back to article Shuddit, Obama! Here in Blighty, we ISPs have net neutrality nailed

As we saw from Vodafone's announcement on Tuesday, competition in the broadband market is thriving here in the UK. So, should consumers be fretting about the fierce net neutrality debate going on across the Atlantic? The European Commission, steered by former unelected digi czar "Steelie" Neelie Kroes, would very much like it …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe someone should let virgin media know this, they have long throttled certain types of traffic irrespective of going over their fair use policy.

    1. SolidSquid

      As I understand it they don't throttle certain types of traffic, they just throttle *everything* if you go over the fair use limit (which is purely bandwidth based rather than based on particular protocols)

      1. John G Imrie

        Before they do that they send you an email saying they have noticed you are sending out a lot of data and would you like to check that your box isn't riddled with viruses.

      2. VinceH

        "As I understand it they don't throttle certain types of traffic, they just throttle *everything* if you go over the fair use limit"

        They most certainly do throttle certain types of traffic:

        my.virginmedia.com/traffic-management/traffic-management-policy-30Mb-or-higher.html

        > In addition to this, we also apply a temporary speed limit to all peer-to-peer and Newsgroup traffic during peak times to ensure that they do not slow the network down for everyone.

        I don't use P2P, but for NNTP it was quite bad at one point. I still read a number of (text only) usenet newsgroups and, when they started throttling P2P and NNTP, I was struggling to manage even very small NNTP fetches. Complaints to VirginMedia were either falling on deaf ears or were being responded with assertions that there is nothing at all wrong with their traffic management and the problem must be with something my end.

        Fast forward a while, and the problem seemed to disappear - and looking at their forums (I'd actually been banned from posting while this was going on, a few times) there was an announcement from one of their muppets to say they'd found a fault in their traffic management and they'd now rectified it. (I'm still waiting on an email from them to say "We apologise, you were right all along...")

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      The point of the article is that if you don't like VM, there's plenty of competition in the UK, at least compared to the options most of our US cousins have.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    http://recombu.com/digital/news/virgin-media-kills-peak-time-downloas-p2p-throttled_M12875.html

    P2P throttling

    http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Up-to-120Mb-Speed/Newsgroup-throttling-getting-silly-now/td-p/2194356

    News Group Throttling

    Just for example.

  3. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
    WTF?

    So sharing infrastructure is good - unless it's mobile phone masts, when it's bad. #Confused

    1. Chris Beach

      well given the widely different technical architecture why are you confused?

      Sharing sites is a good idea, normally blocked by the NIMBY bunch that then complain (when they get a signal) its too big, or in the wrong place.

      Sharing the exact same infrastructure and then roaming is a completely screwy idea by someone that knows diddly-squat about the way your mobile works.

  4. r00ty

    I don't think it's a fair comparison to compare ISPs throttling a user's overall connection rate, because they've been heavily using their connection over an extended period of time, and also the shutting down of hosts by hosting companies, when there is a chance of legal action against them. These are logical, and maybe even totally fair things to do.

    The comparison of the above against prioritizing certain kinds of traffic in return for monies paid to the ISP is another thing entirely. I pay a fixed monthly payment for a pipe to the internet. For that money I expect the ISP to keep their upstream pipes big enough to sustain at least moderate use by the majority of their users. I'm not paying them to prioritize packets because a third party in turn pays them to do so. IF I had a free service from an ISP I could understand it, they must pay for themselves somehow. But, I don't. *I* am the customer and, if any traffic is to be prioritized, I should be the one choosing it.

    So my personal position is that the internet should be free of such practices. If companies want a prioritized network, then TCP/IP is a nice open protocol, anyone is free to use it. They can make their own private network, deliver it to users on their own wiring (or even take advantage of LLU, or even use BTs network to deliver it into their own) and prioritize things any way they want. Until then, I don't see a reason why paying users should even have to put up with the notion of this happening to the internet at large.

    1. Bassey

      "Until then, I don't see a reason why paying users should even have to put up with the notion of this happening to the internet at large."

