Telstra Goes On Anti-Piracy Broadband Trial

  • Small group of Telstra customers in Victoria
  • John Chambers says that the trial is not about identifying pirates
  • iiNet slams Telstra for P2P throttling trial

 Telstra is beginning “trial” of the slowing-down of certain kinds of internet traffic at peak periods.

  • Small group of Telstra customers in Victoria
  • John Chambers says that the trial is not about identifying pirates
  • iiNet slams Telstra for P2P throttling trial

 Telstra is beginning “trial” of the slowing-down of certain kinds of internet traffic at peak periods. The trial hopes to identify different types of traffic on its network, namely P2P traffic, and experiment with speed shaping.

Telstra will soon conduct a “limited trial of a range of technical options for better managing broadband internet performance for our customers during peak periods”. One of those options is to “shape”, as the industry euphemism puts it, customers’ access to peer-to-peer (P2P) file distribution networks such as BitTorrent.

This analysis is currently limited to a small group of Telstra customers in Victoria, who all have the option to opt out of the trial if they wish.

“Telstra will consider the results of this trial as part of its future network planning and product development activities. No decisions have been made to extend any of the network management practices being tested in this trial to our broader customer base,” the telco said in a blog post.

The post's author John Chambers says that the trial is not about identifying pirates and "is solely about examining ways of improving our network management to ensure that all of our customers enjoy the best quality service for their specific needs at the best possible price."

"One of the variety of options being examined under this trial is the shaping of specific services (including some peer to peer (P2P) services) in certain circumstances, to determine what impact this has on total overall customer experience of time critical experiences for real time entertainment."

However, according to John Lindsay, CTO at iiNet, the trial is to avoid upgrading its ADSL network, instead of what Telstra claims to be its way of better managing network performance. “I think that they’ve looked at how their network is being used and what is driving them to need to upgrade portions of it,” he said.

“There appears to be congestion into some exchanges at present and they’re thinking, ‘If we go after the very small number of users who generate a large amount of traffic, we could stave off that and maybe put it off for longer until the NBN’. It means that the investment is never needed.”

Lindsay believes Telstra is looking to slowly “ease in” the practice of throttling speeds.

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