FairADSL announced on Friday that bandwidth throttling for Peer to Peer applications such as Kazaa will be implemented in the near future. After monitoring the proportion of traffic associated with P2P, a figure in the region of 60%, from a minority of users has been determined.
The full statement from FairADSL can be read here. It is interesting to note that they are seeing a lot of binary newsgroup traffic as well. When BT Openworld had its P2P issues over a year ago, the level of traffic was only 25% for P2P and 1% for newsgroups. Either the use of P2P has exploded, or a different demographic of users exists.
The throttling will ensure that all users will still be able to use P2P but that at peak times the speeds may slow down. This slow down will preserve the quality of other protocols e.g. HTTP and gaming. Apparently FairADSL stated that they tried adding more bandwidth but it seemed no matter how much they added it simply just got used up.
This move is not that much of a surprise. To sustain any sub £30 broadband service, where users are behaving as if the line can be used to download 5GB every day for months on end, will eventually hit a problem if enough people behave like this. Any contended service works on the proportion of heavy users staying relatively low, if it doesn't then things like upstream bandwidth costs can escalate and erode margins. Providers across Europe are seeing similar things, particularly with the costs for International bandwidth.
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