British ISPs to unveil voluntary 'net neutrality' code

No evidence that they actually support neutrality
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Major British internet providers are to clarify traffic management policies according to the Broadband Stakeholder Group think tank.

The group met with representatives from BT, Sky, Virgin Media and Talk Talk in order to discuss the so-called net neutrality, the concept whereby there is one class of internet traffic rather than paid-for prioritisation.

On the cards is a voluntary code of practice on transparency regarding traffic management policies, potentially an effort to head off the storm of controversy and threats of government legislation which have arisen in the United States.

"We hope to launch this code of practice next week," the Group told ZDNet.

ISPs are reportedly keen to have traffic management policies out in the open as increased demand places extra burdens on delivering time sensitive content such as streaming video and voice over IP functionality. 

Several ISPs already have policies in place regarding throttling heavy users and peer-to-peer file sharing applications in order to preserve performance for the mainstream customer in such time sensitive applications.

The ZDNet report said that ISPs will propose an industry-wide commitment to informing customers of what traffic management policies are in place. 

This does not address the issue of paid-for prioritisation, something which some ISPs such as BT and TalkTalk have mooted in regard to bandwidth heavy applications such as the BBC iPlayer.

Virgin Media, however, told ZDNet: "We have no current plans to prioritise particular types of content on the basis of who publishes or owns it".

ZDNet's David Meyer pointed there's not yet any precedence of a content provider paying for prioritise access for an ISP's customers. 

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