      I see your point but doesn't it come down to how MUCH you pay? You mention that it would be okay to prioritise traffic if the service were free. But if you choose the lowest priced ISP and they happen to make up the difference by selling priorities to (e.g.) Netflix then isn't that really just the same thing but on a sliding scale?

      In a free market you can choose to pay more for a lower contention ratio, a fixed IP address etc. Surely the same should apply to traffic shaping? If you want un-shaped traffic, you pay full whack. If you want to save a few quid, you accept having your traffic shaped.

      1. r00ty

        "I see your point but doesn't it come down to how MUCH you pay? You mention that it would be okay to prioritise traffic if the service were free. But if you choose the lowest priced ISP and they happen to make up the difference by selling priorities to (e.g.) Netflix then isn't that really just the same thing but on a sliding scale?"

        I understand your point. I don't use the lowest priced ISP by a long shot. (Zen internet is my ISP). I think so long as an ISP makes it clear that you're buying a subsidized package and that includes shaping or prioritized data then it's fine.

        Now, there is a danger that then ALL ISPs would of course slap this notice on all their packages. That way they can get the best of both worlds. e.g. prices don't go down, they get consumer money, and money from big business and laugh all the way to the bank. So, there would need to be some regulation that set a reasonable maximum price for un-metered, unsubsidised and un-shaped internet access.

  5. Tom 38

    UK isn't so brilliant

    There is very little real competition, since the largest proportion of users are all sold BT. Sure, there's an ISP in there somewhere, but most likely the ISP is BT, owned by BT, or buying bandwidth from BT, all whilst we pay BT to build and own all the new infrastructure. Phony choices are not choices.

    1. lagaba

      Re: UK isn't so brilliant

      BT own most of the last mile infrastructure and exchanges etc through their history as the previous state telecoms provider, but they are obliged by Ofcom to offer access to this infrastructure at fair rates which they do through their BT Wholesale division.

      This is why in the UK you have a choice of ISP wherever you live, even if there is no cable service on your street. Furthermore some ISPs will buy the whole broadband service from BT and sell it on, differentiating by customer support, additional services or cost - whilst other providers will lease the last mile and connect to you to their network at the exchange.

      These are not phony choices, I have been with Be Internet, Zen, Sky, a couple of others I can't remember - currently with Aquiss.

      As a Be Internet user I was transferred to Sky when Sky bought Be and O2, I upgraded to Fibre for a good deal and was with Sky for a year before I decided to switch. At that point I shopped around and selected Aquiss as although they are expensive, they don't throttle, don't block websites, don't block services and their customer support is fantastic = I had a choice.

      It is this kind of situation that the FCC wants to create in the US - particularly the idea about separating wholesale from retail seems to be a nod to this.

      So in conclusion I disagree with you that we in the UK have a "phony" choice - our broadband market is actually pretty healthy.

      1. Tom 38

        Re: UK isn't so brilliant

        What choice here, here, here or here?

        1. lagaba

          Re: UK isn't so brilliant

          You said:

          "There is very little real competition, since the largest proportion of users are all sold BT. Sure, there's an ISP in there somewhere, but most likely the ISP is BT, owned by BT, or buying bandwidth from BT, all whilst we pay BT to build and own all the new infrastructure. Phony choices are not choices"

          I don't agree that finding 4 locations in the UK which have limited choice equates to that. I would suggest that the vast majority of people in the UK have a decent choice, especially as compared to the US.

        2. Andrew Norton

          Re: UK isn't so brilliant

          You give 4 examples that were just like where I used to live in the US. I had a choice of two providers when I moved in there in 2006 - hughsnet satellite internet ($200/month for 8Mbit) or AT&T DSL ($55/month for 6/0.5Mbit DSL)

          When I moved out in the summer (partly because Nominet had revealed my home address, and harassment from JHammond supporters was starting) my choices were... exactly the same, at the same price. Oh, except you could also get Verizon LTE service for the last 12 months, it was only $50/2Gig of data....

          It was a comcast area, the whole county was, but Comcast hadn't bothered to lay a single wire in the county (a metro Atlanta county, with a significant film industry presence). In 07 AT&T techs told me they were going to upgrade their systems to fiber for U-verse, they had the fiber waiting and just waiting for the dig permits.

          Then comcast announced they weren't going to lay anything, but weren't going to give up their 'franchise', so AT&T never had to bother, so they didn't. The only difference was they stopped calling it broadband in 2010, because even the top tier package (which I had) didn't meet FCC minimum standards for broadband (4/1 Mbit)

          Now I've moved, I've got two choices. Charter [cable], and Windstream [DSL]. My price is a bit lower, and my speed is a bit better, but it's still slow compared to everyone else for the money -$45 for 60/4Mbit cable.

          And that's because there's no real competition here, AT ALL

          1. HMB

            Re: UK isn't so bad

            I've bitched about BT many times before, all with good reason. I don't think what we've got in the UK is the best but it's certainly way better than the paltry offerings available in large areas of the US. It's made me a lot more grateful for what we do have.

            Did anyone notice the four weak areas touted for how bad the UK is had two sites deploying FTTC, while one had limited fibre and cable?

            If there's one thing BT are it's excruciatingly slow to roll out new tech, but we're quite lucky, because we are getting it, even in areas that are verging on rural. I just hope that the prices for rural-ish FTTC are about the same as elsewhere considering the shedload of public money that went to them.

            I pay about £35 (inc line rental) for 40 Mbps Down and near enough 20 Mbps up (suburban location). I'm happy.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. lagaba

          Re: UK isn't so brilliant

          You would need a phone line in to your property which was presumable installed by BT or its predecessor the GPO but you don't have to pay BT - I pay Aquiss for line rental and for Fibre for example.

          I'm not saying the UK system is perfect - I've had all sorts of issues with BT Openreach. All I am saying is that compared to the USA we do have choice and we can choose to take our business elsewhere, for the most part. As Tom 38 has shown there are places where this doesn't apply but I stand by my view that the majority of people do have a choice and they are not phony choices.

          1. AndrueC Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: UK isn't so brilliant

            but you don't have to pay BT - I pay Aquiss for line rental and for Fibre for example.

            Sorta. Aquiss will be paying BT on your behalf ;)

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: UK isn't so brilliant

        Isn't the main issue that most UK customers are on ADSL whereas in the US the vast majority of customers are on cable - and in most areas cable companies have a local monopoly?

        There literally is not the "shared infrastructure" to work with that there is in all the European countries.

        Or am I missing something?

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: UK isn't so brilliant

          Isn't the main issue that most UK customers are on ADSL whereas in the US the vast majority of customers are on cable

          Just over 50% of the UK population has access to a cable service but nowhere near that number have actually subscribed to it. Telephone lines are a standard feature of pretty much all UK homes. Cable access on the other hand is seen as an optional extra that some areas happen to have.

          I suspect the cable operators never recovered from the blow dealt by satellite TV. I think the cable offering has always been a subset of the satellite offering and that has kept cable internet depressed as well. BT for their part have done a good(*) job of keeping pace with consumer demand so the case for cable has always been a bit poor over here.

          (*)From a business perspective. From a customer perspective it varies :)

      4. AndrueC Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: UK isn't so brilliant

        Furthermore some ISPs will buy the whole broadband service from BT and sell it on, differentiating by customer support, additional services or cost

        Actually by number I think it's correct to say that most are using BT's wholesale service. But anyway some ISPs buy enough bandwidth from BT. Some don't. Some rely on BT to carry traffic all the way to them - others pick their traffic up from various collection nodes around the country and use their own carrier. Either of these choices will affect latency and throughput depending on time of day. So there's another differentiator.

        UK ISPs are therefore differentiated by customer support, additional services and service quality. The only thing they aren't differentiated much by is connection speed. But even then there are differences. Only PlusNet offers 40/20 for instance.

        So..what other differentiation are you asking for?

  6. lnLog

    You (should) get what you pay for

    If the bandwidth rates were properly enforced, there would be no issues, you pay for 2Mbs you get that, and if you have it switched on all of the time who cares, its not like water.

