back to article BT slams bandwidth brakes on all subscribers

BT is throttling all of its broadband customers' bandwidth at peak times, not just heavy users, according to independent monitoring data. Early findings from a new hardware-based monitoring project by ISP analysis outfit Samknows show that even customers who use their connection lightly have non-port 80 traffic slowed to about …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Well done BT!

    "Samknows used tests on other ports to simulate peer-to-peer traffic, so even a casual BT downloader who grabs a TV show from BitTorrent faces the throttle."

    So BT is throttling the illegal filesharers? Excellent news.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I thought BitTorrent clients used port 80 specifically for this purpose?

  3. Dan Meineck

    Everything other than Port 80 is Peer to Peer now?


    "Early findings from a new hardware-based monitoring project by ISP analysis outfit Samknows show that even customers who use their connection lightly have non-port 80 traffic slowed to about 15 per cent of the normal speed in the evening, when load on BT's network is high."

    BT's Response:

    "it is only for peer-to-peer applications and does not affect streaming services such as BBC iPlayer"

    My response:

    So every port other than port 80 is assumed to be Peer To Peer? Email? FTP? The list is pretty long. Sadly amusing that an ISP has such an amazingly poor grasp of the Internet.

  4. Liam


    yet they are still allowed to put unlimited etc

    what the hell does ofcom actually do?

    yes, its limited to 75% of the speed you are paying for!

    im still struggling to get over 4Mb from my 10Mb line from virgin... anyone know why if i unplug my gateway i can get an extra 1Mb? doesnt make sense to me!

  5. david bates

    As far as I can tell

    Eclipse do exactly the same.

    I only have to kick off a torrent (Linux distro, obv. ;) ) and my connection grinds to a halt, however little is coming down.

    Unless its my setup...comments by other Eclipse users welcome...

  6. andy gibson


    I'm glad of this. I'd rather surf at a decent speed than have it dragged down by some moron who can't be bothered to pay to see a film at the cinema or hire it on DVD. And before anyone goes on about using torrents for Linux ISOs, I've always found the HTTP sources good and fast enough for me.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I knew it!

    I'd been randomising the p2p port with bitorrent with little or no affect on transfer speeds. How annoying.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bears and woods?

    We really needed a separate ogranisation to tell us this?! Well I am seriously shocked and appalled, I really am! ( Yeah right! )

  9. Guy
    Black Helicopters

    Re: Well Done BT

    But it is restricting everyones traffic, not just the people who should be put in the naughty corner. Legal use is being restricted as well. Maybe they are just trying to get the people who don't use their connection, p****d off at those that actually try and use what they paid for.

  10. Al Iguana
    Thumb Down


    I call shinanigans. For example, if I go to watch a video on the BBC news site, my internet connection shuts off. EVERY TIME. Doesn't happen with YouTube or such, just BBC related content. I have to reboot my BT Homehub to get connection back. Methinks BT are targetting the Beeb specifically.

    Any ISPs that don't have a blanket throttle? I'm feeling the need to switch providers all of a sudden...

  11. green_giant

    Same for me on eclipse

    I have similar experiences with eclipse. As soon as i get any torrent started my internet net will crawl to a snails pace. as soon as i stop the torrent it will come back to normal speed withing a few minutes.

    Anoying as i was capping torrents myself so i could keep on browsing easily.

  12. Brian Miller

    BE unlimited

    If you are lucky enough to be near one of their exchanges I highly recommend BE internet.

    BT suck. They assigned the same IP to my mums business as someone else. It took them 2 weeks to find the fault, and her contract says that because she pays through the nose for a business line she should get connected within 3 days. They tried to convince her it was her config and equipment at fault. THEY can't even spot an IP conflict on their network.

    and then there is the phorm crap. DON'T USE BT.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Eclipse Users

    Yes, Eclipse throttle during peak periods which they define as between 9am and 11pm. Torrent anytime between and you will be throttled.

    Torrent anytime around that time and connection is unlimited. Given torrent clients, eg. Azureus, tend to have some kind of sheduling plugin, this is not difficult to do.

    Eclipse are up front about both the peak period and off-peak so I have never had a problem...

  14. Steven

    Good Ridence

    Well I switch to a new provider this Saturday and about bloody time. My 'upto' 8MB line has never had more than betwwen 2-3MB and downloading large files is painful. Gave their customer services an earful about Phorm and said goodbye for good :)

  15. Tim Russell

    Over subscription

    If your a residential customer you can expect anything from 1:10 to 1:25 over subscription. You get what you pay for! You want a real 20mb line (That's what we have over here btw) then you need to get a business connection and pay for.

    Stop being such a group of freeloaders! This isn't anthing new.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    rock and hard place

    Although i would like to address the stupidity of some of the comments here about how they would like to surf better if DVD thieves are kicked of the net....i'm not going to, people are entitled to their propaganda based opinions,

    But to stop this in fighting, maybe ISP could just give us what they sold us and stop lying and overselling, instead of preaching about how evil non port 80 traffic is.

    (the internet lived without port 80 in the early days before TBL and his HTTP)

  17. Anonymous Coward


    You can't assume all p2p traffic is illegal file sharing, many games including wow make use of p2p technology for their updates etc.. one size does not fit all... and just for the record i do not download or share films/music via p2p.

  18. Miguel

    They also cap other ISPs IP Stream service

    sync speeds of a certain size are attached to a particular profile i.e. your sync speed is 6900, then you only get the lower profile. I cant remember the ranges off the top of my head but I do remember that if your sync speed is the absolute max of 8128 then you will only be able to get throughput of 7150.

    Poor service all round, even if you're not with BT

  19. Anonymous Coward

    @David Bates

    Yep, Eclipse are known to apply throttling. My Evolution 4 package used to have a FUP limit of 50GB during peak hours (6-12pm) but now this has been extended to 14 hours a day from 9am to 11pm. All their new connections have caps of up to 50GB with charges for exceeding it, but they claim no throttling.

    The problem is, throttling is the specific action of reducing throughput on ports deemed to be of lower priority traffic, but on top of that is traffic "shaping" which is designed to deal with the 50:1 contention issue where the local loop:backhaul bandwidth ratio was dimensioned for a far different usage pattern than is prevalent know. Essentially the ISP has subscribers with faster sync speeds pulling more and more traffic over pipes that used to be charged flat rate and are now charged for each gig of extra data that flows. We've all seen El Reg's articles on the effect of iPlayer over the first couple of months of 2008, it's only going to get worse.

    I don't mind paying more money for greater usage provided that the increments are reasonable, I don't call over a quid a gigabyte reasonable though.

    BT have everyone by the balls because of passing the traffic across their ATM network, but even where LLU has allowed backhaul on a different basis it isn't much better.

    Something somewhere has to give, the current situation is going to become untenable if the current policies are maintained, after all in a few years time I'm sure that encouraging people to work from home to reduce congestion/pollution/oil usage is going to become a big political issue and if there is not enough bandwidth at a sensible price to achieve that then it will have to be fixed.

    Flames because I'm expecting some.....and we need more icons!

  20. Anonymous Coward

    People are just going to be queuing at the door ....

