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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ofcom: mobile blocking Skype but we don't care

ISPreview UK: "Ofcom used this report to keep a close eye (sic) on the issue of Net Neutrality and Traffic Management, although they found that “there are currently no substantive concerns in relation to the traffic management practices used by fixed ISPs“. The regulator noted some “concern” with how some mobile operators block Skype (VoIP) but not enough to take any action against." The traffic management section starts on p49 and includes this choice example of how ISPs are largely ignoring Ofcom's evidence-gathering:

"7.14 We asked operators to estimate the impact of traffic management restrictions. Although most told us that such calculations were too difficult to make, others told us that the impact could be significant, e.g. one fixed ISP said the estimated impact of its traffic management policies was to reduce P2P traffic to 1% of what it would otherwise be at peak times.
7.15 P2P is not the only type of traffic which is subject to traffic management. For example, O2 restricts the speed of video traffic on its lowest priced broadband package to 0.8Mbit/s, and offers higher-priced broadband packages that do not use traffic management for video traffic."
Note 0.8Mb/s is deliberately chosen as just below what is needed for BBC iPlayer services!

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