onto its broadband service (HERE). Today ADSLGuide reports that Nildram appears to have u-turned on the system, albeit not without different consequences:

Traffic management is used by most ISPs as a means of coping with excessive downloading from a minority of users, which sometimes has a knock on effect for other users on the network. Traffic management does not impact the total download allocation users have per month, but limits the instantaneous bandwidth allocated to certain types of traffic Ė for example, the Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP) and peer to peer (P2P) applications.

Since we began traffic shaping two weeks ago, we have been talking directly to customers to get their feedback on how it affects them, so that we can implement a fair traffic management policy that ensures a consistent quality of service for everyone.

In response to these initial trials and feedback received, this morning we took steps to extend network though-put in the short term to minimise the impact of traffic management for bandwidth intensive customers.

However, we are committed to stopping excessive down-loaders impacting the service for everyone else. Over the next few weeks we will be contacting individuals who regularly download excessive amounts using P2P and NNTP to request they change their online usage. If they are unable to change, we may restrict their P2P and NNTP profiles and, as a last resort, may suspend services and possibly close their account.

Nildram takes a responsible approach to providing the best online service possible which means at times making difficult decisions to manage the service for the vast majority of our customers. We hope that this change in our approach shows we value customer feedback and are prepared to investigate different approaches to achieving a quality and reliable service.

The news should be welcomed, yet curiously Nildram is already an ISP with firmly defined data usage limits and additional charges for extra GB consumed. This makes us ponder how 'excessive' usage is to be gauged.

Is it abuse to download a lot via legitimate P2P based services (e.g. Steam Ė HalfLife2 game etc.) while remaining within the packages cap? We donít know, but hopefully more details will emerge. ISPís that adopt any sort of policy should always be clear with consumers about what they can and can not do, yet many often arenít.

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