    ... to sign up to an ISP that is advocating snooping technology (Phorm) and throttling!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Makes Sense

    Throttling p2p makes sense at peak times, given that most torrents take a good while to finish anyway. What it misses out on at peak times, it will get back in the early hours of the morning.

    Note that 'non port 80' traffic is a bit innacurate. BT actually throttle p2p traffic. They achieve this by packet sniffing, not by port throttling, so you can throw it down any port you like and it will recognse it.

    To be perfectly honest, gettting even 15% on a 50:1 contended service sounds like a pretty good deal if it only gets that low for a few hours a day!

  22. Adam Collett

    Zen Internet

    They give you a connection, a username and a password - the rest you do yourself.

    They do not throttle your bandwith or perform any packet shaping - you just get the line and that's it.

    The only drawback is there is a monthly cap, but to be honest I download quite a few "linux distros" over bittorrent and rarely cap out the 25Gig limit I have and they do do a 50Gig if you are happy to pay, which for completely un-throttled speed is pretty good.

  23. adnim

    @AC:well done BT!

    Yup that's excellent news. BT throttle illegal p2p file sharing by indiscriminately throttling ALL p2p traffic.

    Now by the same logic let's throttle or stop completely all protocols that allow for the dissemination of illegal material... We should start with http and ftp then move on to NNTP, POP and IMAP protocols and completely disregard any legitimate use of these protocols.

    BT do not traffic shape to protect copyright holders from illegal file sharers. BT traffic shape to save themselves money, and maximise profit.

    I can only guess you do not use p2p at all for any reason. And because of that it is fine that it is throttled regardless of content. Hats off to your "I'm alright Jack" attitude, just what we need, solidarity of consumers in the face of piss taking corporations.

  24. Jolyon Ralph

    @Mr Coward "just for the record"

    Mr Coward,

    We have duly noted your statement and it is now a matter of public record that you, Mr Anonymous Coward, do not download or share films/music. Thank you for the clarification.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    We're getting throttled because we're stupid.

    Meh - BT have the clout and infrastructure to say/do what ever they like, especially since Ofcom has better things to do, like chasing Blue Peter phone-in crooks.

    BT users signed a contract, including me. We're getting throttled because we're stupid.

    The only solution is massive protest (The Million Man Throttling?) by blocking all entrances to BT buildings in the evenings.

  26. b

    Why are BT directors not in jail?

    That's several million RIPA breaches, and now fraud and false advertising...

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm sorry, what?

    There are still people with BT??? Surely everyone's had enough time since the Phorm thing kicked off to offer the required cancellation period...

  28. Sooty

    port 80

    "Port 80 is used for HTTP web traffic"

    Port 80 should only be used for HTTP web traffic, but there's nothing stopping any program using port 80. In fact pretty much every p2p program specifically lets you choose the port to use because of ISPs throttling classic p2p ports.

    I have a funny feeling the web traffic on port 80 is going to dramatically increase as people figure this out. As most p2p software also uses protocol obfuscation it's not exactly easy to distinguish from normal web traffic either

  29. Carl Carter

    @ Tim Russell

    Freeloaders? We PAY for our lines, we're not being freetards getting a free connection. We should get what we PAY for thats what people are arguing about.


    /caught on a bad day..... hold on, thats every day. :)

  30. bobbles31

    It's their ball

    I guess the problem isn't so much the throttling as it is the lieing .

    People don't mind fair use et al but Bt blatantly advertise something that they don't deliver.

    Add that to a 12 month contract and you have got about as close to fraud as I think it is possible to get without a Cabinet Minister on the board!

  31. Tom Chiverton

    2nd Zen

    Not only do they have a no-throttle and no-phorm policy, but their tech support (the one time in many years I had to ring) know their stuff, support Linux and generic ADSL routers (not just the ones you can choose to buy when you start your service with them).

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aha, that explains it

    I've tried many times to video chat with my dad who uses BT. I always wondered why we seemed to be unable to get enough throughput for a webcam.

    Next time I'll proxy it over port 80 and see what happens.

  33. Roger Lancefield

    So BT is an HSP not an ISP

    So BT is essentially an HTTP Service Provider and not a true Internet Service Provider.

    Bandwidth caps I can sympathize with (provided their existence and nature is made perfectly clear), but discriminating against traffic that uses ports other than 80? Pretending that only Web browsers and email clients matter? That's just Chav Internet. Pros and enthusiasts are going to look for alternatives.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    BT confuse me!

    I download "linux distros" and the like via an ssl usenet account. I get around 7.5Mbs out of my 8Mbs at any time of the day with BT. Then if I want to use iPlayer or YouTube my connection then grinds to a halt!

    Make sense of that!

  35. david bates


    Yes, Im on an unlimited/throttled package, so Im happy to accept some throttling - I didnt realise they'd changed the hours and made it so savage tho.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  36. Duncan Robertson
    Paris Hilton

    @Tim Russell: Over Subscription

    Yes Tim, however, business contracts have SLA's and lesser contention. Hence the price! You're obviously sitting on a leased line or bundled SDSL or something. Most residential customers can't afford £1000's pcm.

    Personally, I live in a small village, a couple of hundered metres from the exchange. I have enjoyed 7Mbit/s in the past and work from home a fair bit. Up until now that is. It would seem that BT have now decided that me connecting into the office via a VPN is in the same class as P2P downloaders. Em, no!

    What about the likes of Skype or SSH or online gaming? Am I now confined to the lands of broken speech during calls and crappy laggy framerates?

    I think it's time to give Bloody Terrible a call and move everything (phone inc.) somewhere else. I had moved back to them to consolidate and WAS quite happy. However, THIS is NOT what I signed up for BT. Goodbye!

    Paris because she clearly knows more about filesharing and port numbers than BT!

  37. Oliver

    @ david bates, Eclipse user

    David, I assume when you say your 'connection' grinds to a halt you mean other activities too, e.g. surfing?

    If so check your setup. You need to find out what speed you are being throttled to (do a speed test) and then ensure that, during hours of throttling, you limit your torrent client's upload setting to around 80% of that amount. This should improve the download speeds of your torrents and allow enough headroom to surf (almost) normally.

    Hope it helps!

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Think about it you cretins!! If people were only downloading legal content then the amount of traffic would be far lower and the ISPs would not throttle the traffic.

    Your anger should be directed at those users who abuse the system by illegally downloading to such an extent that BT and others are forced to take action.


  39. Richard
    Thumb Down

    Evil BT

    What with the Phorm trials, interference that they are causing to licensed HF spectrum users with their Homeplug systems and now throttling everyone, I'm so pleased not to be using their broadband - Phone is likely to go though.

  40. frymaster

    possible (improbable) explanation

    ...maybe BT just prioritise port 80 traffic and just share out the spare bandwidth equally?

    I don't think that's especially likely, and it would still mean BT is ludicrously over-subscribed

    it also discriminates against low latency applications like VOIP, gaming, non-port-80 streams, email, ftp...

    they haven't thought this through, have they?

  41. Stuart


    You pay more. You get more. And a real belief in net neutrality.

    Your choice ... why winge at BT if you are not prepared to pay for a decent service?

