back to article Another ISP throttles bandwidth

Pipex-owned ISP Nildram has joined the ranks of providers who are interfering with traffic to reduce the bandwidth burden from peer-to-peer networks and other "non-interactive" traffic. The firm applied bandwidth throttling on Monday, restricting P2P and newsgroup traffic to as slow as a snail's pace 64Kbit/s. Customers, …


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  1. Blane Bramble

    Fairly tpical of Pipex

    Seems fairly typical of expected events since Pipex took them over.

  2. Anthony Metcalf


    "use FTP [file transfer protocol] and NNTP [network news transfer protocol] to synch up between offices. [They] really screwed us badly as we had no warning at all to make alternate provision and move provider"

    "This weighting allows us to preference interactive traffic such us HTTP (Web), VoIP and VPN "

    Does this mean your "correspondant" doesn't have a VPN for traffic between offices, over the internet? Or is the FAQ lying?

  3. Brian Clarke

    Unfair contract terms?

    Does this means we can cancel our contract due to variation by Nildram?

  4. Simon Day

    The advantage of cut offs

    They are a really good way to get out of fixed period contracts :)

    Don't let me ancel without a penalty?

    No problem, I'll just torrent a dozen or so linux distros, at once, repeatedly, continuously, until you boot me from the network!

  5. Steven


    Curious coincidence that this article has been posted today…

    Just migrated one of our customers from Nildram/Pipex to Zen as they have been unable to get more that 64k/sec on their circuit SINCE the 3rd May so I’d be interested to hear from anyone else who seems to have been caught up in an unofficial trial.

    Nildram tech support have been nothing short of useless in attempting to resolve this issue blaming everything from a faulty router/microfilter to a dodgy line card in the DSLAM, in the end the client got so frustrated they provisioned a new analogue line and got a new circuit. Which surprise surprise is getting 8MB/sec which the same equipment that Nildram said was faulty.

    And our client? A large firm of solicitors, guess which article I’ll be forwarding them…

    I think this is an absolute disgrace; not only are they applying this to all their customers, business and home users alike but it would seem that it affects every protocol, not just P2P apps etc.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    64k would be great!

    Pipex are currently throttling my '3mb connection' to 20k between 4pm and roughly 2am every day. They are also blocking VPN access and newsgroups. My speeds are so bad that even reading webpages is like being transported back to the days when I had my IBM Aptiva with it's state of the art 28.8k modem.

    I'm off to the nearest Entanet reseller asap.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    QoS destroyed

    While I do not really care about various form of theft of services aka P2P (cough, cough) the change has also totally destroyed the QoS on non-Nildram VOIP. Prior to that Nildram was probably one of the best ISPs to use for accessing a 3rd party VOIP services (I used this for the last 4+ years). Based on a couple of calls today this looks like this is no more. It is in some rock bottom class with jitter through the roof. Same for VPNs for that matter (at least the ones I use).

    So as a matter of fact they are pulling an "Bliar" in this press release. They should say "Our sorry excuse for a VOIP service" and "Our sorry excuse for a VPN service" to the destruction of all possible competion.

    Severely annoyned (a soon to be an ex-nildram customer).

  8. Ed

    Long time Nildram user...

    ... not for much longer. Had really bad connection for playing games, and now this. Nildram aren't cheap, why do they treat the customers so badly now? They used to be good :(

  9. Matt Derry

    Pipex, well...

    we had been with Pipex since mid 2004 with adsl. After 6 months they upgraded it to a 1 mb connection, then to 2mb a few months after except once the upgrade was completed our internet was slower! amazing 'upgrade'.....

    We finally had enough of them about a week into the new year as they took £150 out of our account. They said that they had upgraded their accounts system in the middle of 2006 and some customers details were 'lost' in the process. They decided that they would charge us all at once without any notice.

    After 8 or so hours on the phone to a number of different people they said they would refund the money and let us pay it back bit by bit. This never happened.

    We have been with bt since end of jan and have had no problems as of yet. I was surprised to say the least when i found out last week Pipex had taken £50 out of our account to cover the last 3 months broadband!

    its amazing how they can do this, even after we ended our contract with them. How many other customers has this happened to?!

  10. Jamie Henderson

    The last of the good ISP's

    Typical. I was just recommending them yesterday and saying how they were the last of the good "proper" ISP's. They always had a good reputation in the industry way back, way back when I used to work for ISP's. I moved to them because I do download a lot but was happy to pay more to do so. Nildram have been a dream for the last year but now they have to turned into a nightmare. It's champagne price for grape juice flavour.

    What a shame Pipex got their hands on them (they also used to be a proper ISP when I worked for them 10 years ago but long long since lost). They want to reduce costs by not having to invest in their network but I'd love to see their P&L after the loss of customer revenue. Why stay and pay the extra when I can get bad service much cheaper?

    I'll be requesting my MAC then. Anyone got any suggestions for an alternative ISP to use?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nildram customer survey today - a co-incidence?

    Having been a Nildram customer for over 3 years today I received a request from Nildram to take part in a custoemr survey - the first time they ever asked me to do one of those. Seems a bit of a co-incidence to me.

    Anyhow - I gave them pretty good scores in the survey (because actually I've always been impressed with their service over the years) and then imagine my surprise when I see this story on EL Reg ce soir! What gives? Have I been blind and not noticed this sudden degredation in my service? Am I exempt because I (very) rarely use P2P? Is everything about to grind to a standstill?

    Perplexed of the Midlands.......

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice of them to let customers know...

    Strange that they can manage to send customers their Survey (got mine today too), but a major change to the service is only announced though an FAQ section (not exactly obvious!) and by posting to a 3rd party forum - customers aren't actually told anything directly even though the contact details are obviously close to hand and easily used for other things.

    To be honest I've been expecting the downhill slide to start ever since Pipex got involved, but the service didn't seem to change so I've stuck around.

    Now we end up stuck with an undefined modifier on the service, and aren't even directly told it exists. I'm all for backend traffic shaping if it actually helps overall performance, and if it's clear what's going on, but for now it just looks like some 'ownbrand' services might be getting priority, and it doesn't matter if other stuff gets broken in the process and what it does to users.

    And anyway, what do they think people are actually buying an 8Mb line with a 50GB allowance for? I sure isn't for VOIP and basic http pages! It's not like there's even an unshaped allowance, the system is just crippled full time which sort of defeats the object of paying for the service. So if I need to download a (legal) dvd image I may as well not have bothered paying for a faster service the performance of which is only actually fully utilised for larger downloads.

    For now I'll wait and see what happens, but moving to another provider is an option that remains open.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    bean counters again!

    it's always the same - after an acquisition, the "bean counters" get involved to improve profit at the expense of the end customers. Time for me to look for a smaller ISP (if there are any left)!

  14. Colin Jackson


    'P2P is non-interactive'? Isn't that an oxymoron?

    The thing that annoys me about this is that ISPs are all too keen to lock you down to a 12-month contract, but want to be able to 'adjust' their provision as and when they like. This can't be fair practice, as it stops customers service-hopping to avoid unreasonable restrictions. Effectively it's restriction of competition. The ISPs don't have to worry about providing a better service than their competitors, because they have their customers locked-in.

  15. MR W B Jones

    Pipex over bill

    I had teh same thing pipex sent me a letter saying that they had not been billing me for some time and that i owed them £130.

    I rang them up and said that there was no way i could pay that in one go.

    They said that the payment would be cancelled and some one from finance would ring me back the next day and arrange installments.

    No one rang, so i rang them only to be told that the payment had not been cancelled and there was no such department.

    it was a good job i rang back as the new nice laddy canclled the payment and arrange a payment plan with me.

    But once they are payed off i will probley be moving to some one else £35 a month for 4 meg when i dont even get 4 meg is simple not worth it in this day and age, the question is thou who will give me what i pay for?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone got any suggestions for an alternative ISP to use?

    Telewest are fantastic ... oh hang on ... damnit

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They are blatantly lying

    Incoming VOIP from and a lot of other providers is QoS-ed down into garbage class and made totally unusable so they are blatantly lying in that press release. There is no intention to improve VOIP (at least any VOIP but their VOIP). This is nothing but a cheap ploy to force their horrid excuse for voice and VOIP product down people's throats to show better product penetration prior to acquisition.

    In fact, as they offer a competitive service which still works while work one by their competitors does not this is asking for competition commission involvement. Though, frankly, I am not going to wait for this. I am going to get my MAC and go elsewhere.

  18. Paul

    don't be daft

    i can see why maybe gaming fans and some businesses might get their knickers in a twist, but i've not noticed any difference to the service.

  19. Matthew

    OK, you caught me...

    I can't believe I was evangelising Nildram in a comment on another article barely 24 hours ago and then find out about this. I've rated Nildram very highly for the last five years and am frankly horrified at this NTL-style customer service.

    I blame Pipex for spending time with the Hoff. Maybe he's been selecting management's beverages recently?

    I'll try not to recommend anything else in case it goes titsup or crap too.

  20. Lee Sexton

    Beyond a joke

    This whole situation is becoming a disgrace. Yet again "pirates" are being blamed for oversubscription on the networks. ISP's really need to be investigated, I have set up an epitition about this *still waiting for it to be okayed, now a week*. ISP's need to realise that with faster connections higher bandwidth services are inevitable. It's not just people "stealing" software and games that is causing the congestion, there are on demand movies, games, music etc which all use the p2p technology, it's getting ridiculous now and I am eagerly awaiting some of these companies starting to sue the ISP's for loss of business due to the throttling, after all, why should I pay £8 per month for on demand games when I cant actually download them? Theres also the green issue coming into play here, your pc needs to be on 24/7 for a few days at a time wasting energy because your speeds are so slow.

    If airlines are getting into trouble for overbooking why are ISP's getting away with it? They need to seriously look at their estimates of bandwidth use, are they still basing it on 56k useage? They need to wake up before they completely obliterate the already laughable state of UK broadband.

  21. Christian Royle

    Have your say - sign this petition

    A Dundee engineer has launched an e-petition on the Prime Minister's website to campaign against slumping broadband speeds. 32-year-old Lee Sexton claims ISPs are 'clearly throttling speeds' at peak times to reduce network congestion. Several ISPs, such as Virgin Media, have implemented so-called traffic shaping policies where subscribers who exceed a daily download limit have their download speeds cut in half.

    Sign the petition at:

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