Broadband Throttling: ISPs warned by Ofcom

By Posted 25 Nov 2011, 13:46

This year there has been much talk about the service that many consumers are getting from their ISPs regarding their broadband service. Back in the summer it was reported that many customers were not getting the speeds they were originally promised when first signing up to a company. Today with regards to broadband throttling ISPs have been warned by Ofcom to be clearer.

The regulator has told companies they must be clearer to their customers about how they restrict traffic. According to ZDNet if the ISPs don’t improve they will be forced to by Ofcom, and again they have stressed that customers should be told what average speed they will get when they sign up in the first place.

Ofcom have said that generally traffic management is beneficial when used, and can protect more important traffic to the likes of the emergency services. It is not always the case though if it is used to hit competing services, especially if it “is not visible to consumers”.

Mobile and fixed broadband providers can have traffic management rules in place, but unfortunately not all customers are made aware of them. It is often used to help congestion during peak times for instance when video services are prioritized over mail services during these busy times.

They did agree though that some ISPs do provide some information, as back in March the likes of BT, O2, Three, Virgin Media, Vodafone, Sky, and TalkTalk have agreed to a voluntary code of practice to be more clearer on their polices.

But Ofcom have said that the information “does not go far enough and needs to be made clearer and easier to understand“. The table of traffic management information, Key Facts Indicator, is only understandable to the more “technically savvy” consumers.

To be easier to understand Ofcom suggests the companies should tell customers how any traffic management policies will affect them such as download speeds for P2P services during busy times. Does your connection often fall fail of throttling?

  • PHYSC

    I believe unlimited should be unlimited mean absolutely no limitation as the title dictates and represents,also isp’s should be prosecuted for throttling p2p sharing as A.not all p2p traffic is copyright material and B.they are intefering with the connection speed they have been offered by premium services like megaupload and rapidshare etc that should be an offence in it’s self as they are reducing or limiting a paid for subscription service speed that they do not sell and if a customer has paid for it and they are promissed files in so many seconds and they are being throttled that is grossly unfair and is not the premium service fault but the isp’s for throttling it.If that is sorry not if it is happening then the isp should be liable to pay the full package cost and compensation also to the p2p provider for loss of contracts as a result this would force them toeither admit this is what they are doing or give up on the throttling of what should never be throttled this along with the lesser speed’s than stated to customers who are signed up to isp’s should be considered as obtain money by deception and also breach of contract wether it be a written or verbal contract it is still a binding agreement if they breach it they hhave commited a consumer law offence and fraud knowingly ofcom clamp down on it and tell them all if you sell a unlimited connection it means no limit what so ever and absolutely no throttling.And also they should tell the isp if a consumer has had lesser speeds then they should be sent out a form to enable them to cancel their contract if they wish and for the customer to work out there average speed on speed test take screen shots over a week to 2 weeks then the average speed will dictate the difference in value of what they should have got and a compensation value can be worked out.bY THE WAY I HAVE JUST FOUND OUT I AM HAVING MY P2P  THROTTLED BY VIRGIN MEDIA (VIRGIN BROADBAND)