British ISPs sign up to voluntary code on traffic management

Clearer, more easily accessible information to be provided
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BSkyB, BT, O2, TalkTalk, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone have signed up to a new voluntary code to provide clearer information to the public about traffic management.

The new code brokered by the Broadband Stakeholder Group is designed to provide consumers with more easily comparable information regarding traffic management practices between different providers. 

The firms account for 90 per cent of the fixed-line broadband market and traffic management relates to throttling or otherwise prioritising traffic in order to preserve network performance for critical applications.

"There has been more heat than light in the debate about traffic management over recent years," said Broadband Stakeholder Group boss Antony Walker.

"This commitment to provide clear and comparable information in a common format is very important. It will not only help to ensure consumers are better informed about the services they buy and use, but will also provide a clearer picture for policy makers of the way in which traffic management is actually used in the UK market."

The code has three commitments by the signatory ISPs: Firstly to provide more information about what traffic management takes place, for what purpose and with what impact.

Secondly a set of good practice principles on providing information to consumer that is appropriate, understandable and verifiable. 

Lastly a new common Key Facts Indicator (KFI) table which summarises the traffic management practices they use for each broadband product they currently market.

The KFI chart will become available on ISP web sites by the end of June.

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