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Media The Internet United Kingdom News

Virgin Media UK Begins Throttling P2P Traffic 220 220

An anonymous reader writes "The ISP which advertises itself as 'The fastest in the UK' and offers speeds of up to 100mbps has said it needs to throttle file sharing traffic to prevent slowness in other areas such as online multiplayer gaming. Trialing of the new traffic management plans commenced on March 2 and will only apply to upstream traffic, therefore download speeds will be unaffected. The clampdown will apply on top of the existing traffic shaping Virgin Media has in place and will affect all packages, including the previously unmanaged 100mbps deal. This policy, which applies to all broadband packages, is restricted to P2P applications and Newsgroups (which are commonly used to distribute large amounts of data)."
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Virgin Media UK Begins Throttling P2P Traffic

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  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mjwx (966435) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @03:20AM (#35416150)
    Virgin Media: Well we haven't upgraded our infrastructure and now we are having problems with sheep leaving our oversubscribed networks. They even have the gall to complain to regulatory authorities about us. So we think we can solve the problem by limiting a certain type of traffic which competes with one of our other business units.

    You can expect VOIP and Youtube to be next.

    This is why the Aussie NBN is a good thing, private providers will never upgrade the network if it has a choice.
  • whiners (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hjf (703092) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @03:27AM (#35416178) Homepage

    You're getting 100mbps, which is unheard of in most parts of the world. You can still surf the web, download shit, do whatever the fuck you want.

    But this is slashdot. Let the whining begin.

  • let's review... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WillyWanker (1502057) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @03:35AM (#35416208)
    Remind me again why net neutrality is a bad thing?
  • Re:welp.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @03:58AM (#35416320)

    IF they're selling it based on bandwidth. Sure. If they're selling it as unlimited they're false advertising.
    If they can't offer the bandwith they say they can to everyone in their advertising, then they should fix that. Or, don't offer what they can't provide.

  • Re:welp.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @03:58AM (#35416322) Homepage

    There is also the other argument ... http traffic (the first 10 kb of a connection, say), dns, gaming traffic, ... is highly interactive, and generally it will result in massive slowdowns when even a minute amount of this traffic gets dropped. Result : just about every customer complains.

    Long http downloads, p2p traffic, ... is not interactive -at all- and nobody will be very upset if you drop all of it for 5 minutes.

    So giving the interactive traffic absolute priority over the non-interactive traffic (ie. "throttling p2p (and all other large downloads)") is exactly what you'd want to do yourself on your own connection anyway to optimize the subjective speed of your internet connection. Treating p2p, with max downloading speed, the same as other traffic will make all other traffic (esp. http) horrendously slow.

  • Re:welp.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by strack (1051390) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @05:38AM (#35416756)
    i think you mean they can sell good speeds to everyone by "fucking lying like the lying bastards they are". and connecting you to "kinda sorta parts of the internet that we approve of" and you are right. bandwidth isnt free, which is why people *buy* the internet service that is *advertised*, and anything else is theft by deception. what we call 'fraud'
  • Re:welp.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mxs (42717) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @06:08AM (#35416880)

    And they can just throttle all traffic then. Look, these are consumer level service that they're selling. It's not guaranteed, and you're not buying dedicated bandwidth. If you really want that, get a business level contract with dedicated bandwidth. It will just cost you a lot, but that's how it works.

    That MAY be how it MAY work, but if I am being sold an unmetered, unfiltered connection in advertizing, I damn well better get an unmetered, unfiltered connection. If you are selling me an unmetered, unfiltered connection, you damn well better provide that. It's fine if you don't want to. Really. Just don't lie to me about it. I may then be able to compare your offering to others fairly.

    Bandwidth isn't free, and the only way ISP's can sell good speeds to everyone is by "overselling" it. It's a technical limitation, there's not much they can do about that. I rather take a burstable 100mbit than guaranteed 1mbit anyway. If you want the latter, get it with a business contract.

    You have gotten a lot of koolaid from your ISPs. Sure, bw is not free -- but also not as expensive as it is made out to be. There is such a thing as peering. There are such thing as caches. There is such a thing as proper network planning. It speaks volumes that they are shaping the upstream bandwidth primarily. (And even larger volumes that they are shaping usenet -- where they are decidedly not "just" shaping upstream -- hell, they could be either peering with major usenet providers or *gasp* provide their own servers and keep all that juicy traffic in-house).

    I'd go so far as to say that the cost is mostly incurred in the "last mile" -- i.e. the part where providers would have to invest money.

  • Re:welp.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mxs (42717) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @06:19AM (#35416930)

    There is also the other argument ... http traffic (the first 10 kb of a connection, say), dns, gaming traffic, ... is highly interactive, and generally it will result in massive slowdowns when even a minute amount of this traffic gets dropped. Result : just about every customer complains.

    Long http downloads, p2p traffic, ... is not interactive -at all- and nobody will be very upset if you drop all of it for 5 minutes.

    So giving the interactive traffic absolute priority over the non-interactive traffic (ie. "throttling p2p (and all other large downloads)") is exactly what you'd want to do yourself on your own connection anyway to optimize the subjective speed of your internet connection. Treating p2p, with max downloading speed, the same as other traffic will make all other traffic (esp. http) horrendously slow.

    The difference being that you can decide for yourself what you value more and what protocols you want to prioritize. There is absolutely nothing wrong with shaping traffic on your own premises if you so choose. There is something inherently wrong with the provider choosing what is good and what is not for you. Most providers now sell Voice over IP telephony connections as well (get your landline and your internet through the same pipe kind of deals). Skype, as you recall, is an inherently P2P protocol. It would be a damn shame if the traffic shaping just happened to hit Skype, wouldn't it ? Or another messaging/VoIP/cam-service ? I mean surely no conglomerate would ever do such a thing to make their own offering appear to be better, right ? There are legal P2P TV stations too (Zattoo et al). It would be a damn shame if they stopped working right, wouldn't it ? Better get the triple play offer from your ISP, guaranteed bandwidth to the TV server ! Wouldn't it also be a shame if YouTube was constantly buffering and no fun to use at all ? (this happens a lot with the biggest provider in Germany -- they don't call it shaping, they simply don't peer or upgrade their external pipes to those AS).

    If you sell me the service you advertise, I can do all the shaping I want on my own and get the experience I am looking for. If you don't, you are defrauding me.

"Any excuse will serve a tyrant." -- Aesop

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