ntl:Telewest trial broadband traffic shaping in Swansea

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ntl-telewest%20logo.jpgAccording to CableForum.co.uk, ntl:Telewest is testing traffic shaping on its broadband service with customers in Swansea and Preston.

It’s experimenting with a system that will limit its 10Mbps service customers to a maximum of 5Mbps between 4pm and midnight if their usage exceeds what the company believes is ‘fair use’.

ntl:Telewest suggest that 10% of its customers are using 70% of the available network bandwidth at any one time. They say that 95% of customers won’t notice these ‘shaping’ changes. It seems to have been put in place before the telco introduces faster 20Mbps and even 50Mbps services.

Presumably if these trials are successful they’ll roll out across ntl:Telewest’s substantial empire.

“Fair use” or the dreaded “Acceptable Use Policy” is all very well, but it sounds as if some of these services don’t even have small print to back up their ‘unlimited use’ mantra. It’s fairly sure, though, that if you try to download a couple of knocked-off high definition films each month, you’ll end up in hot water.

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Andy Merrett