Could be time to move from O2 based on this. I would consider Be Broadband but they are owned by O2 aren't they? If so then Be may introduce a similar TM policy.

[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

9 September, 2010
Earlier this week UK ISP [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] officially re-launched its fixed line broadband packages under new names, 'The Basics', 'The All Rounder' and 'The Works', while also doing away with its old "unlimited downloads" slogan and replacing it with a tighter Fair Usage Policy ([Only registered and activated users can see links. ]). Today we learn that [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] has also imposed a much stricter Traffic Management policy, which strangles P2P and video streaming ( e.g. [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] ) services. In some cases this will reduce customer speeds to the barely usable level of just 50Kbps (0.05Mb).

The harshest restrictions will naturally occur during the busiest times of day (typically the afternoon and evening), when [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] shape Peer to Peer (P2P - file sharing) traffic to a maximum throughput of just 50kbps.



Customers of O2's other BT-based fixed line broadband package (O2 Access) have of course been subjected to similar restrictions for some time now, although unbundled ( [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] ) users have previously been able to avoid such tight limits.

In fairness, [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] has at least been open by publishing its restrictions ([Only registered and activated users can see links. ]), while many other ISPs still prefer to keep them under wraps or behind vague lines of FUP text. Never the less this will be viewed as quite disturbing by some, especially given that the new packages already have soft FUP usage allowances (i.e. The Basics (20GB), The All Rounder (100GB) and The Works(250GB)).

However those who might be thinking about switching ISP would do well to hold tight. New [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] and ASA rules are due to surface soon that could force a lot more providers to be open about any restrictions they impose, although we do say "could".

One interesting point to make about Traffic Management is that, at some extremes, it could conflict with the government's promise to make a minimum download speed of 2Mb available to everybody in the country by 2015. Sadly though, the USC is not a legal "obligation". Credits to [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] for spotting O2's change.

One final point to make, O2's new restrictions are not clearly visible or linked to from the related package detail pages. Testament to this is the fact that it took several days before the changes were even spotted and we did do some extensive hunting.