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No wonder it's been so shite of late

    Well shiteier...

    The last few weeks have been appallingly slow on BT - bad enough when just doing a bit of browsing, but I've also had a number of updates for the Mac, the PS3 and Windows that have had to be installed* and they've been taking hours to come over. Now I kind of know why.

    The moment my BT contract ends I'm out of there for someone like Zen.

    * One for Sony why can't I do ANYTHING on the PS3 until you've downloaded the latest firmware update? This can take the best part of an hour. Why not download in the background and cache to disk so I can get on and play a game / watch a movie. Surely it's not a - gasp - hardware limitation???

  43. Paul


    I thought WoW had slowed down. I have the bottem package, so use less that 20Gig per month, and play WoW in the evening. How can they justify slowing it down? Im canceling my conection tonight.

  44. Yorkshirepudding

    no problems here

    dont file share, dont download, dont stream, just use it for the usual, browsing and online play through the PS3 and i can confirm no problems with that, maybe now i said it though they will scupper that

    in the end live with it or vote with your feet and stop whinging

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    re: Oversubscription -Tim Russell

    Completely agree.. you get what you pay for, Cheap ADSL is like fastfood change - its cheap and its crap.

    my ADSL2+ connection costs £50pm, but I get to hammer it day and night.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "yes, its limited to 75% of the speed you are paying for!"

    Except that what you pay for is generally "Up to whatever Mb/s" there is no stipulation in the user's contract with BT that they are paying for a certain speed, they just pay for a connection. So 75% of "some bandwidth" is what exactly? And then of course there is the acceptable use policy. How many people bother reading the T&Cs and Acceptable use Policy imposed on them by their ISP?

    Anybody read BT's T&Cs to see what they say about shaping, restrictions, etc.

    I'm willing to bet that not too far down the line we will see a two tier system of ISP charging where there will be standard accounts where only common ports are available and unrestricted accounts which cost a fortune and could still be throttled.

    Oh and anybody who believes you can simply tunnel "naughty" traffic down common ports hasn't looked at the sort of shaping, filtering and IPS solutions on the market these days.

  47. dervheid

    I'd have thought that by now...

    just about EVERYONE had gotten it through their heads that all the speeds advertised were, in reality, theoretical maximums.

    And, until (don't hold your breath folks) we get a MASSIVE investment in the comms infrastructure in the UK, it ain't gonna change.

    Neither is 'throttling' or 'traffic shaping' or whateverthefuck you care to call it. It's just a tool (that's not perfect) the ISP's are using to try and give everyone a reasonably fair share of the bandwidth available.

    I don't like it any more than anyone else, but as there will always be a few greedy fuckers out there who feel that they have some sort of right to hog all the bandwidth, so be it.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ bobbles31

    'Add that to a 12 month contract and you have got about as close to fraud as I think it is possible to get without a Cabinet Minister on the board!'

    They've got Patricia Hewitt - does that score closely enough?

  49. green_giant

    Eclipse scheduling

    I know it operates from 9am to 11pm but this means the only time the net runs at the speed i would like is when im asleep. dont think i should have to schedule everything and wait till the next evening to look at a file i wanted yesterday. I know theyre upfront about their schemes but the timing is bit of an incovienance to me.

  50. John Rose

    BT & TalkTalk

    At home we have a BT business connection and a TalkTalk home connection. Both are often equally slow, usually after 4pm, for email & web browsing. We do not use bit torrent and never download films/dvds/music. Can anyone tell me why we this is? BT's status phone service never shows problems in our area. Additionally, there are occasional problems with sending/receiving mail due to BT's pop3 & smtp servers.

  51. Mal Franks
    Paris Hilton

    strangely about 6 months ago

    I found that http access was sub-0.5Mbit/sec, while almost every other port was unhindered.

    This resulted in me contacting the tech support (in India naturally) and was made to go through the hoops such as disconnecting my router/modem and connecting it at the master socket etc. How this would fix a problem that only seemed to be occurring with a single port, I had no bloody idea!

    I emailed support again and specifically stated that it was only http traffic that was being slow for me.

    I received the following response...

    "Please be informed that Port 80 is meant only for the FTP files upload."

    I couldn't wait until my 12 months lock-in was over and I was able to move ISP!

  52. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Zen Internet

    The download limits on Zen are a joke, and their old realistic packages are not available any more... unless you happen to have not changed from them.

    I have an old 512K down 256K up ADSL line with Zen, and with that speed I can download over 170 gigabytes a month, and upload about 80 [1]. But Zen's "hi speed" services choke you to 5gig, 25gig or 50 gig, depending on how much you want to pay.

    Many ISPs have similar limits.... the unfair usage policy will have an amount of data that can be transferred per month, if you divide that by the number of seconds in a month you'll find the speeds often correspond to about dial up speed, maybe ISDN. So much for progress!

    As much as I may be being rude about Zen, I am still with them..... but out of laziness, and the fact they do 8 static IPs (5 usable) for the same price as one.

    I do not recommend them at all as they have a download limit that is artificial. By giving business to those who choose to artificially limit what you can do, you are saying that it is OK for the ISP to apply arbitary limits. I want a service that is as good as the technology will allow, at all times. I do not do business with organisations that limit things just because a bean counter thinks it'll make the shareholders more money.

    [1]Router's sync speed

    Up Speed 288000 bits / sec

    Down Speed 576000 bits / sec

    (365*60*60*24)/12 = 2628000 seconds in a "month"

    576000/8 = 72000 bytes per sec

    => 176.22 gigabytes / month down

    => 88.11 gigabytes / month up

  53. Guy

    Be Internet

    Be Unlimited £18 per month, 2 Miles from Exchange and I can get up to about 10 Meg Down and 1.2 Up, no throttling, no bandwidth cap (FUP alledgedly applies, but I haven't managed to use it enough yet for it to kick in), I have been trying ...honestly, iPlayer, SKype and downloading all sorts of things just to see if there is a breaking point. Haven't needed tech support, so can't comment on their service, but their salespeople actually told the truth about my line speeds (actually slightly higher than they said) was quite refreshing

  54. Maty

    not BT vs BBC

    "I call shinanigans. For example, if I go to watch a video on the BBC news site, my internet connection shuts off. EVERY TIME. Doesn't happen with YouTube or such, just BBC related content. I have to reboot my BT Homehub to get connection back. Methinks BT are targetting the Beeb specifically."

    Actually, I think you will find this is a different issue. On occasion, and depending on circumstances, the iPlayer apparently does something dramatic to hubs that crashes their internet connection whatever, and whenever. Ours did that for a while, and then suddenly stopped doing it. It's not an ISP-based thing

  55. Adrian Challinor

    Surely there is a logic to this.

    Think about it. Evening is BT's peak time, lots of users active, so they have to slow the network speed down.

    It will be fixed when they get the Phorm servers upgraded, otherwise the poor things can't record all the traffic.

  56. Frederick Karno

    Ex plusnet user

    Best move i ever made Plusnet were trialling ellacoya and lying through their back teeth about the problems it causes to all traffic.

    It works by doing deep packet inspection of all traffic and assigning a priority through the system.Many protocols are easily identified and are assigned a throttling to match or in the case of for example voip no throttling .

    Any deep packet inspection requires a loss of speed of the traffic ie ping times increase.Now with the BT/Plusnet model it doesnt matter if you encrypt because if they cant identify it it gets thrown in the max contention stream.

    From my own personal experience it was not acceptable to me to go cap in hand to ask why such and such a program doesnt work properly when the reason was they were restricting it.I dont want an isp telling me what i can and cant use my connection for as long as i stay within my contract,so i left and low and behold all the programs i wanted to use suddenly had no problems.

    My advice to all is , do not get an isp that uses any packet inspection techniques of the ellacoya type at some point you will find problems, pay a few quid more for an isp that doesnt port block they are available just look for them.You will be pleasantly surprised at how good these smaller isp's are at dealing with problems and invariably give better support than there larger cousins,and many have 1 month contracts so if they do want to change things you can vote with your feet.

    I have had 2 years trouble free internet by doing this i hope many more will take the advice get your mac codes and leave them.

    Mines the one with Bigger is not always Better !!!! on the back.

  57. Anonymous Coward

    Throttling or prioritising

    If it's truly due to bottlenecks out of the exchange (assuming that's the argument - quite valid given most DSL consumer lines are contended up to 50:1), then why are they blanket throttling?

    I would happily accept prioritisation of the traffic - i.e. http etc takes priority over torrents

  58. tom

    The fundimental problem

    The UK has one of the most archaic phone systems in the world. The lines are often copper or down here in devon old aluminium lines are still in use giving oh, 400kbps! lovely!

    About time we had 100% fiber connections and then BT (and other ISP's) would just have the issue of equipment in the exchanges to the internet backbone rather than the exchange to homes and businesses.

    Therefore one could have the option to pay for unlimited services which could be used to pay for equipment upgrades at the exchange side thus not impacting on other users internet experience, as currently most of the problems are end users sharing copper rather than the available bandwidth over the major internet backbones.

    Too many people on what is in many places a post ww2 system.

  59. McParland


    I've just left Eclipse for this reason. Despite the fact that my surfing habits were not great I was annoyed that throttling would kick in for the 1 torrent a month I'd be interested in.

    Not worth the £20 a month.

  60. Graham Dawson Silver badge


    So this is why it's taking me several times longer to sftp things to my server than it used to. I thought I was just hitting congestion somewhere... well I guess I was! Only it was intentional. Similar with anything else I was running over ssh, or non-http ports.

  61. Barrie Shepherd

    BT & Port Throttling

    Does any one know if they throttle VOIP ports (5060-5068 + RTP Ports)? I'd hate to think that when I get back to the UK I have to resort to using a PSTN wired line.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BT services

    Don't BT specify "Up to xxMb/s"?

    I can't agree more on the "Unlimited but limited to yyGB a month" - clearly ofcom are as toothless as the other QANGOs supposedly there to watch over the industries.

  63. michael

    re: good

    "Think about it you cretins!! If people were only downloading legal content then the amount of traffic would be far lower and the ISPs would not throttle the traffic.

    Your anger should be directed at those users who abuse the system by illegally downloading to such an extent that BT and others are forced to take action."

    no my angur should be and is directed at a company that over sells it's connections it makes no diffrence weather I am "abuseing" the system by downloading gigs of illegal dvds, legal linix distros or exream porn it is all bits to them. the contract they sold me says they would ship them and ship them is what they should do.if they are giving you a "browsing only" package then that is what they should be selling

    pepol downloading are only "abusing" the system in the same way as somone who gose into a "all you can eat" restrant and eats all he can eat

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    >I don't like it any more than anyone else, but as there will always be a few greedy fuckers out there who feel that they have some sort of right to hog all the bandwidth, so be it.

    I agree, it's the sort of greedy greedy people who ruin it for the rest of us. People who buy and pay monthly for Unlimited 10mbps connections and think they have some sort of god-given right to actually use it!

  65. This post has been deleted by its author

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I don't know Be Internet, but surely they use ADSL just like most other ISPs? Since current ADSL tech in the UK can only manage 8Mb/s how could you be getting 10Mb/s?

    There are several possibilities here:

    1. Be use newer ADSL tech than everybody else.

    2. You don't know how to work out your bandwidth.

    3. You're having us on.

  67. Anonymous Coward

    Early termination??

    Anyone have any idea how to get out of an 18 month BT contract early? We're 8 months into it and generally its ok but the likes of iPlayer and YouTube suck and this probably explains it!

  68. tom

    re comment to guy

    "I don't know Be Internet, but surely they use ADSL just like most other ISPs? Since current ADSL tech in the UK can only manage 8Mb/s how could you be getting 10Mb/s?

    There are several possibilities here:

    1. Be use newer ADSL tech than everybody else."

    Most ADSL was just resold BT Wholesale Broadband until recently. Now ISP's can get their hardware into exchanges. BE broadband (and therefore O2) broadband requires that the BE routers etc are installed at your exchange and working up to 20mbps over copper if i'm not mistaken, otherwise you get good old bt wholesale 8mbps.

  69. David Hicks

    @andy gibson

    ". And before anyone goes on about using torrents for Linux ISOs, I've always found the HTTP sources good and fast enough for me."

    They may well be, but by joining the torrent swarm you are doing the distributors of linux a favour - you're not directly using their bandwidth or costing them money. They have to pay heavily for hosting their content, and switching from http to torrent (or other swarm/peer based system) makes it just that little bit easier and cheaper to get a small distro out there.

    And yes, I genuinely do download linux distributions and updates several times a month.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    throttling on eclipse

    They only throttle p2p, but the way they implement it disrupts all your other traffic too. So basically rather than slowing your download it makes the entire connection unusable till you stop. Very annoying when you have an update program like WoW for example that wants to use it before you can access the program. Its not always convenient to wait till the early hours for your download.

  71. Craig

    Is it wrong to see the internet like water?

    I'm not monitored to see if I use my water illegally, my shower doesn't cut down to 10% capacity in the morning 'cos it's peak shower time. Yet there is a finite amount of water and pipes... I guess BT could take some service provision lessons from the water companies!

  72. N

    Typical BT

    heap o crap anyway without their throttling

  73. steogede

    RE: @Guy

    >> There are several possibilities here:


    >> 1. Be use newer ADSL tech than everybody else.

    Be use newer ADSL2+ which allows speeds upto 24 Mbps downstream.

  74. nana

    Anonymous Coward @ 7th August 2008 12:14 GMT

    You fatuous, credulous douche.

    You fail to realise that those people using non-port 80 traffic, whether for peer to peer traffic (irrespective of any notion of copyright, the nuances of which blatantly fly above your facile mental capacity for understanding) have paid for a service, much the same way as you pay for the service

    There is no abuse, except for you rabid accusation.

  75. This post has been deleted by its author

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To those obviously are blind followers of these ISPs

    ... here's a link to another ISP that is at least decent enough to publish their service:

    Scroll down the "Corporate Internet Packages" and look at the "CIR". If you don't see that same thing in your contract w/ your ISP, then you are being sold BURST BANDWIDTH. Yes, its a package not for the consumers, but at least you know that your 15mbps connection has no CIR, hence no really have no right to any bandwidth EXCEPT LEFTOVERS

    So good luck to those who wants to keep living in their own pathetic little fantasy world. Sucks to be you!

