Inevitability

It had to come in the end – NTL will shortly be introducing traffic shaping between 18:00 and 23:00. It slipped into the user policy on Friday although it has been announced today that this was ‘a mistake‘. I’ve got mixed views on this. Most other broadband comp’s are doing this and they do have to make a profit for the service they provide. I would prefer a strict download cap though rather than shaping during certain hours as I hate leaving the pc switched on when not in use – such a waste. I also want the full fat speed when I use the PC – why not implement harder caps and charge more for those that use/abuse the service rather than hampering everyone’s speed?

On the other hand if users are honest the traffic being shaped is peer to peer and Usenet – when was the last time you used these technologies legitametly on a repeated basis? I’ve not so have I got any reason to complain?

However movie and TV companies are moving onto download services, some using torrent technology (including NTL). How many people will download a DVD sized movie which takes 24 hours rather than 3 due to the shaping that’s been applied. Not me. I guess that NTL won’t traffic shape their own paid for service either.

Weighing up the issues I’m now in the camp that thinks if it guarantees a good service for surfing, e-mailing and gaming then traffic shaping is a good thing to do. While it prevents some things it at least gives me a service for the legal activities that my connection is used for.

Speaking of legal…my downloading via Usenet has almost dropped to zero. DVD downloading is just too much hassle – much rather buy the DVD and watch it. With the 360 I’ve got no urge to download any Xbox titles, I’m back buying music and I’ve got no need for any hacked apps. Sky HD is on the way too – I won’t be downloading TV shows anymore. Is it just me?

3 Comments

  1. This bothers me a little. NTL currently have varying caps depending on price. The less you pay, the less you can download. With everyone on 10mb. With shaping, this will become, to a large extent, rather pointless. There’s no point in having a 75GB cap if you can’t download anything with it because shaping slows it to a crawl. Maybe a lot of users will simply migrate to a lower price point and accept the lower cap. That’s good for NTL because they can then slowly hike the price up on that lower cap where demand is increasing. Maybe I’m too suspicious?

    I’ll just string my downloads up when I goto bed in the knowledge that the Mac puts itself to sleep after 3 hrs and won’t wake again until we need it.

  2. The link was in my original post….it’s only a matter of time.

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