The Broadband Can of Worms

Posted by CJD on November 24, 2011

Ofcom published its views on Network Neutrality today.

This concept – that the internet should be open and carry any traffic that the consumer cares to send across it – was a very large concern for the VoIP industry in its early years.

Would the ISPs – who were often telcos too – block VoIP traffic (or block all but their own VoIP traffic) – and kill a nascent industry before it properly started? We had plenty of reasons to be fearful, telcos and Cable operators in the US were calling VoIP providers, ‘parasites’ and ‘free riders’ and vowing to do something about it.

In the UK, the Internet Telephony Service Provider’s Association was founded partly to address this potential threat and to lobby Ofcom and Parliament to keep an open and competitive Internet in the UK. (Voipfone is a founder member.)

So it’s good to see that, by and large, VoIP is not blocked or deliberately traffic managed by ISPs in the UK, and that Ofcom, by and large, supports open networks and a competitive industry. (The mobile companies are another story – more later)

Meanwhile, the other dark side of the broadband story is about how broadband is sold and the marketing lies used to sell it.

Over the last week I’ve examined countless providers offering ‘unlimited usage’ – only to find that there’s a usage cap (fair use policy) or slow-downs enforced if I exceed a limit. I’m not a huge downloader, nor am I likely to go over the usage cap but I do want to know that I will receive what I am paying for.

In principle there’s no reason why broadband marketing and pricing shouldn’t be simple and transparent, making it possible to compare competing packages easily.

Here at Voipfone, we’ve made a start, our new broadband checker will display the best two products available from us showing usage caps, real line speed estimations – and we only do no contract services, no long term tie-ins with us.

I can also confirm that our Internet service is totally open with no traffic management and absolutely no blocking.

Have a look –

More from us: