Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Traffic Shaping in Australia

Torrent Freak recently published an article indicating the extent of BitTorrent traffic shaping across the globe and I thought it interesting to note the extent and possible reasons for traffic shaping in Australia.

Interestingly enough throttling in Australia has reduced over the last 12 months. The most heavily throttled network is iiNet at 11% of BitTorrent traffic with the best being Dodo at 0%. iiNet throttled 32% of BitTorrent traffic last year where as Dodo was shaping 14% of BitTorrent traffic last year.

There is reason to suggest that iiNet are the heaviest throttlers because of the litigation against them in recent years in which they were accused of secondary copyright liability for not responding to private notices about their customers downloading music. AFACT lost the case in the High Court in the end but the litigation most likely led iiNet to an increased awareness and concern for their liability. Alternative or contributory factors may be the need to prioritise other forms of traffic on the network.

This compares badly to the United States of America where Comcast, as the worst ISP only shapes 6% of BitTorrent traffic the best ISPs are Comcast, Verizon, AT&T (and others) that shape a mere 3% of BitTorrent traffic.

Torrent Freak note: "BitTorrent throttling in the US is not as prevalent as it used to be. The main reason for this is the Comcast BitTorrent blocking controversy which started in 2007. The FCC eventually ruled that Comcast had to stop its targeted interference of customers’ BitTorrent traffic. As a result of this ruling, the throttling percentage took a dive from nearly 50 percent to only 3 percent in 2010. In the first quarter of 2012, Comcast’s throttling level was still at 3 percent, which puts the provider among the best behaving ISPs."

Of course there are reasonable arguments to be made about these statistics as indicators of the need for network neutrality legislation in this country. It is a slippery slope towards disaster to allow private corporations the ability and freedom to determine what information users are able to access, a potentially dangerous loss of free speech and a step more than needed toward censorship. However, it is positive to note that the prevalence of traffic shaping has reduced in the past year.

Further Reading
ArsTechnica, Australian High Court rules ISPs need not act on private infringement notices (20 April 2012) < > at 26 April 2012 

TechDirt, Hollywood Loses Its Big Copyright Lawsuit Against ISP iiNet Down Under (20 April 2012) < > at 26 April 2012

TorrentFreak, New Data Exposes BitTorrent Throttling ISPs (9 August 2012) < > at 15 August 2012

No comments: