back to article Which of UK's major ISPs will let you have exotic p0rn? NONE OF THEM

Virgin Media, Vodafone and EE have promised to be more upfront with their subscribers about traffic management policies two and half years after rival, big name UK ISPs signed up to the voluntary "Open Internet Code". The telcos have also vowed not to choke the services of competitors, such as over-the-top players – Microsoft' …

  1. EddieD

    Sweet...

    Maybe now BBC iPlayer in SD won't constantly buffer on my 30MB Virgin Media connection.

    And maybe flying pigs taste of chicken.

    1. Lusty

      Re: Sweet...

      Have you tried a different device? I've found that the NowTV box buffers all the time while my TV never does. Also, if you're using wireless it could be that your internal connection at home is the issue rather than the upstream cable connection.

      1. NinjasFTW

        Re: Sweet...

        There is definitely something wrong with the interconnect between Virgin and Sky.

        I get on average 1mb/s (often lower) downloading movies from Sky while a Steam game will come in at 12mb/s

        I called Virgin about it once and explained what was happening, said they would forward it to second line support and within an hour I was getting much better performance.

        I moved house the next week and the problems were back with my new connection so will have to call again and see what happens.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: Sweet...

          There is definitely something wrong with the interconnect between Virgin and Sky.

          I get on average 1mb/s (often lower) downloading movies from Sky while a Steam game will come in at 12mb/s

          There are so many reasons for getting a slow speed from a particular provider, it is much more likely to be congestion within Sky's network or capacity of their links rather than the connection between Sky and Virgin.

          I'm on synchronous gigabit FTTP (Hyperoptic) in Central London, and can only download from Sky at around 8Mbit/s (1MB/s), whilst Steam and other well connected provider's downloads come down at between 400-700Mbit/s (50-80MB/s).

      2. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Sweet...

        And yet my NowTV box rarely buffers - and it's used heavily.

        OK, no longer on Vermin Media, but that's not device specific..

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sweet...

        "Have you tried a different device? "

        I found this with iPlayer the other day. I wanted to listen to a radio program and really wanted to listen to it while I was out walking. The radio iPlayer doesn't have a download and play later feature like the TV one, so I ended up Googling for tools to cheat (BEEB you stupid B*&^%$ds I'd pay to be allow to if that is what it took OK, just give us a chance) and found a tool to slurp down the streaming files. Suddenly a 30 minute radio program that kept pausing and buffering downloaded in a few seconds.

        1. MikeyD85

          Re: Sweet...

          I ended up torrenting Channel 4's Cyberbully the other day because 4od was being a massive pile of steaming turd, whereas the torrent took all of 4 minutes to complete.

          When piracy is easier than getting free content legitimately, you know there's a problem somewhere!

          1. Graham Marsden

            @MikeyD85 - Re: Sweet...

            > When piracy is easier than getting free content legitimately, you know there's a problem somewhere!

            Obligatory...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @ Graham Marsden - Obligatory......

              reminds me of why I used to rip all the kids DVD when they were young so they just put the DVD in and it played right away, like a VHS. I don't might paying for content, I just object to retards stealing my life.

              1. Vic

                Re: @ Graham Marsden - Obligatory......

                I don't might paying for content, I just object to retards stealing my life.

                I was doing a few bits at a mate's place the other night. He put on a DVD for the kids.

                At the beginning was an unskippable ad for Coco Pops. I was horrified...

                Vic.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          1. Mr. Flibble

            Re: Sweet...

            @linicks - The BBC have changed their API and that doesn't work any more :(

            Shame, it was dead useful and you'd get all the metadata too.

            1. EddieD

              Re: Sweet...

              get_iplayer has been updated.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: get_iplayer

            Get_iplayer was a bit rough round the edges when I last looked.

            Then I discovered nerdoftheherd's RadioDownloader, which admittedly is Windows-centric, but it did what it did very smoothly and effectively.

            Then the BBC lawyers told him to take the BBC content out of his index or else. So he did, Then the programme became basically useless to me and to many others.

