iiNet slams Telstra for P2P throttling trial

Telstra said the trial will allow the telco to better manage network performance, but John Lindsay, CTO at iiNet, said it’s to avoid upgrading its ADSL network

iiNet has slammed Telstra for its move to undertake a trial to throttle speeds when customers use peer-to-peer networks.

Telstra has said the trial will allow the telco to better manage its network performance, but John Lindsay, CTO at iiNet, said it’s purely a business decision to avoid upgrading its ADSL network.

“I think that they’ve looked at how their network is being used and what is driving them to need to upgrade portions of it,” he told Computerworld Australia.

“There appears to be congestion into some exchanges at present and they’re thinking, ‘If we go after the very small number of users who generate a large amount of traffic, we could stave off that and maybe put it off for longer until the NBN’. It means that the investment is never needed.”

Telstra announced yesterday it will be conducting a trial for some customers on its ADSL network in Victoria, with users able to choose whether or not they participate.

“Telstra will consider the results of this trial as part of its future network planning and product development activities. No decisions have been made to extend any of the network management practices being tested in this trial to our broader customer base,” the telco said in a blog post.

“The objective of this trial is to identify options and pricing plans for our customers that will improve overall customer experience to ensure that we continue to offer the best quality service at the best possible price.”

However, Lindsay has dismissed the trial and said there appears to be no reason why customers who use peer-to-peer networks would opt into it.

Instead, he believes Telstra is looking to slowly “ease in” the practice of throttling speeds.

“I often describe it as boiling the frog – you just do it by gently turning up the heat,” Lindsay said.

“They are starting to take their customers on a journey. They know what the end point looks like, but they don’t want to describe it too clearly just yet for fear of scaring off the profitable customers.

“Calling it a trial is a nicer way of introducing the concept and the technology into the business.”

Lindsay said it was a bad move for customers, who have a right to use data limits however they want to.

“You shouldn’t then start playing games about what traffic may or may not be included in that quota,” he said.

“I think ISPs should have the right to manage traffic in their networks to ensure a good customer experience, but that congestion is not a business plan – it’s a fault that needs to be fixed when it occurs.”

Lindsay believes the move by Telstra could result in a small number of heavy users moving to other ISPs and suggested Telstra should just remove high quota Internet plans, with the telco offering ADSL plans up to 500GB.

“Surely it would be simpler just to say ‘all plans finish at 100GB – we don’t do big quota plans anymore.’ Surely that would have the effect of reducing the traffic on the net,” he said.

“It's like selling 1 litre bottles of water that have a tiny neck so you can't drink too fast.”

Optus was not available for comment on whether it would consider similar practices.

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Tags peer-to-peeriiNetJohn LindsayTelstra

More about IinetOptusTelstra Corporation




iinet should just shut up. as much as i dislike telstra,they never stole money from my bank account because they offered poor/not working service...then have the hide to try and ruin your credit rating....dont throw stones at iinets glass house. pffffft iinet



i think you need to shut up



Telstra, so incompetent they can't provide network capacity for their existing customer base. Yet the Liberal/National Coalition wants to throw billions of dollars at them to build their already redundant Nodes-To-Nowhere network.

john simpson


do not make comments on the premise that isps would give a shit because they dont



chris - shill
and yeh I wontg be touching telstra again with this news

Terry gaudron


Australian ISPs are like most other Australian companies. Promise the world to the customer, lock em in on a contract then only deliver a half assed service. All this while the Government "Watchdog" acts more like a pussy cat, ( an old one missing most of it's teeth at that)



VIC Now NSW next avoiding upgrading its ADSL network. how true.



I've never had a problem with iinet, they have always been on the ball when it comes to faults and other support. I have good speeds and constant connection.

PolyArchy the Clown


A friend of mine tried to get onto Kick Ass Torrents the other day and got a message stating that the site was blocked and something about the server (telstra). We live in Perth.
If people are going to be throttled back for "over use" whats the point in having such huge data allowances.



Can only get bloody Telstra in regional location

Dislike this very much



It make me laught, I'm french, and in France, for 40$ we have unlimited bandwich with no quota and 100mbit/s network :)
Good luck Australian :)



I take it that iinet are pretending they don't shape?



I'm quite happy paying for a service that works. I was on Optus mobile for a while, then realised on getting a smart phone how crap their data network is, 3G really? I saw GPRS in the suburbs a lot.

