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Possibility of more ISP acquisitions
Thursday 12 October 2006 10:21:00 by Andrew Ferguson

Plusnet the ISP that had 198,000 customers as of June 2006 is reportedly in talks with BT over its acquisition by the BT Group. The Independent is reporting this on its website.

As is normal in situations like this both parties declined to comment on the original article, leaving the speculation to create its own life. PlusNet and BT already have a working relationship beyond that of a standard IPStream customer, since it supplies some software used in BT. One possibility is that by buying Plusnet, BT may acquire the expertise inside Plusnet which has been gained in the time it has been using the Ellacoya IP Service Control System to control its own Ellacoya units. The Ellacoya's form the basis of the traffic management system at Plusnet, which is used to control different types of traffic flow, keeping a cap on the costs for the provider and offering the possibility of applications like gaming remaining low latency when the network would otherwise naturally be running at a high latency for all protocols.

In separate news Ellacoya announced at the Broadband World Forum that it was releasing a software update that improved the Deep Packet Inspection abilities of the software. This should allow the Ellacoya to identify and allow an ISP to prioritise the traffic flow of encrypted Peer2Peer (P2P) traffic, for example BitTorrent, Skype. It also seems the ability to create a mirror copy of selected traffic is now possible, so a provider can troubleshoot and analyse traffic. More at BusinessWire.com.

Update 10:15am: Plusnet has issued a short statement on Reuters which confirms a preliminary approach has taken place, but no outcome has been decided.

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