An interesting article was published on the Telco 2.0 blog yesterday: PlusNet: We traffic shape and are proud of it. Along with a decent description of our approach and feelings towards traffic management, the article asks some questions about our solution and points to similarities with other network pricing systems. We thought these were worthy of some more thought. We found the comments* especially quite interestesting and the pointer to the 'Paris Metro' pricing model has stimulated some discussion internally. For an idea nearing 10 years in age, this strikes us as still having a lot of relevance today. Furthemore, if you look through on the other follow-up article, the Stupid Network, the idea that data packets rather than the networks that carry them should have the intelligence seems pretty sensible. The underlying point for PlusNet is that we think it's important that the debate is opened up and consumers, especially our customers, get the opportunity to input into our future product developments. Most people understand the constraints placed on broadband networks today as a result of the situation whereby there is more demand than possible supply, but the ways in which that is dealt with vary greatly between suppliers. This is set to be one of the most debated, and possibly divisive, issues in 2008 and probably beyond (unless of course the governement decides to step in and pay for a rapid deployment of fibre to the kerb roll-out! Even then, it's seems likely that traffic control would still be needed). So we are listening, and as ever would like to hear what you think. Ian * The question the article asked about scalability of a platform like ours is fair in the context of the potential need for deeper inspection of more packets as people find ways to get round the systems we have. For now though each of our centrals needs an Ellacoya unit and a Juniper ERX, the cost of which is fixed. The set-up pretty much pays for itself thanks to the bandwidth saved through the ability to smooth the peaks and troughs of demand to a more efficient curve.