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NTL/Telewest admits limiting unlimited web access

Heavy users on trial

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Telewest is introducing network throttling on its "unlimited" Blueyonder broadband product.

News groups and chatrooms have had complaints of bandwidth problems from NTL customers since early November.

NTL/Telewest has now admitted that it is restricting traffic. Effectively the company is introducing "sin bins" for heavy users.

Telewest sent us the following statement:

As part of our continued efforts to improve our customers' broadband experience we are introducing measures to more efficiently and pro-actively manage network traffic. These measures are currently being trialled in the Preston region, which includes Preston, Wigan and Blackpool.

The measures identify traffic patterns that are deemed potentially abnormal and apply traffic management rules to ensure customers are not adversely affected. We believe this could offer a much more consistent experience for the vast majority - over 95 per cent - of customers.

These optimisation measures are only used in the evenings at peak time when the potential for abnormal traffic to have an adverse impact on our customers' experience is greatest.

Throttling network traffic is never popular with users, but increasing use of voice over internet protocol telephony, video services, and online gaming means customer demand keeps on growing.

Telewest's marketing guff makes much of "unlimited usage, unlike BT and Wanadoo" which is likely to increase user anger. ®

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