Skip Navigation

Traffic shaping trial underway for some ntl:Telewest customers
Wednesday 17 January 2007 17:15:17 by Andrew Ferguson has details on a traffic shaping trial underway in the Swansea area.

ntl:Telewest is experimenting with a system that will limit its 10Mbps service customers down to a maximum of 5Mbps between 4pm and midnight if the individuals usage exceeds what ntl:Telewest considers is fair under the firms Fair Use Policy (FUP).

Figures from ntl:Telewest suggest that around 10% of its customers are actually using 70% of the available bandwidth capacity at any time. If the company goes ahead with faster products like 20Mbps and 50Mbps which are believed to be under trial, it is possible this 70% may increase further. Estimates from the company suggest that over 95% of customers should not notice the new system.

From what we can see it looks like the restriction is a daily thing, which should mean those affected do not need to wait too long before downloads can resume at faster speeds.

What is interesting to those following the growth of usage policies in the UK, is that the ntl:Telewest move is not linked to any BT Group pricing, since the cable broadband network does not use BT Central products. The BT Centrals are a key component in the BT Wholesale ADSL products and can be a significant cost for broadband providers.


Posted by JohnUK over 10 years ago
Couldn't agree with this more, evening speeds on TW and NTL are degrading if this will limit the mass obcessive compulsive leechers who need to download hundreds of gigabytes a month during the consumer peak of evening use and return the speedy network usage; all the better.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 10 years ago
Sounds like another good reason not to pay for more than 4MBit. Unless there is a clear policy on precisely what to expect, you can now randomly find your gaming ruined by arbitrary traffic shaping.

Or you can downgrade and pay less. Hm...
Posted by adriandaz over 10 years ago
"you can now randomly find your gaming ruined by arbitrary traffic shaping" ...nonsense.

- I think you will find heavy downloaders using up all the available bandwidth are more likely to ruin your gaming experience!
Posted by shaunhw over 10 years ago
It's about time "trading standards" stepped in, so you can be sure exactly what you get for your money.

If telewest cannot deliver 10mbs **UNLIMITED** then they should NOT be allowed to advertise and sell such a service. This seems like gross misrepresentation to me.

The same applies to all other ISPs involved in such misrepresentation too.
Posted by adriandaz over 10 years ago
Depends on how you look at it, unlimited downloads? or unlimited downloads @ 10Mbit? What about contention? The service is an UPTO 10Mbit product anyway...
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 10 years ago
adriandaz, no, the product is clearly sold as 10MBit and the section for caps in the agreement is...empty.

Further, wow, okay - some heavy downloader might push my pings from 100 to 125. Traffic shapping? 600+, IME, on three different platforms (ADSL who shaped ALL customers).

Establish guidelines and get those who are downloading material 23/7. DON'T "traffic shape" connections into uselessness for anything but - slow - web browsing.
Posted by adriandaz over 10 years ago - Broadband Elite "up to 10Mb" - "Up to 10Mb Broadband"

Latency is far worse when a backbone connection is saturated. Traffic shaping aims to reduce saturation therefore allowing more important traffic such as VOIP, games, IM etc... to take presidence over NNTP/FTP etc... which can saturate backbones quickly.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 10 years ago
The traffic shaping "soloutions" themselves create massive amounts of latency IME. And I have yet to experience a shaped connection with deacent games performance. VOIP? Sure. Games? NO! And IM protocols allow file sharing as well...

Oh, and try reading the actual agreement not the sales page, neh?
Posted by chrysalis over 10 years ago
Mixed views on this, the shaping is much less of what we see on adsl 5mbit is still a respectable speed but they do advertise unlimited which means they are shaping people within the limits of what they signed up for, they also appear to be only punishing people on the most expensive tier which is a big no no, ntl still havent learned from old mistakes and it will only encourage people to downgrade reducing turnover.
Posted by adriandaz over 10 years ago
Dawn_Falcon - yet again you are showing your lack of knowledge about the subject. In your experience, where has shaping increased latency? I do fine on my connection with my shaped package, my latency is better than most BTW based and LLU ISPs. I would have thought you would read the sales page before signing up?
Posted by Nomgle over 10 years ago
Dawn_Falcon : The whole point of traffic shaping is to REDUCE your pings. It gives priority to Gaming/VoIP/etc packets, at the expense of file downloads, etc.

Far from increasing your latency to 600ms, it does infact STOP your latency increasing (for services where latency is important) when the network is congested.

If your a gamer, Traffic Shaping is a GOOD thing !
Posted by Nomgle over 10 years ago
As an aside to the above, many gamers (including me) DELIBERATELY introduce Traffic Shaping onto their networks, in order to specifically reduce their pings while their connection is busy. I personally use a but there's a whole bunch of ways to go about it.
Posted by GP03 over 10 years ago
I think it is a rip-off for any isp to market their services as unlimited and 10Mbit then cripple them with this FUD. The point is if your backbone network can't handle the traffic volume as a result of such product roll out then why roll out the product?
Posted by GP03 over 10 years ago
[2nd part]
It is like I am a dairy farmer who is selling milk to subscribers and as I take on more customers I don't invest in getting more cows to produce more milk and then suddently I am over subscribed. So what do I do? I go around and reducing everybody's milk delivery by 2/3 and still charge them full price. Is it fair? If you think it is still fair then why does boardband service as a product any different then milk also as a product?
Posted by jonathanmusto over 10 years ago
Because your customers would be paying for '1 pint per week', not 'up to 1 pint per week'...
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.