            There presumably isn't a fundamental copyright issue because the BBC DG (Greg Dyke) in 2003 "announced plans to give the public full access to all the corporation's programme archives. Mr Dyke said ... that everyone would in future be able to download BBC radio and TV programmes from the internet." [1]. No sign of it since.

            More recently in 2011 the BBC said their full speech radio archive would go online [2].

            Will it ever happen?

            [1] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/3177479.stm

            [2] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/8865357/BBC-to-open-vast-radio-archive-online.html

      4. Lusty

        Re: Sweet...

        Someone seriously downvoted that? Very sorry to have offended you by trying to be helpful. Both of the things I suggested are quite common issues with streaming, and removing specific variables is a standard troubleshooting technique.

    2. NinjasFTW

      Re: Sweet...

      Hanlons Razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

      Have a search for "Virgin Media youtube buffering" and you get posts going back a long time. i.e http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Up-to-120Mb-Speed/Tired-of-YouTube-buffering/td-p/1746698

      Its unbelievable that they have had the same issue going for so long that affects a large swathe of their user base.

      1. Cameron Colley

        Re: Sweet... (YouTube Buffering).

        As I understand it the YouTube buffering problems are just that -- problems with YouTube.

        I have seen them, though rarely it has to be said, on Vermin Media (which I've been using for years) but friends on BT lines and LLU have seen the same. Heck! a friend in Oslo has had problems with inexplicable YouTube buffering and I've seen it in Amsterdam and probably other places I can't remember.

        I don't suggest that VM customers are mistaken in blaming Vermin in all cases -- but I am suggesting that when people spend a fair amount of money for broadband that they know will supply a decent bandwidth and YouTube won't play properly they are more likely to get out there and moan without necessarily knowing the cause.

        Anecdotally for YouTube problems I find going to a lower or even higher resolution to help me on occasion that or justtaking a link to where the video is, closing the page and starting again where I left off.

        iPlayer I've never had problems with from anywhere so can't commenton that one.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Sweet... (YouTube Buffering).

          Perhaps, but when it's perfect via a proxy from the same browser, there are clearly shenanigans.

          Perhaps peering, but the tracert implies otherwise.

          1. Cameron Colley

            Re: Sweet... (YouTube Buffering).

            Thanks for the civilised reply Richard 12.

            I have to admit I never found the problems repeatable enough to try a proxy or other tests. I'd love to know how those who voted me down know that YouTube is fine and the evidence I have seen to the contrary is rubbish when the problem seemed difficult enough to reproduce under Virgin.

            I certainly won't mention the times I've had problems with a YouTube video at exactly the same time as a friend on another network in another city, perhaps thousands of miles away, and then find neither of us have problems with the same video the next day. Nope that never happened, it was always Virmin Media' plot against other networks...

    3. Ben Rose
      Megaphone

      Re: Sweet...

      I had similar buffering issues for a long time on YouTube. After moaning for years, I replaced a network switched - replacing a Netgear one I'd had for years. The buffering issue vanished overnight.

      The Netgear switch was perfect for LAN file transfers, file downloads etc. but just hopeless at streaming media. Never had an issue since it was replaced, even streaming to multiple TVs concurrently is successful.

  2. Infernoz Bronze badge
    Facepalm

    How futile given encrypted network tunnel services exist

    All anyone has to do if they try censorship of anything (including consenting adult material which prudes block) is to use an HTTPS web proxy or VPN provider; some services are even bundled with applications, so dead easy for less technically literate people.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How futile given encrypted network tunnel services exist

      Such system will be illegal in a few years if Cameron wins the next election.

      If you have nothing to hide....

    2. Suricou Raven

      Re: How futile given encrypted network tunnel services exist

      Of course you can hack your way around - but it isn't a good thing for free speech to be dependant upon the outcome of a hacker-battle between users and censors.

  3. goldcd

    Would

    "Not target and degrade the content or applications of specific providers"

    cover the throttling of, say, a usenet provider?

    Not for one moment saying that Virgin shouldn't be able to throttle - merely that they've previously been quite exceptionally opaque as to what they were up to previously.

