Pipex has taken a move, that depending on your view point will either be good or bad. On the Pipex Solo range, from 9am on July 4th, traffic management will be implemented, this should in theory allow Pipex to ensure that any small group of users or application cannot bring their network to a grinding halt. Pipex has published a FAQ for those concerned about the changes, see here.
Of course in 2005, traffic management to many means fair use policies and caps, which brings the worry of 'am I using too much?'. It seems Pipex are saying that it is less than 1% of its userbase that are consuming a disproportionate amount of capacity. This new system introduced by Pipex has no hard and fast limit, with Pipex reserving the right to change its mind at a later date.
The next few weeks may prove interesting, one expects to see a very vocal minority, but there is always a larger group who worry about their usage levels without any need to. At this time though it appears Pipex is not heading the Wanadoo route, of one warning and then an assisted migration to another service provider.
With the rise of streaming video from various traditional TV broadcasters in the UK, traffic management may actually become more popular. The reason is that it allows a provider to potentially reduce the amount of stutter in video streams. Conversely the rise in connection speeds, from 2Mbps now to 8Mbps and faster in the next may mean that the effect from the small minority of 24/7 downloaders and uploaders will be even greater. Perhaps the rise of capping/throttling/traffic management simply stems back to the pricing changes BT Wholesale started in April 2004, with its Capacity Based Charging. If so, the recent news from Ofcom of holding IPStream pricing fairly static until 1.5 million lines are in the wild is not good news for many providers.
One final thought. Should service providers like Pipex be allowed to advertise services as unlimited?
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