How does BT manage its Broadband Network?

At peak times, there are many customers using the shared network bandwidth. To provide a quality service, we may manage network performance during high demand periods, including line speed reductions, application and protocol management.

Managing the network in this way, mainly affects customers who use peer to peer (P2P) software that enables file and program sharing between groups of people logged on to a P2P network.

Customers using P2P, often upload and download large files which are left running 24/7, taking up a lot of bandwidth, even when used by a small number of customers. This can affect service quality for other customers, making it slower to access the internet and send or receive emails, especially at peak times.

As a lot of P2P traffic is not time-critical, e.g., downloading and uploading TV programmes or movies for later viewing, we treat it differently from time-critical traffic, like surfing, streaming or internet telephony, by applying speed restrictions to all P2P traffic.

We manage these restrictions daily, based on the demands on the network, but downstream restrictions will typically be in place:

  • Weekdays - 1pm to midnight
  • Weekends - 9am to midnight

Upstream restrictions may be in place at other times.

Of course, you can still use P2P services but downloads will take longer during the peak times. For more information, see:

pdf logoTraffic Management policy


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