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iTunes and rate limiting

Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

iTunes and rate limiting

There're two points to this post, which is why I haven't simply chosen to append it to an earlier thread...
1. I'm currently on BBYW1 which should apparently see iTunes downloads operate at 1Mbps at this time of the day. However, that doesn't appear to be the case today, and I don't believe was the case when I was on BBYW2 either. When downloading an iPhone application at a similar time yesterday, I didn't get above 500kbps. Furthermore, whilst trying to sample a TV programme on iTunes this evening (where 'sample' = stream a 30 second preview), I watched my Mac's network usage graph and the speed of data downloading was generally between 40-60Kbps, with some peaks at about 70-75Kbps and two momentary peaks above that. This is significantly less than the 125Kbps rate limit that should be in force.
In short, for point 1, my BBYW account isn't currently operating as per design - can something be done about it please?

2. I feel that the fact iTunes is rate-limited to 1Mbps is rather problematic even when it works; it is my one qualm with Plusnet's traffic management. The reason I find it problematic is because, well, iTunes can be used for streaming as well as downloading, but because it's rate-limited heavily for several hours of the day that streaming becomes impossible. An example of streaming is of course what I described above: sampling a TV episode (or film/music video). The data rate of such items is approximately 200Kbps, well above the 125Kbps rate limit, meaning it's impossible to sample them without significant buffering. The other streaming that should be possible is films; iTunes does, I believe, allow someone to start watching a film pretty much as soon as they've clicked the 'buy' button if there's sufficient bandwidth available. (And even if iTunes doesn't, the Apple TV definitely does.) But, again, the rate limiting prevents this. Which can be a bit annoying when, say, you sit down one evening and think 'I fancy renting a film and watching it' - because if you do rent it, you've then got to wait a while before you can actually start watching it.
I am aware of course that Plusnet offer BBYW/Plusnet Pro. But I don't want to pay a significantly higher price per month just to make iTunes work as it should; I have no interest in usenet, P2P, external FTP and so forth. I've always understood the point of Plusnet's traffic management to be that things which require immediacy to work, work immediately... I would therefore like to see the same paradigm applied to iTunes, just like other streaming traffic (e.g. YouTube).
Edit a day later: it appears that iTunes is now back to running at its expected peak time rate of 1Mbps, so that's good. However, as per point 2 above, I still feel that needs to be altered - I understand Dave's in Portugal at the moment, but would anyone from PN nevertheless be able to comment on if something could be done?
3 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: iTunes and rate limiting

Grr. My mother and I just purchased something off iTunes with the express aim of watching it tonight. I was expecting a rate limit of 1Mbps, as I should see on BBYW, but all I'm getting is about 500Kbps - like I saw in the first point of my original post above. Which means that what we purchased will download too late to watch tonight. This is not how the product (BBYW1) is advertised as operating, so please, sort it out Plusnet... seeing these drastic rate limit changes in operation is making me feel uneasy about the fact we've just entered in to a one year contract with yourselves. Angry
Edit: About twenty minutes after I wrote this post, the download speed went back to where it should be - 1Mbps. I realise it could be an issue with iTunes, but the fact that it sits neatly just below 500Kbps seems a little too coincidental for me to believe Plusnet's traffic management isn't involved somewhere... particularly seeing as the new products happen to have a 512Kbps rate limit for download servers at peak times. Can anyone from PN please offer some insight as to what's going on?
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: iTunes and rate limiting

Hi Thomas,
I've just checked with Dave and he thinks that there may have been an error in the 9-10pm configuration last night.  It's been corrected now so that it won't happen again.
I'm very sorry for the problems that this caused you and your mother.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: iTunes and rate limiting

Thanks James, Dave mentioned something about that to me on IRC last night. Sorry in that case for the slightly ratty forum post - it never occurred to me that the traffic management system might still have bugs in it. Huh