  77. Charles King

    Another + from me for Be Internet

    I've tried various broadband providers over the years and finally moved to Be a few months ago. I'm *very* satisfied.

    The lack of fancy telly ads using brand-name actors means they can actually spend the money you give them on providing a proper service. I spend a bit of time on an MMO and have to feel sorry for the poor suckers locked into BT and Virgin contracts who are constantly lagging and crashing.

  78. Rtrdo

    Its the pricing

    I often get asked to reccommend a broadband supplier, and say the following:

    Dont get the cheapest, it will be shit. The difference between cheapest and mid-ranged price stuff is a couple of quid.

    So for the price of an extra pint or even two pints of beer PER MONTH - your getting poor performance internet. Its just not worth it.

    I personally use Zen, and while I do mention them most people dont go that far - they tend to go for the midrange offerings and have no or little troubles with it.

    The ISPS are in a price war to get customer attentions and we fall for it - we swap suppliers to save £2 per month, and then wonder why its rubbish.

    You get what you pay for.

  79. Roger Lancefield

    @ David Hicks - agreed!

    David wrote:

    "They may well be, but by joining the torrent swarm you are doing the distributors of linux a favour - you're not directly using their bandwidth or costing them money. They have to pay heavily for hosting their content, and switching from http to torrent (or other swarm/peer based system) makes it just that little bit easier and cheaper to get a small distro out there."

    I agree. And it's exactly why I now use torrents whenever possible, to try to meet the distributors half way, so to speak, to help reduce the burden upon them.

    As "uncool" as it might be to admit this, like others here, I don't download music, video or other works which I have no right to view via torrents, other P2P apps, or HTTP (or by any other means). I don't want copyrighted data which I have no right to view on my disk, any more than I want proprietary code polluting free/open source software.

    Filesharing is a legitimate and perfectly legal activity. It's an important part of Internet functionality and potential. The attempt to make the phrase "filesharing" synonomous with "illegal filesharing" is insidious, an attack on the freedom of network users and is often just a propaganda term, spread by or on behalf of "Big Content".

  80. frymaster


    I agree with pretty much everything you say, but you have to admit that if all non-port-80 traffic is being restricted/bottlenecked (by whatever mechanism) to 5% of the port 80 traffic, that it's pretty stupid

    share bandwidth equally among users, YES, prioritise some services and relegate others, YES, make one TCP port 20 times faster than all other internet access whether or not the traffic happens to be real-time or bulk-download, NO

    I use VOIP online, I play games online, I chat online... I'd like these to work

  81. Luke
    Paris Hilton

    Sort it out someone

    What we need is clear (not hidden on an obscure url) information across the board as to what type of traffic management and FUP there is on a package, and what will trigger it. These unlimited packages need to go away – people need to be told exactly what they get for their money and then they can decide if it is suitable and agree, or if they need to pay more for what they want.

    For all those people saying you get what you pay for, yes you are right. But we have a situation now where services are advertised as one thing, but fail to provide this. Price of these services is irrelevant until things are made clear to Joe Public.

    Imagine Ford released an advert saying “All new Focus, 0-60 in as little 2.5secs” -

    but the small print on page 17 of some handbook 90% of people will have thrown away says, “acceleration figures are subject to the cars operation in a frictionless vacuum”.

    No difference really than BT saying "up to 8mb unlimited broadband" -

    Small print – “you could get 8mb, if you live inside the exchange itself. Unlimited only if you download less than 40gb a month. Oh and if you do certain things (exactly which, we will not tell you) we will cap your bandwidth. We will also be giving all your internet history to Phorm. Thanks.

    Paris because she exceeded her fair usage policy a long time ago.

  82. Steve Mason
    Thumb Up

    Be Unlimited - it really is

    Another thumbsup for Be... yes they've had some DNS issues - but I switched to OpenDNS a long time ago.

    16meg down, 1meg up, almost zero downtime, hardly any latency, tech support that speak english and understand technical questions! *shock*

    I often download large amounts of data, and often have 2 or 3 machines on 24x7 - and I've never been throttled or had any kind of correspondence asking me to limit my downloads.

    All this for £18 pcm... I can't recommend them enough, switch now if you can!

  83. Anonymous Coward

    @brian morrison

    "that then it will have to be fixed."....well, somebody over at BT needs to be "fixed"

  84. Paul Buxton

    @AC (Good)

    "Think about it you cretins!! If people were only downloading legal content then the amount of traffic would be far lower and the ISPs would not throttle the traffic."

    Hey cretin, if people didn't commit crime then we wouldn't need a fucking police force. As people commit crime we have a police force. I don't expect the police to kick my door in because somebody in Preston (approximately 70 miles away from my home) steals a cupcake from Tescos so why should I be punished for other people's indescretions and why should I put up with being called a cretin by the likes of you?


  85. Anonymous Coward

    Home Workers

    So home workers connecting to their employer over VPN are now lumped in with p2p application users on the BT network.


    I don't see why you should have to stump up for a business tarriff connection - which is intended for multiple users - to support a single user running a VPN. Thats ridiculous.

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Definate throttling with Eclipse. Torrents run at 4mbit at night, and around 4-5kilo bytes in the day....

    Eclipse used to be very fast, even when the clear priority system came into service. Guess too many people have joined

    Just moved to BE. getting around 15-16mbits on a 18mbit synced connection, bittorent is between 3-4mbit in the day. Mad!

  87. Tony Gosling


    I can confirm Be Unlimted are good. I had to leave Tiscali after they throttled my internet down to nothing for exceeding the "fair use" amount. We have four adults in the house and Tiscali would not tell me what the limit was or when we were exceeding it.

    Since we have been with Be have had no problems. Only get about 5Mb/s on a 24Mb/s service but that is much better than I ever used to get from Tiscali.

  88. Sam

    How to leave BT

    If they are doing this crap, they have violated their own terms and conditions, so the contract is null and void.

    There will be a lawyer along in a minute, hopefully.

  89. Anonymous Coward


    .... can people stop mentioning Be Internet please?

    We don't want millions of disgruntled ex BT/Tiscali/Pipex/Eclipse/Virgin migrants clogging up all the tubes!


  90. Carl Carter
    Thumb Up

    Re BeThere tinternet

    Got to agree with all the others, Be really is excellent. I'm about 1km from the exchange and I'm using the secondary extension line upstairs which is again extended into the office and I still get 15mb down and 1.5mb down (I'm on the pro package which gives me 'up-to 2.5mb download - at the expense of download of course).

    Couldn't comment on tech support as I've not had to use them yet. Althuogh, can anyone point me at info I need to run my own router. I don't like theirs and had literally just bought a new belkin a month before moving to Be... gutted.


  91. Wokstation
    Thumb Down

    My internet's always being slowed...

    ...I only have a half-meg line, yet Virgin (resold via Tesco) throttle it constantly between 1PM and midnight. Worst between 5 and 11:30, and it's not just non-port-80. Even port 80 gets throttled.

