as it amused him to see what seems to be the 'outing' of several 'high profile' Australian ISP executives as having lied to the industry and their customers for some considerable time about whether or not they treat P2P traffic differently to other traffic on their parts of the network.
If you've been involved with, or an observer of, Exetel for any length of time you may recall the torrent of abuse and derision heaped upon our small company when we publicly announced that the rapid, and increasing growth in P2P traffic had to be addressed by us as it was 'swamping' our available bandwidth at peak times - mainly at night on week days between 8 pm and 1 am. This was mainly on third party forums and predominantly 'authored' by the psychologically challenged fanatical supporters of other ISPs. However much of the 'forensic' attack was written, usually anonymously, by ISP employees and in several cases by very senior ISP management.
The reasons for Exetel using technology to identify P2P traffic and restrict the bandwidth made available to those protocols were simple, blindingly obvious and absolutely commercially necessary at the time we introduced them. They were, in fact, so blindingly obvious and commercially necessary that I made the comment at the time that EVERY ISP in Australia would now do the same as Exetel planned if, in fact, they had not already done it.
....and, of course other ISPs had already done so and over the succeeding 12 months EVERY ISP in Australia that had not done so followed Exetel's 'lead' and bought the same equipment that Exetel 'pioneered' in Australia or equipment from other similar companies.
ALL other ISPs continued to deny that they were, or ever would, do what Exetel had publicly stated it would do and made condescending comments about "little' ISPs that 'didn't have the money to provision a network properly" - and much worse than that thereby encouraging a more widespread encouragement of written abuse in the various on line and even print media.
It never concerned me as it did no damage to Exetel's short or medium term business and I took great pleasure in the public squirming and verbal 'back pedaling' that the various other ISPs who had so vehemently denied using P2P controls when they were exposed as pointless liars by events and the evidence of their own user's.
An extraction of Australian ISPs from the article referenced above gives the following:
If this information is to be believed, and I'm not sure that it is correct (I'm not technical enough to know one way or the other but I actually don't believe that Exetel uses the sort of processes described in the article) then the ISP who made the most 'attacks' on Exetel about P2P controls and who persistently went to great pains to publicly state that "we do not constrain P2P traffic in any way on our network"
appears, from this article's analysis, to apply greater constraints than Exetel does.
I have no idea whether that's true or not but what I do know for a fact is (based on seeing the equipment in their racks at Data Centre's Exetel employees visited) is that several the ISPs who were so emphatically denying that they were constraining P2P traffic had installed either the same manufacturer's equipment as Exetel had done or equipment form a similar manufacturer.
Does it really matter?
Not remotely from my point of view......
.....though you do have to wonder why so many, apparently senior managers within Australian ISPs, seem to believe they can and should lie so obviously about something that will, sooner or later, demonstrate them to be untrustworthy public spokesmen for their companies.
Ironically, as no-one who so publicly criticised Exetel bothered to understand from the announcement on P2P controls made by Exetel (and I have to confess that I did try and write that announcement in a way that the information may have been missed by the more strident idiots who, for reasons known only to themselves, seem to only exist to make derogatory remarks about our small company) P2P controls were simply a first, and transient, phase of dealing with the effects of P2P on network management and provisioning.
Since that time Exetel has put in place the second phase (P2P caching) and will complete the third phase by the end of this year.
In the mean time the amount of 'constraint' on P2P traffic continues to decrease month by month, at least as implemented by Exetel, and in any event the actual implementations over the time we've had them in place have made only minimal differences in download speeds to the vast majority of P2P users of the Exetel services.
There will continue to be challenges in adapting networks to handle multi-thread processes which are just one more challenge to be handled by any organisation that provides network based services.
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