Traffic Management Policy

  • Sky Broadband Traffic Management Policy

    At Sky we want all of our customers to enjoy the best possible broadband experience. We have made a commitment to a voluntary code of practice which aims to make traffic management easier to understand and compare between providers.
     

    • Sky's Unlimited and Lite broadband is not subject to traffic management. This means we won't reduce your speed at any time, regardless of how much you upload or download.
    • Sky Broadband Connect is subject to a Traffic Management policy in addition to the monthly usage cap.


    We've provided detailed information about our traffic management policy in the Key Fact Indicator (KFI) tables below.

  • Sky Broadband Connect*

    • Sky Broadband Connect Traffic Management Policy

      We continuously monitor and efficiently manage the performance of Sky Broadband Connect to ensure that we provide a sustainable quality broadband service to our customers. When our network is busy we give priority to applications such as browsing, email, streaming, instant messaging, gaming and VOIP.


       

      This means that certain applications which use up a lot of bandwidth (for example peer-to-peer file-sharing, large file downloads and newsgroups), which have a negative effect on other customers, may run slower at peak times. Our network is busiest between 4pm and 11pm on weekdays and all day at the weekend, but can be busy at other times too, depending on regional, national and international demand.


       

      In addition, we monitor customers who use the most bandwidth and whose usage is having a negative effect on other customers. Customers who breach the Usage Cap or who regularly download large amounts at peak times will have restrictions placed on their accounts to reduce their download speeds at peak times. Only a small number of customers will be affected by this, typically fewer than 5%. We remove these restrictions when our network is not busy.


       

      Please note that this Fair Usage Traffic Management Policy does not apply to Sky Broadband Lite or Sky Broadband Unlimited.

       
    •  
      Section 1: Traffic management in relation to your broadband product
      (not including during busy times and places to manage network congestion see Section 2)
      Name of broadband product: Sky Broadband Connect
      Use and availability of services, content, application and protocols on this product
      Are any services, content, applications or protocols always blocked on this product?** No
      If so what? N/A
      Are any services, content, applications or protocols always slowed down? No
      If so what? N/A
      Are any services, content, applications or protocols always prioritised? Yes
      If so what? Interactive Services:
      • Browsing/email
      • Gaming
      • Streaming
      • VoIP
      Are any managed services delivered on this product? No
      If so what? N/A
      Data caps and download limits
      What are the download/upload limits or data usage caps on this product? 40GB/month
      Is traffic management used to manage compliance with data caps and download limits? No
      Under what circumstances? N/A
      Level of speed reduction? N/A
      Duration of speed reduction? N/A
      Is traffic management used in relation to heavy users? Yes
      Under what circumstances? We have an excessive user restriction where customers who are using excessive amounts of data at peak times are slowed down at peak times
      Level of speed reduction? Approx 90%
      Duration of speed reduction? 5pm to Midnight
    •  
      Section 2: Traffic management to optimise network utilisation
      (what happens during busy times and places in addition to traffic management as described in section 1)
      Is traffic management used during peak hours? Yes
      When are typical peak hours? Weekdays: 16:00 - 23:00
      Weekends: All day
    •  
       Traffic type Blocked Slowed down Prioritised
      Peer to Peer (P2P)   tick-white-background  
      Newsgroups   tick-grey-background  
      Browsing/email     tick-white-background
      VOIP (Voice over IP)     tick-grey-background
      Gaming     tick-white-background
      Audio streaming     tick-grey-background
      Video streaming     tick-white-background
      Music downloads     tick-grey-background
      Video downloads     tick-white-background
      Instant messaging     tick-grey-background
      Software updates     tick-white-background
       
    •  
      Is traffic management used to manage congestion in particular locations? No
      If so, how? N/A

      * This Key Facts Indicator gives an overview of typical traffic management practices undertaken on this product; it does not
      cover circumstances where exceptional external events may impact on network congestion levels
      ** This excludes any service, content, application or protocol that an ISP is required to block by UK law and child abuse images as informed by the list provided by the Internet Watch Foundation.
      *** If no entry is shown against a particular traffic type, no traffic management is typically applied to it though overall network management rules shall apply.
      **** In addition to the above practices, Sky also modifies some traffic to optimise the end-user experience. The rationale for doing so is to make best use of network capacity to support real-time applications and make efficient use of data allowances.

       

    Sky Broadband Lite*

    • Our Lite broadband product is not subject to any traffic management, this means that we won’t slow you down at any time regardless of how much you upload or download. Sky Broadband Lite is subject to Usage Management.