    The problem is companies allowed to be all vague with what they are offering, thus they can get away with throttling. Its pretty simple, if they have spare capacity, then share it out (bonus), if they dont have the capacity for what people want,then either upgrade the infrastructure or dont sell it. If you dont have a product you cant sell it (unless you are a banker, and again there the same should apply).

    1. Bassey

      Re: You (should) get what you pay for

      "You (should) get what you pay for"

      That's just nonsense. You haven't paid for a 2mb service. You have paid to share a 2mb service with (usually) 30 to 50 other people. If you want guaranteed access to a whole 2mb all of the time it is quite simple. You lease a 2mb line. The problem with that is that it is hugely expensive - largely because you have access to it 24 hours a day but you only really need it in the evenings and at weekends.

      It's like turning up to your local swimming pool and arguing that it was advertised as 15m x 25m but there are other people swimming at the same time as you so you can't access it all. In which case, you have a simple choice. Get up at 5am so you can swim when nobody else wants to or go get your own pool!

      1. Dave Bell

        Re: You (should) get what you pay for

        Back when I started with this broadband malarkey, about a decade ago, one of the things the ISPs told you was the "contention ratio". When there were few video services, it worked out pretty well. Even with a fairly slow collection, you could download a Linux distro overnight.

        Times have changed. Connections can be a lot faster, on the same BT line, and they need to be. The ISPs never seem to mention the contention ratio, but with everyone wanting their video streams at the same time, the ISPs need to be able to move far more data. And the change was quite fast. Stuff that was working in 2012 was struggling in 2013.

        I changed ISP. On the same telephone wires I got double the capacity. And we will eventually get fibre here, although on a rather vague timetable. I may pay extra for that, just to be sure of having enough bandwidth, because nobody talks about the contention.

    2. r00ty

      Re: You (should) get what you pay for

      "If the bandwidth rates were properly enforced, there would be no issues, you pay for 2Mbs you get that, and if you have it switched on all of the time who cares, its not like water."

      The thing is, DSL and other consumer offerings have always been contended. When ADSL was first released commercially I remember the numbers were clear. 50:1 contention for home service and 20:1 contention for business service.

      Now-days the contention is never mentioned in such open terms but, it's there. Check the prices for fully un-contended data pipes and prepare to put away your credit card and be happy with the contention.

      So, when you pay for a 2Mbit pipe. You pay for 2Mbit to the exchange, at which point you contend with all the other 2Mbit (or more) pipes onto the bigger pipe (that doesn't have 2Mbit * users capacity) and then once again when it gets to your ISPs POP, it's once again the data contends with all the other packets heading to your ISP down whatever size pipe they pay for.

      Contention is a fact of life for consumer internet and that's not what's being argued here. It's more about businesses paying extra to have their data prioritized whenever there is a point of contention. That is NOT what I am paying for.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. AndrueC Silver badge

          Re: You (should) get what you pay for

          Fair enough, provided the ISPs are required to tell you when you sign up what contention you will get

          That's not practical any longer. The old fixed contention rates ceased to be valid once the concept of 'up to whatever you can get' was adopted. 50:1, 20:1 don't exist. Contention is whatever the bandwidth operator thinks it should be. It could be quite dynamic these days, possibly changing by the month as users come and go from the various parts of the network and as tastes change. So during a major streaming period (ie; London Olympics) the contention ratio might have increased.

    3. Terry Barnes

      Re: You (should) get what you pay for

      "If the bandwidth rates were properly enforced, there would be no issues, you pay for 2Mbs you get that, and if you have it switched on all of the time who cares, its not like water."

      No. You can buy an uncontended 2Mbps service, but it will be expensive - maybe 10 or 20 times more expensive than a broadband service.

      Broadband is cheap because you share backhaul bandwidth with other users. If you don't want to share, you don't have to, but the cost will reflect that.

  7. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    The UK. 400 ISP's. 399 running over BT Open Reach cables.