I tried 3 and TPG and both their support teams are appalling. Since then it has been Telstra and Internode all the way. Both have English speaking support! Also if you ask them to fix a problem they don't have to pass you around several times to find somebody with a script to tell you that they can't help, but have you tried turning it off and on again.

I am probably going to be going to Telstra. Not particularly out of choice. I just want fast Internet and so far have found that with ADSL I might as well be throttled it is so slow and unstable. So cable it is... I hope, I'm still yet to find out if my new premises has that.



This is why I like iiNet. The company understand what their users want i.e. fast Internet, large quotas, reasonable prices and no throttling bullsh*t.

Snidely Snodgrass


They should be obligated to release me from my contract now that it's been frustrated by there deliberate reduction in the level of service offered when I joined their network?



Lame Telstra lame but they always have been lame.

Onya iinet kick em in the goolies.



I laugh at French people because they smell bad

Working Class


Real time online gaming is P2P , So you are now saying I died because of a new monster , The Testra lag. Now with your so called trial , Have you written to your Telstra clients and advise them. I know you Telstra hide under the onus we only have to provide you with 1.1 meg download speed min. But slowing general populas for a few is wrong. slow the comon ports not the entire ports,



Australia is so backwards, it's a joke. Europe and even many parts of Asia have much better faster and cheaper internet than Australia. The problem in Australia is a privatized Telstra enjoying a monopoly and a corrupt government helping Telstra to keep it that way. The billionaires who own Telstra are laughing and the Aussies drain their sorrows with alcohol as they always have....



Why would Telstra want to spend money on upgrading any part of their ADSL network when the NBN is being built? I don't use P2P to download illegal movies and software like the rest of you.



To be told what I can and can't do at top speed is not acceptable and a breach of contract if this goes into their full business practice I will be forced to leave. I don't think they realize how many customers use P2P based software for global business, Australia's net speeds are already a joke.



Oh for christ sakes Jim get your head out of the sand not everyone uses P2P for illegal downloads,



So you think Telstra has a hidden agenda? Probably. But don't be fooled: iiNet has one too.

You don't like throttling? Change ISP. That's probably what iiNet is afraid of! Yet more high-end users who want to download the Internet in case it isn't there tomorrow.



Oh BS, iinet has been openly fighting against SOPA and the likes.



I have to say, we are so far behind the rest of the world with our internet service. We just put up with things here and we shouldn't. We should be demanding a better service. By the time we get the NBN, America would have completed upgrading their network to the next generation. Whilst we will be on NBN, a whole 20 years behind the rest of the world. Europe has it right, $60 for unlimited internet(@30mpbs+), unlimited phone calls and it also includes pay tv!!
We are being shafted.



Have a good rest Telstra's CEO, please think clearly! If you do not know how to manage the PR, hire somebody. Don't put this kind of comments in the public domain. Watch out, the share price will reflect the people's anger.



Agree Adz! Went to Thailand on holiday. Get off the plane and bought 20gig mobile data pack for less than 20 bucks at the airport. It worked virtually everywhere and there was free wifi in just about every place we went to, sometimes you had to buy a beer or a coffee to get it but we were doing that anyway. Back home we just moved apartment in Sydney and did the whole ISP compare thing. I could have used TPG all you can eat but so burnt by their godawful service I looked around and was shocked that in 2013 the best deal I could find was 150gig a month naked for $60 a, just wow...what's more someone had stolen the pair from the mdf - typical - so there was another $150 bucks down the drain.

Tom J


Telstra is always ready to boot-lick big business and government. Welcoming censorship, etc...
iinet has good service and is wiling to defend rights.



"It make me laught, I'm french, and in France, for 40$ we have unlimited bandwich with no quota and 100mbit/s network :)
Good luck Australian :)"

Those speeds are only available in or around Paris. Go to a regional area of France and see the "dial up" speeds.

I've dealt with French ISP's and it's not any easier to get something fixed. Origin are like Telstra in France just as bad and the speeds outside of Paris are shocking, well behind us in Australia.



Lindsay has hit the nail on the head.

With the NBN looming Telstra is not keen to upgrade it's network, so instead it imposes restrictions on it's customers to alleviate burden on it's increasingly congested network.

Telstra customers pay a premium price, so the Telco should invest money to address problem, not remove services.

I don't use Telstra as my ISP, but recently I've kept an eye their plans and pricing as they've become increasingly tempting of late. However in light of this throttling I will no longer be considering Telstra as a viable ISP option, either for myself or any of my family members whose broadband accounts I manage.

