Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bandwidth Caps out; Is Throttling next?

After the recent public hearing by the NTC, they’ve announced that provisions for bandwidth caps have been removed from memo. But that’s just the NTC and it’s still a draft so ISPs can still continue with their bandwidth capping provisions as stated in their service contracts and AUP.

If bandwidth capping will eventually be prohibited by NTC, service providers will most likely resort to other methods and the next best thing would be “bandwidth throttling”.

Bandwidth throttling is a technique employed in communications networks to manage network traffic and minimize congestion.

Internet service provider can use bandwidth throttling to reduce the impact of specific services or applications, such as the BitTorrent protocol, and could also potentially use it to provide preferential bandwidth access to higher priority users at peak times. {via Wikipedia}

Unlike bandwidth capping, bandwidth throttling still gives customers that “unlimited bandwidth” provision but makes hogging the network a little harder to do. It can also be selective — direct downloads, streaming and the likes would enjoy full speeds but torrents might suffer reduced speeds (Globe’s Service Contracts specifies only 20% of subscribed speed will be allocated to P2P applications).

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