    <profanity filter off>

    You are still BT's bitches.

    </profanity filter off>

    OfCom? You are f**king kidding me.

    1. Soruk

      Re: The UK. 400 ISP's. 399 running over BT Open Reach cables.

      I can name three that don't...

      Virgin Media, obviously.

      Then there's VFast. (okay, one of their offerings is reselling BT, but they have an offering that isn't a reselling of either BT or Virgin)

      And there's Relish.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pick your ISP and get what you pay for

    I'm a fairly heavy traffic user - 200Gb a month is about average - a lot of it these days is netflix and amazon prime.

    Do I have problems with throttling, warnings or limits?

    Nope - though occasionally I notice the contention on weekends, nothing much I can do with that bar upgrading to FTTC and I don't plan to be here 12 months.

    How do I get such good and fast service? Simple: I pay for it. I have the home tariff with Andrews and Arnold - it is quite simply a system of pay for what you want to use.

    Want more download usage? Pay more. It all works about about 10p/Gb. Given the costs to run their network that seems reasonable to me.

    It also points at why it is going to be impossible to get an actually "unlimited" service at a fixed price.

    But then most people seem to want something for nothing. Me? I've always been happy to pay a fair price for quality.

    1. Jason 24

      Re: Pick your ISP and get what you pay for

      Are you my doppelganger??

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unlike BT who throttle all P2P traffic between 17:00 and 23:00, even for the supposed "Unlimited" FTTC connection.

    1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      I'm with BT's infinity (FTTC) but hardly ever use P2P so don't notice that throttling. If it's an issue, surely a solution would be to go via a good VPN so that BT cannot identify the traffic? I download about 300GB per month on average, but the limit seems to be the speed of the servers I'm downloading from rather than my line speed. If I start a second download from a completely different server while downloading at (say) 25Mbps, the second download ramps up to that server's max without affecting the speed of the first download at all. Only if I start a third download is the total likely to max out my line speed so they all slow down

    2. Terry Barnes

      Isn't that the whole point of the article though? If you don't like your current ISP, sign up with another one. There are enough ISPs and packages in the UK that everyone can find a package that suits.

      Whether the package you want is affordable or not is a different question though

  10. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Transparency

    IMHO, the real issue isn't ISPs filtering or prioritising traffic, it's the ISP's not being open about what they're doing. If ISP "A" said that they limit P2P traffic, or throttle Youtube/Netflix in favor of their own services, you, as the consumer, could make an informed choice as to whether their package is right for you.

    As are others here, I'm with Andrews & Arnold. On their website they clearly state:

    "We provide a real internet connection ... such that IP packets from you get to where they should do, and IP packets to you get to you. There is no messing about."

    BTW - I do love A&A's no-nonsense attitude :-)

  11. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    BT

    One problem people often make is thinking BT is one company. BT are actually multiple companies with the BT brand: BT Openreach, BT Operate, BT Wholesale, BT Global Services, BT Retail, etc.

    When you buy your broadband, it'll (probably) be from BT Retail, who may apply filtering so they don't have to buy as much bandwidth from BT Wholesale.

    1. Tom 38

      Re: BT

      The bit that gives it away that they are the same company is that the same company owns all those sub-entities.

      The rest is just window dressing and frippery.

      The problem the UK faced was that if they did nothing, basically no-one would be able to compete with BT. So they made up a system that produces a market that allows companies to "compete" against each other, selling bits that BT proffer up to them. This is better than nothing.

      The unintended consequence is that BT (wholesale, but as I mentioned, irrelevant) get lots of revenue from all ISPs using their services, which enables them to profitably (they aren't doing it for free) build out a new last mile FTTx network.

      When BT was privatised, one of the chief assets that BT shareholders bought from the government was the POTS network. With the advent of FTTx, BT no longer had that monopoly; they needed to fund a FTTx rollout, or risk someone else doing it.

      Somehow, BT have managed to convince us that it is right that we pay them to profitably build a fibre monopoly. In ten years, BT will therefore have acquired everything to keep a telecoms monopoly in the UK in perpetuity, we're paying them to do it, and apparently most people think that is super.

