Feb 6, 2013

Why Telstra plans to slow you down to fight online piracy

Telstra says it will trial slowing down its users at peak periods to discourage the use of peer-to-peer software. But will it cut piracy or just piss off its customers?

Stilgherrian — Technology writer and broadcaster


Technology writer and broadcaster

There's some suspicious sleight-of-hand in Telstra's explanation of its plan to "trial" the slowing-down of certain kinds of internet traffic at peak periods.

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29 thoughts on “Why Telstra plans to slow you down to fight online piracy

  1. paddy

    Lol That’s not “suspicious sleight of hand”. It’s plain old simple gouging. Offering a “lesser” service, ie. Slower speeds, for the same money. (Never mind the privacy issues arising from the obligatory packet sniffing as noted.)
    A quick glance over at the threads on shows the natives are restless and “Not Happy Telstra”. While the company shills are out in force.

    Just glad I have the option of not using Telstra.

  2. floorer

    I might be wrong………isn’t there an argument that P2P users hog capacity and slow down everthing for other users? I’m not saying Telstra doesn’t have other motives.

  3. Limited News

    My supposed 1.5mbps BigPond service crawls along at 200kpbs during peak times. I assume it is due to us sharing bandwidth with neighbours’ torrenting. That said, I support net neutrality and hope the state-owned NBN will be able to resist political pressure from the copyright lobby ala the next US FTA-like treaty negotiation. I assume Abbott would sell us out for a mere Whitehouse photo op.

  4. uniquerhys

    Blizzard is about to release Starcraft II Heart of the Swarm next month, and I believe that they use Bittorrent to distribute the game and updates. I hope they sue Telstra’s ass off for restraint of trade of one of their biggest releases of the year. Because shaping that traffic during the peak times just after the release is not going to make the Australian gamer community very happy.

  5. robinw

    And how will Telstra know what I am doing if I am using a VPN?

  6. depository

    Does anyone know if this is a new thing, or something that has been implemented by other ISPs before? for instance the Wikipedia entry for Exetel describes something similar here. Apparently Exetel now employs caching of p2p traffic, which to me sounds better, though I suppose they would be using DPI to achieve that as well.

  7. Clytie

    P2P is also used to distribute Linux distros and other free and open source software. Corporations also have “good commercial reasons” to discourage the use of FLOSS software. They don’t want information to be free, and they don’t want information-handling to be free. They want us to have to buy it from them.

  8. depository

    answering my own question, from the Telstra blog post:
    ” Network management practices of this kind are common internationally and are already in use by a number of Australian ISPs (particularly on wireless networks).”

    hmm. Doesn’t mean we have to like them…

  9. depository

    …And I’d still be very interested to know if other ISPs are using DPI. From the article, Mark Newton seems to infer that they aren’t.

    “Implementing DPI makes it completely clear that they aren’t even pretending to be common carriers any more,” he said.

  10. Richard Koser

    Why offer me 100GB of downloads a month and then penalize me for using it? If you want me to use the network at off-peak times, give me a discount. That’s the way it used to work. Unfortunately, I don’t have any other telco to turn to, but you can add me to the list of “not happy Telstra” customers.

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