Terms Of Service
Traffic Management Policy
Version 1.0 01/04/2014
Traffic Management defined
Traffic management is the term used to describe a range of technical practices undertaken by Internet Service Providers to manage traffic across their networks.
Essentially, traffic management means slowing down data which isn't speed-critical, such as downloads, to make sure time-dependent services like internet phone calls or streaming video run smoothly. Its use is not new and it supports the efficient operation of the Internet and the provision of a good experience to customers.
This document explains how TandyUK applies traffic management for customers of its retail broadband products.
Factors which can affect throughput speed
Broadband is by its very nature a resource shared between many customers.
Occasionally customers demand for bandwidth may exceed the capacity that any given broadband provider has made available on their network. As a result customers can see a decline in the speed of their connection due to congestion at peak times.
An individual customer's experience can also be affected by many other factors including but not limited to: the technology or type of network used to deliver the service, bottlenecks in other parts of the network, the speed of the website visited, network elements in the home such as the number and speed of devices using a connection at the same time, domestic wiring, whether a wireless or wired connection is used and the processing power of the end users device.
How TandyUK uses Traffic Management
Customers use their Internet connections to access many different sorts of traffic. TandyUK groups these into two types: interactive services such as web browsing, video streaming, Voice over IP telephone calls and hosted application access; and non-interactive bulk services such as news groups and peer-to-peer. Our aim is to ensure that the majority of our customers primarily using interactive services are not impeded by the minority - a small percentage of our customer base - who are consuming a significant amount of available bandwidth by using non-interactive bulk services. We do this by using traffic prioritisation techniques across the TandyUK broadband network.
By prioritising traffic by type we can ensure the delivery of a positive user experience for the majority of our customers.
The different types of traffic are given a level of priority that determines their access speed at times when bandwidth demand is high. This means that traffic types more sensitive to packet loss and latency (for example Voice over IP telephone calls, video streaming and access to hosted business applications) are given greater priority.
We do not apply traffic prioritisation at specific times since congestion on the network may occur at any time.
Furthermore, we do not cap the potential speed of any particular traffic type. Rather, we apply our techniques dynamically according to the demands on bandwidth across the broadband network and traffic types are given the highest possible speed according to their priority versus bandwidth availability in real time. It is important to note that this approach is unlike that of other broadband providers.
The traffic management above is applied to our LLU and non-LLU products.
In addition to managing traffic by type, our non-LLU customers can choose either Business or Family packages. Between the hours of 08:00hrs and 20:00hrs Monday to Friday the traffic of Business package customers receives priority over that of Family package customers.
Between 20:00hrs and 00:00hrs Monday to Friday the traffic of Family package customers receives priority over that of Business package customers.
Additional measures are used to support our billing model in that customers who have purchased packages with an allowance and who have exceeded that allowance (or who have set an overusage limit and have exceeded both their package allowance and their overusage limit) are allowed a further 1GB of allowance, rate limited to 128Kbps until their next billing period or they top up their account, whichever happens first. Users who exceed their allowance by more than 1GB are then blocked until their next billing period or they top up their account. To help customers, our systems issue automated emails to advise them when they are approaching, are at, or have exceeded their bandwidth allowance.
This specific traffic management element does not apply to customers who have purchased our unlimited packages or LLU packages.
Unless we were to be required to do so by law, no service, content, application or protocol is permanently blocked.