  12. Big_Ted
    Mushroom

    At those moaning about P2P traffic throttling

    Quite simply I don't give a sit if you are throttled downloading illegle content.

    Oh yeh I know I know you are downloading hundreds of gigs of linux distros and game demos etc. Do you think I was born yesterday ?

    I call bullshit on all heavy P2P users who doownload much more than they upload. The best way to go is to limit speed on P2P during those times most people want to stream legal content etc ie evenings and weekends to maybe 10%.

    This would mean I could watch iPlayer content without buffering and HD content on Netflix rather than crap quality just so you can take the piss and download illegaly at speed.

    Oh and the get what you pay for comments are unbeleivable, you are downloading illegal content for gods sake not legal content. If it was just legal stuff then overnight or a few gig a month would be enough.

    What I want is to have a good enough service to do what I want when I want, ie if playing games great speed and low latency, whatching video streams, HD content if available and so on.

    Now que the downvotes......

    1. r00ty

      Re: At those moaning about P2P traffic throttling

      "Quite simply I don't give a sit if you are throttled downloading illegle content.

      Oh yeh I know I know you are downloading hundreds of gigs of linux distros and game demos etc. Do you think I was born yesterday ?"

      The main problem is that you can't identify genuine use of P2P vs non genuine use. Likewise usenet throttling. Even if only 5% is legitimate use. You're still throttling someone else's idea of good service.

      Not only that, but some games use P2P for client updates. They've often been caught in the crossfire. Even sometimes having their gaming ports throttled (destroying in game latency).

      P2P used correctly is quite an efficient use of the internet. So, throttling and thus discouraging its use goes against those principals in my opinion.

      On a related note. Anyone silly enough to use P2P to download illegal content deserves what they get. It's one of the easiest places to spot illegal downloaders, and once you share some of that data you downloaded with someone else, you also become a publisher of illegal content. I'm surprised there haven't been more P2P convictions on this basis alone. Yes, I know there's ways to mitigate that risk, but I wonder how many people take those measures.

      As mentioned above. If there's any shaping or throttling going on - so long as it's advertised clearly, it's not really a problem. Joe Consumer can shop around. It when there's an advert of "unlimited unfiltered internet access" and, somewhere buried in the smallprint you only see after you sign up is the information about shaping or throttling. That's just not fair overall.

    2. SCG

      Re: At those moaning about P2P traffic throttling

      "Oh and the get what you pay for comments are unbeleivable, you are downloading illegal content for gods sake not legal content. If it was just legal stuff then overnight or a few gig a month would be enough."

      That's quite right. Every time I purchase a new game from Steam or Origin, a nice man pops round with a thumbstick and waits while I transfer 30+gb of data to my PC.

      The poor chap is terribly busy every time updates to my game library get pushed out.

    3. Soruk
      Facepalm

      Re: At those moaning about P2P traffic throttling

      >Oh and the get what you pay for comments are unbeleivable, you are downloading illegal content for gods sake not legal content. If it was just legal stuff then overnight or a few gig a month would be enough.

      A few gig a month? Want to watch HD video content from Netflix/Prime/iPlayer etc? That's about 1GB/hour.

    4. lagaba

      Re: At those moaning about P2P traffic throttling

      Big_Ted, if your connection slows down to the extent that at peak times you get constant buffering on iPlayer or low quality streams, then it is probably not some unseen group of "bandwidth hoggers" all downloading illegal files using P2P services. It is in fact more likely that your ISP has not provisioned enough backhaul bandwidth for peak use. If the ISP's network is congested then the other users are also getting slow connections = how can they be hogging your bandwidth, they are not getting a larger proportion of the available capacity than you.

