It seems that the telecommunications industry in Europe is using various methods in "traffic management" including inherently blocking Voice over IP (VoIP) and peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic around the Internet. The news came from an unnamed EU regulator.
The Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) confirmed that it placed standards on common stringent throttling practices after analyzing the traffic management data from about 400 different telecommunications companies and operators throughout the European Union. BEREC is composed of representatives from every national telecom regulator in all EU member states.
In a public statement, BEREC commented about this: "The most frequently reported traffic management practices are the blocking and/or throttling of peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic, on both fixed and mobile networks, and the blocking of Voice over IP (VoIP) traffic (mostly on mobile networks, usually based on specific contract terms). When blocking/throttling is implemented on the network, it is typically done through deep packet inspection (DPI)."
Perhaps the most innocent part of the throttling scheme is the fact that ISPs sometimes throttle traffic during their most busy hours, usually around the afternoon. This practice properly ensures that everyone gets uninterrupted access to the Internet. Not only does this practice benefit subscribers, but it also benefits the ISP, allowing it to achieve low-cost routing.
Some other ISPs, however, have been busy cutting "priority deals" with different content providers to allow them to achieve priority for their subscribers. Other ISPs offer higher priority service at a higher cost. These two practices, though sometimes legal, are completely unethical. Preferential treatment has been growing and might become rampant if not addressed.
Many regulators have kept a close eye on traffic management from ISPs because of the public interest with regards to net neutrality.
Net neutrality (News - Alert) is the concept of a free and open Internet that isn't restricted by government or ISPs. This argument started in the United States and is currently attempting to take root in Europe, a land in which VoIP and P2P is seen as a nemesis of ISPs that refuse to embrace both.
Edited by Tammy Wolf