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Ofcom to investigate traffic management policies

Watchdog wants more transparency and consumer information

Ofcom has revealed it will investigate whether UK ISPs are using traffic management to discriminate against websites and different types of internet activity.

"The worry is that consumers won't even get the opportunity to act, because they may not be aware that their traffic is being managed, said Ofcom's chief executive, Ed Richards, at the Cable Congress 2010 in Brussels.

Individual ISPs have their own traffic management policies, but they different from provider to provider.

Last year, the UK adopted an new EU framework for traffic management policies, which requires ISP to make their policies more transparent and offer consumers more information on traffic management schemes.

"Without such knowledge, they can't exercise choice. The new [EU] framework package reinforces our duty to ensure that information on traffic management policies is made transparently available to consumers," said Richards.

BT said it has a fair usage Policy and applies network management of specific applications but said all of it is done transparently.

"All network owners should allow any content to be carried on fair and equal terms, including services provided to their own businesses," a BT spokesman told PC Pro.

See also: Ofcom scheme to oversee broadband faults


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