      A good example is that Sky bought an extra half million customers - they did not buy Be or O2's network infrastructure. When they started migrating the new users to their network, I found my Sky connection becoming worse so I left. They offered me all sorts of deals to stay with them but I prefer to pay £10 more a month and have a better connection. Many of my friends (against my advice) choose their ISP based on cost and then complain about buffering etc...I have a decent router that cost £100 rather than the cheap crap you get from most ISPs (Aquiss expect you to provide your own router) and I pay a higher than average monthly cost. In return I have stable consistent connection that is not affected greatly by peak/off peak times. This is, I think, what people are referring to when they say "you get what you pay for".

      In my experience you get a better experience in the UK if you go with a small/moderate size ISP that has a limited number of users and can therefore manage their network effectively. All the big players are trying to compete against each other using bundled services such as TV and are therefore not as focused on network management - they prob got most customers through cheap deals or because they have football/other sports TV packages and most non-technical users will therefore stay with them for the same reasons even if the network is flakey at times.

      I repeat - if you want a stress free experience then look up ISPs somewhere like this http://www.ispreview.co.uk/

      ..and be prepared to pay £10-£20 more a month - trust me it is worth it.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thing is you cant stop the signal mal... all the throttle systems can mostly be worked around, so if you need that linux distro at full speed there is no stopping you, stick it on port 443 and use ssl, use a vpn, ssh tunnel, proxy, etc etc..

    What your really complaining about is that many ISP over sold/subscribed their networks and can cope with the demand, what people use it for is upto them..

    People who live out in the sticks and cant get FTTC or Cable and have piss poor speeds over ADSL and in over subscribed area bitch that they cant stream stuff in HD, shocker, sure blame it on the p2p bods...

    Ive seen people complain to often that HD steaming has buffering issues, you look at the router and the lock speed is 2 meg or below and that before you get into frequent dropping issues due to old copper that BT dont want to fix and try to scare you off with a £150 NFF charge. Even if you do get an engineer out and your lucky enough to get a proper ground works engineer and your lucky enough that that wet junction point is causing enough of a problem at that exact moment for them to detect it you might get it fixed.

    P2P multi-casting is used in Flash Player, BBC iPlayer, Spotify, Blizzard downloads, not all P2P is evil as you make it.

    1. r00ty

      "People who live out in the sticks and cant get FTTC or Cable and have piss poor speeds over ADSL and in over subscribed area bitch that they cant stream stuff in HD, shocker, sure blame it on the p2p bods..."

      I know it's moving off-topic a bit. But it's not always that way. I moved from zone 3 London (where I had 5Mbit ADSL2+) to a large village or small town.. I would say village though... Here I have full 80/20 FTTC. I've been here 4 months or so and not seen a hint of contention.

  14. noominy.noom

    Competition is not sufficient

    Competition by itself is only part of the story. If each ISP offers a different mix are we then in the same situation as we have been with video. Here in the central U.S., in many locales, you can't get one video service that has all the channels you like. I happen to like Formula One. My wife likes HGTV, the Home and Garden network. We have two options, one is cable based and the other is satellite. The satellite option carries F1 but not HGTV and the cable option carries HGTV but not F1. We had to do without one. There are at most dozens of video channels we would care about. With the Internet it is hundreds of sites. What if a local ISP has great service/speeds/price but is run by a devout religious person/group of people and they block all religious sites other than ones that adhere to their belief? I could rule them out and look for an ISP that carries the stuff I want, but you get the point. If there is no net neutrality in the sense that I get all legal internet content with any ISP, then I would have an untenable situation where I would have to buy multiple services.

    Today, I have exactly two video choices, as above, and two Internet choices. The two Internet choices are the above mentioned cable provider, and the local land line telephone provider. I live close enough to a central office to get ADSL. As far as I can tell, neither of the choices blocks or throttles particular sites or services. But from the comments I've read from the some of the big ISPs, they want no regulation and claim competition would be sufficient. I say competition is not enough. I don't want heavy regulation, but at least a guarantee that I can always access legal content at the speeds I pay for.

  15. Sir_Hops_A_Lot

    lol

    "The UK has one of the world’s most competitive broadband markets, so ISPs need to ensure customers can connect to the services they want, or risk losing them to another provider."

    At a certain point in size, the "competition corrects all" meme fails almost 100% of the time.

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