back to article Euro watchdog: Telcos ARE strangling VoIP and P2P traffic

EU telecoms companies are commonly using 'traffic management' practices to block Voice over IP (VoIP) traffic and peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing activity online, an EU regulator has said. The Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) said it had established the "common" use of the practices as part of …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Is this a surprise, if I download anything of significance I have to do it in the middle of the night, usually 1am to 9am.

    Thank you my service provider.

  2. LarsG

    bbc iplayer

    In HD is impossible between

    10 in the morning and 2am.

    1. Chris Miller

      Re: bbc iplayer

      Sorry to hear that, Lars. I was watching iPlayer HD for an hour last night at 8pm - I had a couple of seconds hiatus in the first minute and then no problems. FWIW I'm in the country on the end of an ADSL2+ (nominally 8Mb) link run by Nildram (then Pipex, then Tiscali, now TalkTalk).

      1. LarsG

        Re: bbc iplayer

        I get upto 8Mbs at night 1am until around 9.15am then it drops, but I think that is down to Orange it BT.

        I'm a cheapskate, though I do get unlimited broadband for 4.99 a month. I suppose its a way to try and get me to spend more.

        Surprisingly this did not happen until BT upgraded the exchanges to fibre last year.

        I sometimes wonder if BT secretly save all their bandwidth for their own customers.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: bbc iplayer

      Seems to work OK for me at any time. There again, I'm on cable, and I'm on the next tier up from the lowest cost Internet Virgin Media offering. I'm guessing for many people outside cable areas you'll also be dependant upon ADSL speeds and FTTC upgrades, regardless of whether you've gone for the cheapest ISP service or something offering better capacity and speed.

    3. hexx

      Re: bbc iplayer

      are you with Sky? when I was with BeThere I've never had problems with iPlayer's HD titles but since we switched to Sky it's pretty much useless during the day

  3. Charles 9

    Wonder how they react... high-bandwidth ENCRYPTED connections? Harder to identify, and it may not be wise to throttle them since they may be business connections.

    1. Terry Barnes

      Re: Wonder how they react...

      Business connections cost more - significantly more. A 20M uncontended symmetric connection could cost you £1000 a month.

  4. dogged

    Throttling VOIP

    That's just dirty.

    And it'll be even dirtier once LTE comes along.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Throttling VOIP

      Many of the mobile phone contracts you see advertised are "no VoIP" and/or "no tethering" in the not-very-small print. This may or may not be fair; it allows the service provider to charge separately - charge extra - for those options, or, to look at it another way, to provide cheap Internet data access just to use on your phone. Anyway, these conditions are there in print when you sign up.

      So, I have a 2G PAYG phone - original Samsung Galaxy Tab - and Three's neat little 3G internet wi-fi hub at a pretty good monthly price, but usage capped at 15 GB per month - more than contracts on sale now, I think, ha ha! VoIP allowed, too! AFAIK. I haven't used it.

      "Fair use" and capping on "unlimited" service is cheating.

  5. Tegne

    Own Brand internet? You gets what you pays for.

    No such problems with my BE internet account. It's not the cheapest but it's a consistent 18 mbps download no matter what protocols I'm using or what time of day it is. The consumer are victims of ISP price wars. If they sell it cheap, they have to cut corners, it's the same way with anything really.

    1. hexx
      Thumb Up

      Re: Own Brand internet? You gets what you pays for.

      thumbs up for BE - I wish we had BE, but we're with Sky (my flatmate needs bloody sky sports for football - sigh)

  6. dotdavid
    Thumb Up


    Only tangiently-related, but I've set myself a short-term goal of replacing my Virgin "triple-play" broadband, phone and TV with just the broadband as I've realised £40 will get me a VOIP box to connect my existing phone to, and Freesat basically gives me all the channels I want to watch on TV.

    I guess if it were possible to do this on DSL and not have to pay a line rental for a phone you don't use much more people would do it, considering how easy it all is.

    I would say the writing is on the wall for "triple play" long-term, thank god. Perhaps Virgin will stop trying to sell me a Blackberry by then.

    1. JetSetJim

      Re: Hmm

      Not disputing you can save some £$£, but the Voip box will not guarantee a 999/911/112 call so I hope you have another source of telephone

      1. Soruk

        Re: Hmm

        A mobile will do that job - and some providers like Sipgate do offer 999/112.

        I only use my BT line (on Primus Line Rental Saver) as a conduit for my ADSL, for the phone I use mobile or VoIP. But I have a phone plugged in for 999 use, and an answerphone telling telemarketers to call my 0871 number that goes to my VoIP - which they almost never do. (Genuine callers will know my 01 number.)

      2. dotdavid

        Re: Hmm

        As Soruk says, Sipgate supports emergency calls, but as everyone in the house has a mobile phone too I wouldn't consider it much of a problem if it didn't.

      3. Vic

        Re: Hmm

        > the Voip box will not guarantee a 999/911/112 call

        VoIP operators in the UK are obliged to carry emergency calls.

        The only issue is whether or not the system will be powered during an emergency - as is true of all phone equipment that is not line-powered.


        1. Charles 9

          Re: Hmm

          A problem that can probably be relieved by attaching the home router and the VoIP box to a small UPS (because neither device will be drawing too much power compared to a PC, a small one should be able to buy you enough time to make necessary phone calls).

          1. Vic

            Re: Hmm

            > A problem that can probably be relieved by attaching the home router

            > and the VoIP box to a small UPS

            That's what I do. A Netgear DG384 and a Grandstream GXP2000 don't draw too much...


        2. JetSetJim

          Re: Hmm

          Ah, it's come a long way since I last had call to look at it

          There's still the issue of a residential power cut or broadband failure - but probably not significantly higher risk than outages on the PSTN (still higher though).

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm

          The issue is not so much if the call will get through but what happens when it does. With a landline call to 999 the address is displayed on the emergency operator's screen before they've even answered the call. If you're using SIP over broadband, will your provider know where you are?

          It's probably rare, but there are cases in the news where ambulances are sent out to homes and save lives, not because of what the caller said, just because of the automatic address thing and what the operator heard.

          1. Vic

            Re: Hmm

            > If you're using SIP over broadband, will your provider know where you are?


            There is an obligation to register an address when handing out SIP accounts. If you dial the emergency services, that address gets passed to them.

            And they ask.


  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    >The net neutrality debate has been most lively in the US, where telecoms companies have said that content producers should share the cost of network building and maintenance.

    Surely producers do pay? Youtube's internet bill must be huge? No?

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