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Pipex clarifies its Acceptable Usage Policy
Wednesday 27 July 2005 12:01:00 by Andrew Ferguson

Pipex a few weeks ago announced that is was implementing a form of 'network traffic management' and at the time the amount of factual information was very spartan. The original Pipex FAQ on the matter has recently been revised to provide more detail. A great deal of the changes revolve around attempts to reassure the 99.3% of the customers who should be unaffected by the policy.

Perhaps the largest change, and one that addresses the previous 'one strike and your managed' rule, is the introduction of a two week grace period after the initial letter to allow users to adapt their usage patterns, i.e. to shift the bulk of their downloads to the off-peak times. We have reproduced this section of the FAQ below:

If my usage pattern does affect other customers during peak hours will I be given an opportunity to change my usage pattern before traffic management is applied to my connection?

In a very small number of extreme cases, some customers' usage has such a detrimental impact on other customers PIPEX has decided to apply traffic management to their connections immediately. These customers have been contacted. There may be other customers who fall into this category as we continue to roll-out the traffic management measures and analyse network data. They will also be contacted in due course.

In general, customers who are candidates for traffic management will be given a two week period during which to adapt their usage pattern to the shared or "contended" nature of ADSL broadband (please refer to the 'Guidance for Heavy Users' page for more information). Customers will be contacted by e-mail once they have been identified. The two week period will commence from the time they are sent the e-mail.

Should analysis show that these particular customers' usage has adapted so that other customers are not being impacted during peak periods, traffic management will not be applied to their connections. This will be reviewed on a monthly basis moving forward. If PIPEX feels it is prudent to apply traffic management to a customer's connection after the initial two week period or at a later date, we reserve the right to do so. Customers will be duly notified if this turns out to be necessary.

Extract from Pipex Accceptable Usage Policy

The FAQ also gives some further clarification on the type of usage pattern that will attract the attention of the traffic management system. This is those who use the connection between 6pm and midnight on a regular basis with downloads that run at high speed for long periods of time. For those using P2P type applications, the obvious answer is to employ the throttling built into the application to slow the downstream down for this period. Many other downloads can be scheduled by download managers to automatically download outside this period. Certainly the wording from Pipex should mean that those who are simply webbrowsing perhaps with some streaming audio or bits of video should be fine.

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