UK ISPs Open Up on Traffic Management

Broadband providers launch new traffic management transparency code

March 14, 2011

2 Min Read

LONDON -- BSkyB, BT, O2, TalkTalk, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone will today sign up to a new voluntarycommitment to provide better and more easily comparable information to consumers about trafficmanagement. Together these companies account for 90% of all fixed-line broadband customers and60% of all mobile customers in the UK.

The new code will ensure that consumers have access to more easily comparable information aboutthe traffic management practices of different broadband providers. For the first time, information willbe provided in a common format to explain what traffic management techniques are used, when andwith what impact for each broadband service currently marketed by the code’s signatories.

Antony Walker, Chief Executive of the Broadband Stakeholder Group, which facilitated this voluntaryindustry code of practice, said: “There has been more heat than light in the debate about trafficmanagement over recent years. This commitment to provide clear and comparable information in acommon format is very important. It will not only help to ensure consumers are better informed aboutthe services they buy and use, but will also provide a clearer picture for policy makers of the way inwhich 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 early2012 to fine tune the approach. Interested parties, such as consumer groups, will be invited toprovide feedback as part of the review process. It is also hoped that more ISPs will sign up to thecode following its launch.

The new voluntary code includes three commitments:

  • Firstly to provide more information to consumers about what traffic management takes place,for what purpose and with what impact.

  • Secondly to comply with a set of good practice principles on providing information toconsumer that is: understandable; appropriate; accessible; current; comparable; andverifiable.

  • Thirdly to publish a common Key Facts Indicator (KFI) table, summarising the trafficmanagement practices they use for each broadband product they currently market, which willbe available on ISPs’ websites by end of June 2011. Interested customers will be able toaccess this information directly, however third parties, such as price comparison websites willbe encouraged to communicate this comparable information to consumers in an easilyaccessible way.

    Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG)

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