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ntl u-turn on traffic shaping - for now

# 3 April 2006, 17:32 by Frank

In a new twist to the traffic shaping saga we reported on Friday, ntl Telewest are today insisting that the traffic shaping clause that was recently introduced into the ntl User Policy was in fact an error on their part and should never have made it live on their website.

In a statement promptly released today, Chad Raube, Director of Internet for ntl Telewest, said: “A revised paragraph appeared in ntl’s user policy over the weekend, which has now been removed. The clause related to how we manage network traffic to ensure an optimal service for all ntl broadband customers. While we continually review ways to offer the best quality service and are currently considering updates to our user policy, the paragraph removed was work in progress that shouldn’t have appeared on the website.”

“I would like to apologise for any confusion this miscommunication may have caused and we will aim to keep customers informed of any significant changes to the user policy in the future,” he went on to say.

The statement is of some comfort in that ntl Telewest are indeed conscious of the need to communicate more effectively with their customers, and have reassured us that they will aim to keep customers better informed of changes.

However, the very fact that a change regarding traffic shaping made it onto ntl Telewest’s website shows that the cableco is considering traffic shaping, and this clause has already been drafted.

In response to the statement, some customers expressed doubt over whether the updated User Policy was actually a mistake, or whether the change was withdrawn because of the response from angry Cable Forum users. “Whether it was actually a mistake or a very good excuse given the feelings of many forum members, I suppose we will never know,” said Bob.

Others have been quick to point out that ntl Telewest has already purchased traffic shaping hardware. In light of these facts, it would appear only a matter of time before shaping is implemented on the ntl Telewest network.

On a slightly more positive note, Cable Forum is pleased to see some changes going on within the ntl Telewest’s public relations team, which has in the past been reluctant to release any kind of useful information. We also note that Telewest won PR Team of the Year at the CIPR Pride Awards in the Home Counties South & Wessex region for the last two years, and so look forward to a significant improvement in external communication from the newly combined cableco.

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