    •  
      Section 1: Traffic management in relation to your broadband product
      (not including during busy times and places to manage network congestion see Section 2)
      Name of broadband product: Sky Broadband Lite
      Use and availability of services, content, application and protocols on this product
      Are any services, content, applications or protocols always blocked on this product?** No
      If so what? N/A
      Are any services, content, applications or protocols always slowed down? No
      If so what? N/A
      Are any services, content, applications or protocols always prioritised? No
      If so what? N/A
      Are any managed services delivered on this product? No
      If so what? N/A
      Data caps and download limits
      What are the download/upload limits or data usage caps on this product? 2GB/month
      Is traffic management used to manage compliance with data caps and download limits? No
      Under what circumstances? N/A
      Level of speed reduction? N/A
      Duration of speed reduction? N/A
      Is traffic management used in relation to heavy users? No
      Under what circumstances? N/A
      Level of speed reduction? N/A
      Duration of speed reduction? N/A
    •  
      Section 2: Traffic management to optimise network utilisation
      (what happens during busy times and places in addition to traffic management as described in section 1)
      Is traffic management used during peak hours? No
      When are typical peak hours? N/A
    •  
       Traffic type Blocked Slowed down Prioritised
      Peer to Peer (P2P)      
      Newsgroups      
      Browsing/email      
      VOIP (Voice over IP)      
      Gaming      
      Audio streaming      
      Video streaming      
      Music downloads      
      Video downloads      
      Instant messaging      
      Software updates      
    •  
      Is traffic management used to manage congestion in particular locations? No
      If so, how? N/A

      * This Key Facts Indicator gives an overview of typical traffic management practices undertaken on this product; it does not cover circumstances where exceptional external events may impact on network congestion levels
      ** This excludes any service, content, application or protocol that an ISP is required to block by UK law and child abuse images as informed by the list provided by the Internet Watch Foundation.
      *** If no entry is shown against a particular traffic type, no traffic management is typically applied to it though overall network management rules shall apply.
      **** In addition to the above practices, Sky also modifies some traffic to optimise the end-user experience.  The rationale for doing so is to make best use of network capacity to support real-time applications and make efficient use of data allowances.
       

    Sky Broadband Unlimited, Sky Broadband Unlimited Pro
    Sky Fibre Unlimited, Sky Fibre Unlimited Pro*

    • Our unlimited broadband products are not subject to any traffic management, which means we won't slow you down at any time regardless of how much you upload or download.

    •  
      Section 1: Traffic management in relation to your broadband product
      (not including during busy times and places to manage network congestion see Section 2)
      Name of broadband product: Sky Broadband Unlimited
      Use and availability of services, content, application and protocols on this product
      Are any services, content, applications or protocols always blocked on this product?** No
      If so what? N/A
      Are any services, content, applications or protocols always prioritised? No
      If so what? N/A
      Are any services, content, applications or protocols always slowed down? No
      If so what? N/A
      Are any managed services delivered on this product? No
      If so what? N/A
      Data caps and download limits
      What are the download/upload limits or data usage caps on this product? None
      Is traffic management used to manage compliance with data caps and download limits? No
      Under what circumstances? N/A
      Level of speed reduction? N/A
      Duration of speed reduction? N/A
      Is traffic management used in relation to heavy users? No
      Under what circumstances? N/A
      Level of speed reduction? N/A
      Duuration of speed reduction? N/A
    •  
      Section 2: Traffic management to optimise network utilisation
      (what happens during busy times and places in addition to traffic management as described in section 1)
      Is traffic management used during peak hours? No
      When are typical peak hours? N/A
    •  
       Traffic type Blocked Slowed down Prioritised
      Peer to Peer (P2P)      
      Newsgroups      
      Browsing/email      
      VOIP (Voice over IP)      
      Gaming      
      Audio streaming      
      Video streaming      
      Music downloads      
      Video downloads      
      Instant messaging      
      Software updates      
    •  
      Is traffic management used to manage congestion in particular locations? No
      If so, how? N/A

      * This Key Facts Indicator gives an overview of typical traffic management practices undertaken on this product; it does not
      cover circumstances where exceptional external events may impact on network congestion levels
      ** This excludes any service, content, application or protocol that an ISP is required to block by UK law and child abuse images as informed by the list provided by the Internet Watch Foundation.
      *** If no entry is shown against a particular traffic type, no traffic management is typically applied to it though overall network management rules shall apply.
      **** In addition to the above practices, Sky also modifies some traffic to optimise the end-user experience.  The rationale for doing so is to make best use of network capacity to support real-time applications and make efficient use of data allowances.