    1. jonathan1

      Re: Would

      Compelete unrelated...

      I read "cover the throttling of, say, a usenet provider?" as throttling a mumsnet reader...

      Long day..with a long evening...

    2. TwistUrCapBack

      Re: Would

      "previously been quite exceptionally opaque as to what they were up to previously."

      They mostly come at night ... Mostly

  4. Stuart 22 Silver badge

    None of the above

    My ISP is not on the list. They just give unfiltered access to the real raw internet. No proxies, no deep packet sniffing, blocked ports, traffic throttling and the other popular provider malfeasances.

    They don't provide unlimited. You just get what you pay for and not other people's attempts to steal bandwidth for nothing. They also keep a low profile which means they miss out on tea and biscuits at Number 10 to exchange gongs for protecting our children, terrorists and cuddly kittens.

    Its a novel approach. I am surprised so few are so not prepared to throw themselves into the clutches of big corporations with an appalling record of misleading and generally screwing their users with a fair dose of technical incompetence and incomprehensible support desks thrown in.

    But then I guess, like all others, mine is just another brand name and operating unit of that overarching UK ISP also missing from the list: GCHQ.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: None of the above

      "My ISP is not on the list. They just give unfiltered access to the real raw internet. No proxies, no deep packet sniffing, blocked ports, traffic throttling and the other popular provider malfeasances."

      Which provider is it you're talking about? I'm always interested in supporting those who value privacy.

      However, "no deep packet sniffing"... that's nothing anybody can possibly verify as this would usually be implemented in a completely transparent way. The other items can be verified, though, and I'm all for it

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: None of the above

        However, "no deep packet sniffing"... that's nothing anybody can possibly verify as this would usually be implemented in a completely transparent way. The other items can be verified, though, and I'm all for it

        I'm with A&A, and Adrian (the boss) has repeatedly said that there is no packet inspection and that when there is he won't be allowed to talk about it, so we can assume that when he no longer says that there is no packet inspection we can assume there is. So all we have is his word that he won't lie and can't be forced to lie. I'm inclined to believe him.

        Of course I, and most of their customers, are using BT supplied lines, so whether OpenReach are reaching into our packets to sniff out what we're doing, we have no way of knowing. For smaller ISPs that could well be how GCHQ do things.

        I wonder when we'll be able to get IPSec links :-)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: None of the above

          "I'm with A&A [...]"

          Thanks for the reply. Thought you were with them, but wanted to see if there are other small providers who actually care. I do agree with you on their credibility. To my knowledge there hasn't been a single case where they were caught with pants down, so at the very least they get the benefit of a doubt!

          As for IPSec per default, while that would be awesome, there are probably not enough customers asking for it. You could always work around that using a remote server somewhere to establish such a connection (or OpenVPN, which is easier to set up), where the remote server then acts as a proxy.

          I'm doing the same on BT at the moment. They are probably wondering why pretty much all traffic is encrypted and hitting the same destination, especially as it's going to be outlawed soon *cough*. :-)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: None of the above

            "I'm with A&A [...]"

            I'm not the original AC, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were also on A&A. I suspect that they are rather disproportionately popular amongst El'Reg's readership.

    2. Cynic_999

      Re: None of the above

      I resent the fact that you have branded those of us who want to download a large amount of data per month and have thus chosen an unlimited service as being thieves. I looked very carefully at the AUP of my provider to ensure that the service was genuinely unlimited - and am paying quite a bit more than the average to get it. "You get what you pay for" is all very well if you know exactly how much you are going to download each month, but it can easily leave you hostage to fortune if you do not ensure that you have complete control over every device and application that is pulling data from the Internet. Inadvertently leave a browser open on certain websites overnight after your PC puts the screen into powersave mode for example, and it could slurp gigabytes of data streaming news videos one after the other to a blank screen.

      1. Haro

        Re: None of the above

        Yeah, I went to unlimited with Bell in Canada, simply because I kept running into bizarre limit overloads. It's so nice not to worry. I run a Tor relay, but that doesn't use up that much.

