UK ISPs to reveal internet choking policies

BSkyB, BT, O2, TalkTalk, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone have signed up to a voluntary code to provide comparable information to consumers about traffic management.

BSkyB, BT, O2, TalkTalk, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone have signed up to a voluntary code to provide comparable information to consumers about traffic management.

Traffic management is commonly used by ISPs to throttle bandwidth, adversely impacting the performance of certain web applications. The practice often occurs at peak times, such as mid-evening, and can affect processes such as streaming, with users experiencing jitter in broadcasters' programmes on demand, for example.

The Broadband Stakeholders' Group said the new code would ensure that consumers had access to more easily comparable information about the traffic management practices of different broadband providers.

Antony Walker, chief executive of the Broadband Stakeholder Group, which facilitated the voluntary industry code of practice, said, "This commitment to provide clear and comparable information in a common format is very important. It will not only help to ensure consumers are better informed about the services they buy and use, but will also provide a clearer picture for policymakers of the way in which traffic management is actually used in the UK market."

The code will be piloted in 2011 by the signatories and its implementation will be reviewed in early 2012.

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