    Apparently it's because some of their servers are oversubscribed.

    Hurry up BE, be available in my area... I'm getting pissed off waiting 5minutes for my XBOX Live session to sign in.

  92. William Bronze badge

    Even business users are getting hammered for legitimate services!!

    See page 36 of the PDF.

    BT applies the policy universally. Regardless of contract. And yes, this includes business users! Anything other than HTTP is throttled.

    VOIP, FTP... All perfectly legit. Nothing to do with peer to peer. So if you own an Internet Web Development company and are paying BT through the nose for large usage don't bother. When it comes to publishing the customers site via FTP you're running at 15%.

    Great. So if you're one of those jerks who are claiming 'suits me, my web page loads fast and if you use the internet for anything other than port 80 you're a thief' would you do us a favour and shut up.

    Phorm. Now this. I think maybe BT have caught a few high up politicians looking at VERY compromising websites for their positions hence any lack of action against this shower of shite company.

  93. paul clarke

    Legal Use of Non Port 80

    BBC iPlayer (Non Streaming)

    Sky by Broadband

    They all use peer to peer technology to distribute the files. So I take it BT are also throttling their own Broad Band based TV service, BT Vision then? No, why? because it would not work. BT Vision on demand uses peer to peer to distribute. And what for all of those users using BT FON services? Does the subscriber or the user get their traffic shaped?

    We pay way way too much for broadband, around 2000% more than it costs to provide it, and they moan because we want to use it? And the worst thing is that WE, the tax payers actually paid for 90% of BT's cabling and infrastructure before the tories sold them off.

  94. Gilbert Wham

    Re Be

    Speeds are good, yes, but fuck do I hate that Thompson router....

  95. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    BT retail or wholesale

    It's funny. I am a Virgin Media ADSL customer. The service comes via BT wholesale. What is being described is exactly the situation I see, and I have been blaming on Virgin. If BT are applying this policy to their wholesale customers (i.e. you buy your ADSL service from another ISP, but the ADSL link to your local exchange is run by BT), then I have been unjustly accusing Virgin. At almost presicely 23:00, the overall download speed jumps up from around 50-60KB/s (as measured by my firewall traffic monitors) to 200-600KB/s (and sometimes faster). I would suggest that it was people going to bed if it were not for the abrupt change at such an obvious time. And I see a progressive slowdown in the morning as well.

    My house's traffic (I don't call it mine, because we are a switched on-house of six internet users, with more than one computer/network device per household member) consists of Steam, WoW, Fantasy Star Unlimited (and other) games, Wii and DS internet connected games, Skype, Mail, torrents (Linux distros - honest), tunneled services through SSH (inbound and outbound including SMB file access and printing), BBC iPlayer, Sky Anytime, YouTube and other flash video sites, Internet radio, system updates (Ubuntu, Mac, and Windows), system updates for the purposes of my business (AIX and related fixes from IBM fix central), VPN access to my clients systems, and oh, I nearly forgot, some web-browsing.

    So the vast majority of my traffic will be legal and justified (I can't always keep track of exactly what everyone is doing) use and much of it will NOT be done over port 80. I suspect that many people actually have far more non-port 80 traffic than they think. So if they are shaping all my traffic because od my torrent downloads, I think I have a right to be upset.

  96. Kevin Gurney

    BE Internet for me !

    £17 a month gets me an 18mb (out of a possible 24mb) ADSL2 connection which is super stable. No download limits, no capping and no Phorm.

    Was ropey at the start but that was mainly down to work getting ADSL2 hardware in the exchanges but always kept up to date by the support folk.

    5* service all round and would recommend ! :-)

  97. Ash

    For God's sake, stop whinging.

    They couldn't give a shit.

    If you want to change things, you have to be willing to SACRIFICE. Stop the Direct Debit payment, refuse to pay the fee for early termination, and get 5000 other subscribers together to sue the SHIT out of them!

    Either that, or bend over and assume the position. You can whinge all you want while they rape you for your money, and laugh all the way to the bank; Your polite protestations are going unheared and unhindered.

    Stop talking and start DOING.

  98. Anonymous Coward

    Sigh !!

    Bandwidth throttling or packet shaping has nothing to do with improving the quality for existing users (other than the PR aspect of course) its entirely for getting more users on the same piece of string and getting more money in.

    Lets face it - subscribers' money - costs = +number good or -number bad

    The more +'s you have the more likelihood you have to make a profit.

    I for one would be more than happy to pay for the bandwith I get when I use it. ISP's wouldn't go for that as they are unlikely to want to talk about contention or throttling.

    And dont get me started on ISP's and "unlimited", I don't know any that have an unlimited broadband service...For all the people that are about to say "oohh me oohh oohh, I have an unlimited service" what happens if you go over your allotted amount?

    You are already being throttled in the big phat pipe to the ISP and your connection is going to go a lot slower when you hit that limit. Thats called throttling whatever you think of your ISP.

  99. Sleeping Dragon

    Introducing UKOnline

    Hey, they're nice guys, my 8mb connection sits at an average of 7.2mb, there's no throttling, they have decent/patient UK(!) based tech staff who actually know what they're talking about and running on Linux isn't a problem.

    Like anything else in life, you get what you pay for, I cough up £20/month for a business line, but the service on UKOnline is absolutely first class.

    Tux likes it hard, fast and with nothing slowing down his rhythm.

  100. Chris Ellis

    @ david bates

    We ahd a similar issue with eclipse, and we weren't torrenting much just a lot of RDP. Our connection used to get about 25kB max yet we could sync at 7mb. After moaning a eclipse for months and upgrading to option 4, they simply said

    "that is the performance we expect for your package"

    What can you say to that.

  101. Anonymous Coward

    @AC Re: Sigh!

    "And dont get me started on ISP's and "unlimited", I don't know any that have an unlimited broadband service...For all the people that are about to say "oohh me oohh oohh, I have an unlimited service" what happens if you go over your allotted amount?"

    My, you're an idiot aren't you? There are services without an "allotted amount". What they do have (and it's common sense, before you shout "see, I was right!") is the right to see a user who is actually impeding on other users service and take action about it. For my ISP (Be, since you asked), there has not been a single reported instance that I'm aware of for "excessive use". And my monthly totals are in the 100s of GB and I'd be considered a light user by some.

    "You are already being throttled in the big phat pipe to the ISP and your connection is going to go a lot slower when you hit that limit. Thats called throttling whatever you think of your ISP"

    Please come back when you learn the right language. It's called contention. It exists on every network in the world - technically you could be "throttled" on the backbones if they become too busy. Every network has a bottleneck somewhere, but ISPs actually state what there's is.

  102. Anonymous Coward

    @AC Re: Sigh!

    If you sell a service you had better be prepared to honour the agreement.

    By your reasoning you'd be prepared to be offloaded 500 miles short of a holiday destination because some people had too much luggage? Despite the fact the airline let them on in the first place. You wouldn't accept that so why should I accept a castrated service?

    Contrary to the spin you wish to put on it, when ever a fair use policy cuts in your service will be limited.

    As for Be, one of my colleagues "used" to be with them he got a warning letter 2 months ago. He used to DL during the day. I guess he's not the typical "direct line" customer the ISP's want.