    Sky WiFi*

    •  
      Section 1: Traffic management in relation to your product
      (not including during busy times and places to manage network congestion see Section 2)
      Name of product: Sky WiFi
      Use and availability of services, content, application and protocols on this product
      Are any services, content, applications or protocols always blocked on this product?** Yes
      If so what? We have at the request of some operators of venues with Cloud hotspots implemented URL blocking to general categories of sites that may be deemed inappropriate for public environments or specific URLs for legal or contractual reasons. The type of site categories that may be blocked include those relating to: drug use, pornography, offensive or illegal speech, hacking, malware, phishing and other frauds, spyware and adware, bot nets, key-loggers and other types of monitoring. The list of categories may be amended or supplemented from time to time.
      Are any services, content, applications or protocols always prioritised? No
      If so what? N/A
      Are any services, content, applications or protocols always slowed down? No
      If so what? N/A
      Are any managed services delivered on this product? No
      If so what? N/A
      Data caps and download limits
      What are the download/upload limits or data usage caps on this product? None
      Is traffic management used to manage compliance with data caps and download limits? No
      Under what circumstances? N/A
      Level of speed reduction? N/A
      Duration of speed reduction? N/A
      Is traffic management used in relation to heavy users? No
      Under what circumstances? N/A
      Level of speed reduction? N/A
      Duuration of speed reduction? N/A
    •  
      Section 2: Traffic management to optimise network utilisation
      (what happens during busy times and places in addition to traffic management as described in section 1)
      Is traffic management used during peak hours? No
      When are typical peak hours? N/A
    •  
       Traffic type Blocked Slowed down Prioritised
      Peer to Peer (P2P)      
      Newsgroups      
      Browsing/email      
      VOIP (Voice over IP)      
      Gaming      
      Audio streaming      
      Video streaming      
      Music downloads      
      Video downloads      
      Instant messaging      
      Software updates      
    •  
      Is traffic management used to manage congestion in particular locations? No
      If so, how? N/A

      * This Key Facts Indicator gives an overview of typical traffic management practices undertaken on this product; it does not
      cover circumstances where exceptional external events may impact on network congestion levels
      ** This excludes any service, content, application or protocol that an ISP is required to block by UK law and child abuse images as informed by the list provided by the Internet Watch Foundation.
      *** If no entry is shown against a particular traffic type, no traffic management is typically applied to it though overall network management rules shall apply.
      **** In addition to the above practices, Sky also modifies some traffic to optimise the end-user experience.  The rationale for doing so is to make best use of network capacity to support real-time applications and make efficient use of data allowances.

  • Glossary

    Traffic management:

    Traffic management is the term used to describe a range of technical practices undertaken to manage traffic across networks.

    The different outcomes achieved by the use of technical practices can include:

    • the prioritisation of certain types of traffic in busy times or busy areas to ensure that it is of an adequate quality
    • the slowing down of certain traffic types that are not time-critical at busy times or busy places
    • ensuring compliance with a consumer’s contract, for example slowing down of traffic for the heaviest users
    • supporting the delivery of managed services, for example to ensure a guaranteed quality of service for a specific piece of content

    Managed services: The majority of internet traffic is delivered on a "best efforts" basis. A managed service, on the other hand is one whereby an ISP offers "quality of service" that can guarantee a certain level of performance, so that the content, service or application can be delivered without risk of degradation from network congestion. Such a quality of service arrangement can be made between an ISP and a content or service provider or directly between an ISP and the consumer.

    Best Efforts: This phrase relates to the delivery of internet traffic where traffic management is applied without distinctions based on the source of that traffic.

    Slowed down: This outcome is achieved by the deployment of technologies that can decrease the priority of traffic types deemed to be non-time critical on the network e.g. slowing down traffic such as downloads during busy times and busy periods.

    Prioritised: This outcome is achieved by the deployment of technologies that increase the priority given to certain traffic types, e.g. time-critical traffic such as video. This outcome can also be achieved as a consequence of slowing down other selected traffic which reduces the overall data flow on the network.

    Heavy users: Heavy users can cause peak traffic volumes to exceed the engineered maximum load. In practice this refers to a very small proportion of users of a network whose use is excessive to the extent that it impacts on other users.

    For information from Ofcom on Traffic Management, visit ofcom.org.uk

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