UK Telecom Comes Down Against Traffic Shaping

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It’s often considered lazy writing to start a piece with a quote, but I think that, in this case, it might be necessary. 

Wikipedia calls traffic shaping “an attempt to control computer network traffic in order to optimize or guarantee performance, low latency, and/or bandwidth.” 

And now that you know that, know this: a major British telecom does not favor traffic shaping.

BT Wholesale’s chief technical officer, Matt Beal, said in an interview with ZDNet UK that he found traffic shaping to be “quite Big Brother-ish.” 

Never mind this penalize-the-user stuff, he said – “It is up to us at the core of the network to make sure there is enough bandwidth for [our services and those of our competitors].”

This statement implies that BT is not trying to pass the figurative buck; equally important is the idea that it is not trying to monopolize anything, and Beal addressed that issue, as well.

“Beal said he did not care who owned the frequencies,” wrote ZDNet UK’s David Meyer

And while that was in reference to “the upcoming spectrum auctions,” rather than some existing technology, it’s still a good sign.

In fact, assuming that no one else from BT “clarifies” Beal’s statements within the next few days (that’s corporate-talk for denying something and/or applying damage control), net neutrality in the UK appears to have taken a relatively big step forward.

If BT would care to share its views with its American telecom relatives, we’d be much obliged.

UK Telecom Comes Down Against Traffic Shaping
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  • James Jones

    That goes totally against their own actions – BT uses traffic shaping. Peer to peer downloads struggle to break 56k modem speeds throught the day and evening, while ordinary direct downloads run at full speed.

    • Barry Heath

      I totally agree, the other afternoon, I came in and started my torrent client, I was getting speeds of around 100kb, but I have had problems with DHT not logging in, when I forced it to login, the speed immediately dropped to 11-12kb, and stayed there. Whilst during the night I can normally get speeds well in excess of 200kb.If they must use traffic shaping, at least be a bit fair, 12kb on an 8Mb line is rediculous.

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