  103. Zmodem

    rock n roll

    i'll continue to kick ass on UT and Q4 militia for 9hrs with a 12pack

  104. Aaron

    @ Anonymous Coward "Re: Zen Internet"

    Perhaps you should check Zen's product pages, you seam to be under the impression that the Home product range is all they offer. They also offer a totally 100% unlimited Office Max product the drawback that puts most people off is that its got a more suitable price tag attached.

    The thing is providing a quality connection over the BT Wholesale network is expensive, most ISP's out there (not counting LLU operator's) sell the connection to cheaply, meaning that they dont have enough bandwidth to go around. They count on most people not using their connection to a fraction of its potential. Now other protocol's such as p2p (legal or illegal) means more people are using more bandwidth so there's less of an already grossly short supply of bandwidth. If everyone on a BTWholesale based ISP decided to use a lot of port 80 traffic it would cripple them just as p2p would.

    Even zen's price's arn't the true cost of the bandwidth, they to take advantage of the fact that not everyone will max out their connection's all of the time. But they do however act a lot more realistic and don't pile on way to many user's on the network. Plus they don't pretend that its the protocol that's the issue, instead its pure bandwidth, so they give a clear limit (on the limited connections) of whats fine for your package, and if you want to use more bandwidth you can simply buy more.

    Its rare to find an isp that's realistic, give's you the option to use what you want (so long as your willing to pay for what you use). Doesn't lie and shape your traffic or sell your browsing habits.

    While im no fan boy, you will be VERY VERY VERY hard pressed to find a BTWholesale based who offer's everything they can, Andrew's and Arnold do but then if you are baulking at Zen's reasonable prices check their's out :)

    Mines the one with the leased lines running into it :)

  105. Richard Barnes
    Thumb Up

    Another BE fan

    Consistent 10Mb download speed and no discernible cap. If you live within one of their exchange areas I don't know why you'd go anywhere else.

  106. Danger Mouse

    @ andy gibson

    I use p2p to distribute software updates for an OpenS app I wrote a couple of years ago which helps kids with learning difficulties. Now tell me, how exactly is that wrong?. Why, in your mind is it the customers fault that they are using the bandwidth that has been sold to them?. You, like many ISPs' seem to think that the TCP/IP starts with port 80 and ends with 443, which is all well and good, if the service is being sold as sole use of those ports. But hey, it's not so shut the f*ck up.

    Me thinks you're mostly interested in http speed as you like your p0rn like you like your women/men, fast and selfish!.

  107. Kevin Kitts
    IT Angle

    For the record...

    would someone post on here a list of the non-80 ports used by legitimate (i.e., non-file-sharing) programs? Like movie trailers, MMORPGs, YouTube, Microsoft Update, FilePlanet, etc.? Oh yeah, TCP/IP services, too. That way, you'll get a (potentially huge) list of people hit by the illegitimate throttling.

  108. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BT throttles bandwidth

    So BT says that throttling does not affect streaming services such as BBC iPlayer. BT always tells the truth as we know from the Phorm episode so that means that BT is throttling bandwidth for streaming. And that explains why I can watch the iPlayer during the day but not in the evening!

  109. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    new Eclipse packages not throttled

    I have switched to the new "Home Select" deal, you get to do your own traffic shaping so you can optimise it for web or P2P or gaming etc.

    I'm running the web option, so far its been great. Running at different times of day I consistently get 7Mbps download (router synch is 8Mbps). The downside is for 17.95 you get 10GB if you want more pay per GB or switch to the more expensive "Home Pro" deal, though from the comments on here I guess Be would be better if you're on one of the exchanges they support.

    Ideally I'd like a mobile/fixed line/broadband deal that wasn't with some incompetent muppets, probably never be available here.

  110. green_giant

    port list

    For the person above who asked for a port list quite a few being used other than port 80 on the net these days.

  111. Anonymous Coward

    Bye bye BT

    I'll be canceling my BT service because of this action,

    They sat (and afaik still sit) on massive amounts of redundancy and then say "ah, well, yes, the rest of the world may be going gigabit but you know that 8mb/s contract you have that never goes over 1mb/s well we're going to throttle it"

    I hear Virgin have just lowered their consumer base.

    Got my coat, won't be letting the door bang anything on the way out. Bye now.

  112. Anonymous Coward


    I moved house recently and switched to 02, excellent service, uk call centers, but use your own router, as thiers is crap. Oh, and BT can kiss my arse for the £546 bill for my old address, don't ask me how they got to that amount either!

  113. Anonymous Coward

    Have they run out of anything else to talk about then...

    Thought everything about FUP had been discussed to death by now.

    Why is BT or any other ISP different - this is commonly known as congestion. When things get busy everyone gets restricted.

    Networks pipes are the same as roads. When they're full they're full. They dont just build wider ones because that costs money. But you still have to pay road-tax.

    If the M25 gets busy everyone suffers - it doesn't get wider. Some people can go faster, some slower but the main flow is controled by the volume.

  114. Anonymous Coward

    RE: BT vs BBC

    "I call shinanigans. For example, if I go to watch a video on the BBC news site, my internet connection shuts off. EVERY TIME. Doesn't happen with YouTube or such, just BBC related content. I have to reboot my BT Homehub to get connection back. Methinks BT are targetting the Beeb specifically"

    It doesn't happen with YouTube because YouTube uses Flash 7 which has a different video codec to Flash 9. If you got to a site that also uses Flash 9 (such as Hulu, if you bypass the geo IP) the same problem occours.

    The same problem also happens with O2 and Be's routers - and that's because all three include Thompson chipsets. So it's obviously a (staggering) firmware problem with the routers rather than any conspiracy.

    I am amazed it's not patched yet though.

  115. Kwac
    Thumb Up

    @ I'd have thought that by now...

    I go to an "all you can eat for x pounds", pay my money and am told "some greedy fuckers came in, you'll have to make do with what we've got left" I would be severely pissed off; I'd kick up a fuss, notify local council trading standards, tell every bugger I knew about it.

    What I wouldn't do is whine about the 'greedy fuckers' - they were offered a deal, took it and used what the restaurant had to offer.

  116. The man not from delmonte

    Hands up who actually looked at the report?

    Ok, so reading through the comments (and skimming most) it looks like noone actually bothered to read the report...shocker!

    Look at page 11 (section 2.9). The only speed tests even mentioned in the report are various types of port 80 tests. I can't find *anywhere* in the pdf that mentions any other form of speed testing (apart from things like latency and DNS resolution).

    Even the FAQ for the project does not list any other what gives? Where is the actual information that shows us what this article claims?

  117. Ralph Beales

    Did you know BT aren't part of the GPO anymore?

    Howabout that! Apparently, they were sold off in 1984, in order to reduce all our taxes and to allow them to get a new phone to us, in less than 3 x weeks.

    Apparently, they've got new owners (they're the ones who handed over their money to HMG for drinkies in the private bars at HP) and those new owners (seem to be the people who run my pension fund, probably yours too) actually expect BT to make a profit now and then give the money to the new owners!

