No Skype shaping: Telecom

Xtra victim of its own Go Large success?

Telecom’s retail ISP Xtra says there is no rate-limiting for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) applications, contrary to reports in the media and complaints in web and Usenet forums.

“Applications such as Skype can be used,” Xtra spokeswoman Lenska Papich says. No traffic management is applied to Skype, she adds. According to Telecom’s Fair Use Policy, which applies to Xtra’s Go Large and its Wholesale Broadband Service (WBS) Cabriolet plan, which some ISPs resell, peer-to-peer applications are rate-limited.

Telecom says that traffic management may apply to the Go Large plan during times of network congestion or peak times, defined as being between the hours of 4pm and midnight. Skype is a peer-to-peer application, but it isn’t listed by Telecom as a being rate-limited.

Some of the performance complaints may stem from the unexpected popularity of the Go Large plan, which nominally has no data caps bar a 700MB per day limit during peak times.

Papich confirms that the Go Large plan is proving very popular for Xtra, even more so than the provider anticipated, she says. “We believe this reflects the fact that everyday customers want more data with the certainty of a fixed price,” Papich says.

Such customers seem to be willing to accept the terms of the plan, Papich adds, as they are simply about prioritising traffic for the majority.

“We know this plan isn’t for everyone,” Papich says. Xtra has been upfront about this, she says, and believes that the Go Large plan is an excellent offering for everyday internet users such as families and people flatting.

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