A silly move by Telstra.



Agree totally with the iinet guy.. you cant sell 500GB plans and then throttle because people are using the bandwidth... defeats the point (im on a 150gb plan on iinet and I struggle to hit my limit...only time came close was during steam sale!)

As a side note...who the hell would opt into the trial?
Any P2P user would just opt out so the trial will be pointless.
I can predict the result.
'...of those who opted in we didn't have a single complaint so we'll be making it mandatory..'

johns oasis


This happens to all Australias. Service providers in this country know they can do whatever they want and Australians will pay the price. This is ranging from federal govermant,petrol retailers to supermarkets to electricity, local councils,using police as money colectors instead of upholding the law and protect innocent people. Everyone treats consumer here as a cash Cow, Their attitude is take it or leave it.

Bring on NBN as is


I think everyone forgets the size of Australia in terms of population density we have a huge country and very few people in comparison to Europe and USA or most other countries for that matter. Having said that over 60% of our population live in Cities and should by now have access to decent affordable internet however that is not the case. If you want fast internet you have to pay through the nose. As far as i'm aware the private sector has been responsible for the majority of the infrastructure in Europe and USA this has not occured in Australia mainly due to Telstra's monopoly and the only ones that have tried to do anything about it is the current Government. Will the coalition fix the issue? I doubt it.

chris pfffffft


you people are ignorant twats or iinet employees. i did not defend telstra. i just pointed out that they had not stolen money from me. wake up to yourselves

Sold the cow with the milk


The government stuffed up the privatisation of communication infrastructure, and so we have the problems that exist.

Neil Barry Nelson


Some users don't use P2P to d/l illegal content, but come on - most do.
Regardless of legal intentions, I use a VPN to protect my traffic from prying eyes. The ISP cannot see that I am using P2P and would probably not throttle me. They may have a good idea what I am doing but can't be sure.

Manly Electronics


Forget about bigpond, only dummys buy it. Telstra better focus on competitive yet product – mobile network. Telstra actually misleading advertise and sell 4G in the areas where no Telstra 4G coverage (!) like northern beaches Warringah mall (yes Telstra shop has no 4G) and where small competitors like Virgin have full on reception. If it is not fixed within a month I fkn complain to TIO and switch to Optus.



@Larry: What does this have to do with shaping?

I get full speed on anything I download via p2p, untill I go over my quota, then I get shaped. This is saying with Telstra, you will be slow using p2p ALL the time.



I've heard that SKYPE uses PTP, will skype be affected as well if Telstra puts a blanket shaping over all PTP networks?



"Those speeds are only available in or around Paris. Go to a regional area of France and see the "dial up" speeds.

I've dealt with French ISP's and it's not any easier to get something fixed. Origin are like Telstra in France just as bad and the speeds outside of Paris are shocking, well behind us in Australia."

I agree, I have friend in the country it's not the same. But in France, it's the same price for DSL or cable. It's 40$ for phone, TV and internet (the minimum is 10 mbit/s, in city it's 100 mbit/s). Our developping was like in Australia. France Telecom (it's the equivalent of Telstra) has lines, and private ISP rent lines. But it works good. And the difference beetween Australia (i see that in Melbourne) we have no restrictions. When you have 20 mbit/s it's for everything (p2p, mail, ...).
I thing the big difference in Australia, it's that traffic go, for the most part, outside Australia. In France the most important traffic goes inside Europe, and it's not the same price.



And, I just add, we have no quota. If we want to download 1tb each month we can.

Brian Hancock


What Telco is going to really upgrade their ADSL or cable networks when the NBN is coming to town? The NBN has ensured that no extra money will be spent on improving wired communications diverting it only for untethered solutions. I personally know of a company near Bankstown that could not get a working ADSL solution as the cable run from the exchange was too long, and Telstra had absolutely no plans to address it. Telstra technicians back then blamed it on the prospect of the NBN laying cable one day. So until that happens Telstra is going to make its current resources do.



This is theft by telstra, they are preventing you from using bandwidth you have paid for.



@Jeremy Shaping has wider meaning than just what happens when you go over quota.

Aussie in England


I am living in England and have unlimited data via 3G *(+text and talk) for 15 pounds, which I love. However, I understand that building infrastructure in a country the size of victoria with a population of almost 3 times as many of Australia would be considerably cheaper. Economies of scale people!

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