      2. Stuart 22 Silver badge

        Re: None of the above

        "I resent the fact that you have branded those of us who want to download a large amount of data per month and have thus chosen an unlimited service as being thieves."

        I apologise, I used the wrong verb. The issue is that if you contract with an ISP that offers unlimited then, unless you get your fair shares worth - you are paying for someone elses's usage. And, of course, if instead everybody does try to regain equanimity then the ISP's peering goes into meltdown unless they throttle etc.

        So while I am not accusing you of acting unfairly, your use of unlimited could be seen as unfair to the user who doesn't need it. I agree it is their problem to realise that and go with a 'limited' service. I run a small internet company and our usage is comfortably within our 200Gb monthly allowance. Of course that does involve downloading movies or online gaming. Horses for courses. Ours is Zen. Almost as good as A&A I'm told ;-)

        Before you point out that your unlimited is cheaper than my limited - that's only if you don't value the other differences the alternate ISPs have compared to the big'uns.

        1. Stuart 22 Silver badge

          Re: None of the above

          "Of course that does involve downloading movies or online gaming"

          Sorry that should have been doesn't. Its amazing how all one's typos only become apparent 11 minutes later ;-)

  5. Anonymous Coward 101

    I'm trying to understand how the headline and the content of the story are related.

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Happy

      Are you new here?

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      How the headline and the content of the story are related

      I'm assuming that's explained by the picture at the top - I can't find any other reason for it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > I'm trying to understand how the headline and the content of the story are related.

      I came here to make the same comment.

      Nothing in the article seems to be remotely connected to pornography, even via a tenuous link related to censorship.

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        Yup, it's the first time that I've felt both that an article is worth sharing, but also that the headline is so unrelated and clickbaity that I've had to edit it before hitting 'Tweet'.

        Especially given that the reference to porn in the article refers to Child Porn, which isn't exactly what I think of if someone mentions exotic porn......

  6. Busby

    By other people's attempt to steal bandwidth do you mean customer attempting to use the service they pay for?

    Very good that you have found an ISP that your happy with but that's no reason to turn on the rest of us. If the ISP's are offering unlimited packages why is that the fault of someone like me that signs up for it? I think your ire is directed at the wrong target it's the companies that offer packages they can't deliver that are at fault in my opinion.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Competition

      'Outside of the cities, there is no choice' - yes there is, either have a BT line or none.

      Shitty choice, granted - but a choice all the same.

    2. Martin-73 Silver badge

      Re: Competition

      No sky or talktalk or $Huge number of other providers at your exchange?

      (Genuinely asking)

    3. Dylbot

      Re: Competition

      Try living in Hull. You can have Karoo (Kingston Communications' excellent offering), you can have dodgy satellite internet, or you can suck it.

      The worst part is that I SAW YOU INSTALLING FIBER KIT DOWN MY STREET YOU BASTARDS, GIVE ME MY PROPER INTERNET.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Competition

        Try living in Hull.

        I'll pass thanks.

  8. Pebsham

    Doesn't the heading just mean that people should give the smaller ISP's a try. I have been with 2 ISP's over the last 10 years both nerdy & dedicated to leaving their customers alone. I only changed to my most recent one because they offer an unlimited service. (My wife discovered Iplayer & my son xbox-live so I had to).

    Sure it's a little more expensive than the likes of Plusnet & Sky but it's absolutely worth the little extra cash.

  9. john devoy

    iPlayer is usually ok; the real farce is virgins own TVanywhere service, it's a worthless buffering mess for me and i'm on 100mb.

  10. Paul 181

    A vps costs about £4 a month , you can run your own VPN then if you like

  11. eJ2095

    Buffer Face

    Get this a lot from 5pm onwards my Vermin connection drops from 120mb (ish) to 2mb.....

    GCHQ must be redirecting all my traffic and watching me sit in my pants on my laptop....

  12. Tom 7 Silver badge

    BT have a different approach

    They throttle their own site!

    If you want to get onto their MyBT site they just fill your bandwidth with irrelevant 'news' articles so that by the time you get to 'Speed Test' (which is invisible once your logged in) the universe has undergone a heat death or two.

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