    Gosh, no wonder those nasty people at BT aren't rushing around putting fibre into my house, in order to allow me to download stolen software.

    I do like BT vision though, much cheaper than the offering from those skanky bods who own the squarial company.

  118. Mark Gilbert

    BT Aren't That Bad

    I use BT for my phone line, BT are my ISP and I have BT Vision, and I have found the service for all three has been fine. I also make it clear from the outset I work for one of the IT services arms of BT, but have nothing to do with the phone or broadband side of things.

    Getting my line installed was trouble free. Same goes for the broadband, got it installed ok, had some issues with connection speeds at first where the line would not sync at anything above about 1200Kbps. Now I understand that dealing with a helpdesk in a foreign place can be a bit frustrating at times, but to fix my issue with the broadband service I simply explained what diagnostic process I had been through, at which point they simply said give them 24 hours at their end then call back, which I did and then they said it was most likely a line fault and they would book an engineer visit. A quick visit from a nice Openreach man fixed all that and now my modem syncs at 8128Kbps.

    I haven't really noticed any throttling of torrents but as far as I'm concerned they're a background service. They can be left rolling along at whatever speed. Of course I've noticed that outside peak hours the download speeds increase but that's fine by me. I do a fair bit of online gaming during peak hours and I know I wouldn't want my ping times affected by torrents from every machine on the network.

    BT Vision does what it says on the box, no issues there.

    As for laying fibre, that's a project that would cost billions of pounds which Ofcom would then allow every other ISP to make money off. So please tell me why should BT, who are a business and have shareholders to answer to and staff to pay invest the money required for their competitors to then reap the benefits? Virgin can afford to do it to an extent as they are not forced to allow other ISPs to use their network, but they only do it in areas where they deem it financially beneficial to them, because at the end of the day they too have shareholders to answer to.

    A lot of people knock BT, but as far as I can see they do a good job considering the circumstances they have to operate under.

    Mmm, I can already feel the warmth from the flames.

  119. jack horner


    BBC iPlayer? - Isn't that just used by freeloaders who want to have the MINITRU* squirt propaganda straight into their brains without having to pay for an annual Telescreen licence?

    *wrong contraction? - Winston Smith seems to have withdrawn and burned my copy of '1984'.

  120. ratfox

    All-you-can-eat contracts soon to end

    Really, it's just a matter of logic.

    The ISP started offering unlimited contracts because everybody said they wanted it. But considering the quantity of comments here rejoicing that heavy users are getting throttled, some ISP should start offering contracts at 1p per Mb (and cheaper during low-use hours). Then we can start paying for internet like we are paying for water, electricity and telephone.

    I believe the only reason unlimited contracts exist is that the heavy users are the only people voicing their opinion on the subject, and they are too happy to have everybody pay the same amount.

  121. Brendan Murphy

    Another happy Be customer

    I moved from Virgin to Be (O2) a few weeks ago. Cancelling Virgin involved explaining that Be were cheaper and faster. Sales droid insisted (lied) that Virgin were the only people capable of offering a faster than 10Mb service to which I pointed out that I had already tested the new connection at 15Mb, and Virgin couldn't currently provide me with better than 3.5Mb anyway.

    The difference in p2p performance is HUGE. I'm an occasional p2p user, yet Virgin's method of throttling you after one hour of high use regardless of what you do the rest of the month was frustrating. This did not seem to be in keeping with the claim that throttling only affects the 5% heaviest users.

    I use a Draytek modem, following instructions at <>, so those who don't like Be's modem may wish to look there for setting clues.

  122. Dick Emery

    I read it

    So flad Be are not throttling. They just need to fix their damned DNS servers and all will be right in the world!

  123. Anonymous Coward

    The reason behind the throttling

    The reason BT are throttling the bandwidth of all broadband users is due to BT Vision.

    BT Vision needs a bandwidth of 4Mbps to work perfectly. If they throttle everyone, that will ensure the people with BT Vision have a flawless service.

    Anyone else...well your stuffed. Paying for broadband only? Well your throttled so that your neighbour can watch BT Vision.

    How do I know this? I used to work for BT.

  124. Robert Hill

    Get what you pay for...

    You can't have it all: CHEAP + HIGH-SPEED + CAPLESS. Choose two only!

    I want HIGH SPEED and CAPLESS, and I am prepared to pay highly for it (and I do). If you want CHEAP and HIGH SPEED then be prepared for caps, either in monthly usage or traffic shaping during peak demands. If you want CHEAP and CAPLESS then be prepared for a slow speed at all times (kind of like Talk Talk from what I have seen on friend's lines).

    All those blathering on about how they MUST have the highest possible speed at all times with no throttling and no caps, etc., etc., etc....that's fine, just be prepared to pay for an infrastructure that spends 50%+ of it's time vastly underutilized. Figure on paying a few hundred pounds a month for it - similar to business broadband if not higher. That represents the real cost of all of that spare capacity to handle a few peak hours per day...

  125. Ches Lincoln

    Disadvantaging Open University students

    I'm assuming none of those applauding this BT move are Open University students? We have around 250 000 students online using the FirstClass communications system, which has its own internationally registered port (510). It is NOT p2p but a server/client relationship. It actually makes very small demands on bandwidth. Yet it is getting throttled along with illegal and heavy activity.

    Since most OU study is done in the evening our students are being severely disadvantaged by BT, Pipex, Tiscali, AOL and others who have instituted this indiscriminate throttling.

    I wonder how BT will justify this to the many employees they have studying - at their recommendation - with the OU?

  126. Parax

    Happy BEing..

    at 200M from my exchange I'm in the 24 club. Couldn't BE any happier!

    And Yes I hate that Thompson router too....

    anyone got any good recomendations?

  127. Suburban Inmate

    Solution, finally!

    Now listen up folks, right here right now...

    If you use loads of throughput, you get throttled more as you use it, with dropped packets etc, whatever. So the occasional burst of HTTP isn't affected. The occasional (>5GB) torrent isn't affected. A massive 62GB ST:TNG bulk torrent quickly hits the "bandwidth dampers", at, say, 10GB on that particular day and that user's CONNECTION (not just the torrent) gets throttled. The ISP makes all this CLEAR at signup, and stops using bullshit like "unlimited".

    No DPI bollocks. No FUP bollocks. The heaviest users are naturally limited by a fair algorithm.

    Basically each KB of data (regardless of what it is, data is data, see "Steal This Film pt 2" for a fairly close representation of my copyright views) decreases a counter in some sort of connection monitoring box. Once the counter reaches a certain low threshold, packets start to be dropped. The amount each KB decreases said counter is multiplied by a value that is some function of "current network load" plus "how cheap-arse their connection package is".

    Yes, I've cracked it, I am commonsenseGOD, who wants to touch me?

  128. da

    Poverty in the UK

    the only reason why BT would be trying to worm out of transmitting data is that they do not have the capacity to send all of it. They're trying to be selective in what they transmit.

    It's not down to them really caring what you're distributing, it's that they can't handle the traffic, so they're capping bits. This on top of contention ratios makes one say.

    21CN... ADSL2+ by 2012!!

    Piss off BT. I may have to leave the country to get decent ISP. Latvia for example.

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