Broadband Traffic Management
- 29/04/2013 2:00 PM
The following knowledgebase help article explains how we at Aquiss apply traffic management to our broadband connections. This is presented in an open, honest and upfront approach.
Traffic Management defined
Traffic management is the term used to describe a range of technical practices undertaken by Internet Service Providers to manage traffic across their networks. Essentially, traffic management means slowing down data which typically isn't speed-critical, such as downloads, to make sure time-dependent services like internet phone calls or streaming video run smoothly. Its use is not new and it supports the efficient operation of the Internet and the provision of a good experience to customers.
This document explains how Aquiss applies traffic management for customers of its retail broadband products.
Factors which can affect throughput speed
Broadband is by its very nature a resource shared between many customers.
Occasionally customers’ demand for bandwidth may exceed the capacity that any given broadband provider has made available on their network. As a result customers can see a decline in the speed of their connection due to congestion at peak times.
An individual customer’s experience can also be affected by many other factors including but not limited to: the technology or type of network used to deliver the service, bottlenecks in other parts of the network, the speed of the website visited, network elements in the premises such as the number and speed of devices using a connection at the same time, internal wiring, whether a wireless or wired connection is used and the processing power of the end-user’s device.
How Aquiss uses Traffic Management
Customers use their Internet connections to access many different sorts of traffic. Aquiss groups these into two types: those that are interactive services such as web browsing, video streaming, Voice over IP telephone calls and hosted application access; and those that are non-interactive bulk services by their nature because they don’t immediately impact the user’s activity. Our aim is to ensure that customers’ use of interactive services is not impeded by the demands placed on bandwidth by non-interactive services.
We do this by using traffic prioritisation techniques across the Aquiss broadband network. By prioritising traffic by type we aim to deliver a positive user experience for the majority of our customers.
The different types of traffic are given a level of priority that determines their access speed at times when bandwidth demand is high. This means that traffic types more sensitive to packet loss and latency (for example Voice over IP telephone calls, video streaming and access to hosted business applications) are given greater priority.
We do not apply traffic prioritisation at specific times since congestion on the network may occur at any time. Rather, we apply our techniques dynamically according to the demands on bandwidth across the broadband network and traffic types are given the highest possible speed according to their priority versus bandwidth availability in real time. It is important to note that this approach is unlike that of other broadband providers.
In addition to managing traffic by type, our customers can choose either Business or Family packages. Between the hours of 08:00hrs and 18:00hrs Monday to Friday the traffic of Business package customers receives priority over that of Family package customers.
Additional measures are used to support our billing model in that customers who have purchased packages with an allowance and who have exceeded that allowance are allowed a further 1GB of allowance, rate limited to 128Kbps until their next billing period or they top up their account, whichever happens first. Users who exceed their allowance by more than 1GB are then blocked until their next billing period or they top up their account. To help customers, our systems issue automated emails to advise you when they are approaching, are at, or have exceeded their bandwidth allowance. This specific traffic management element does not apply to customers who have purchased our unlimited packages.
Unless we were to be required to do so by law, no service, content, application or protocol is permanently blocked.